Every top team looks to make a statement at the start of the season, and the one Manchester United put out with Sunday’s 4-0 win over West Ham was pretty emphatic.
That was the quickest I have seen Manchester United move the ball around for a long time and there was so much energy, pace and desire in their team, particularly in the final third.
Jose Mourinho’s side did not have much defending to do, because West Ham offered such little resistance – but part of the reason the Hammers were poor was because United made them look it.
Last season, United’s problem was failing to finish off the opposition in games like this, particularly at home, when they often dominated but did not get the win.
Drawing at Old Trafford was their Achilles heel but, once they went 1-0 up on Sunday, it was only a matter of how many goals they were going to get.
Nemanja Matic fully deserved his man-of-the-match award because he bossed the game from start to finish on his Old Trafford debut for his new side.
He was the outstanding player out there. Nobody else was going to take the glory but him, and he was brilliant.
It was the kind of complete midfield display that his former side Chelsea were badly missing in their defeat by Burnley on Saturday – someone who was able to stamp their authority on the game.
Matic was aggressive when he had to be, and put in the tackles, but his distribution was also top class. He kept it simple when he had to, but played more ambitious passes when the time was right.
Matic was forward thinking too, something he was not known for at Chelsea, and showed it with his part in United’s first goal.
He won the ball back then bombed forward to provide an overlap for Marcus Rashford on the left when he played Lukaku in down the middle to score.
I also saw Matic beat three or four men down the right wing in the first half, which is not something he did too much of in his time at Stamford Bridge.
Jose Mourinho said in his programme notes before the game that, during his managerial career, he has never worked with a group of players he likes as much as this United side. They showed exactly why that is the case.
He is optimistic, as he should be, because he has got what he wanted in the transfer window and might still get one or two more players before it shuts.
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