Manchester United have often begun new Premier League seasons with a big win in their opening game of the campaign, hoping to make a statement and lay down a marker for rivals.
United have won their opening game of a league season by three or more goals on eight occasions over the years.
Here’s a closer look at their biggest opening day wins…
United began the 2010/11 season that yielded their record-breaking 19th first division league title with a convincing 3-0 win over newly re-promoted Newcastle.
It was a Monday night game to round off the opening weekend of the new campaign, with fans waiting half an hour for Dimitar Berbatov to strike – he went on to take a share of the Golden Boot – before Darren Fletcher doubled the lead just before half-time. Ryan Giggs added a late third.
Fresh from a Premier League and FA Cup double, United’s young side started 1996/97 by thrashing Wimbledon at Selhurst Park.
Eric Cantona and Denis Irwin both scored in the comfortable early win, although the game is mostly remembered for David Beckham’s audacious strike from just inside his own half. It was a goal that propelled the already highly-rated 21-year-old into superstardom.
David Moyes had the unenviable task of succeeding Sir Alex Ferguson as United manager in 2013, but it started pretty well after a 4-0 thrashing of Wigan in the Community Shield and a 4-1 win over a decent Swansea side to begin the Premier League campaign.
Robin van Persie and Danny Welbeck each scored braces. Sadly for Moyes, that was basically as good as it got because his team won only two of their next seven games and he was eventually sacked in April, just ten months into a six-year contract.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s first full season in charge began with a bang as United hammered Chelsea 4-0 at Old Trafford in what was also Frank Lampard’s first game in charge of the Blues.
Chelsea had early chances but United punished the visitors with the speed of their counterattacking and Marcus Rashford scored either side of one from Anthony Martial. There was also a debut goal from Daniel James, although only one win in the next eight league matches followed.
Jose Mourinho’s United won 4-0 on four separate occasions in their opening seven games of the 2017/18 Premier League season to lay down an early statement of intent; the campaign eventually finished with the club’s highest finish in the five years since Sir Alex Ferguson retired.
West Ham were the first victims on the opening weekend. New signing Romelu Lukaku wasted little time getting off the mark, scoring twice, before late goals from Anthony Martial and Paul Pogba.
United had been beaten twice at Old Trafford by Bolton in consecutive seasons after the Trotters returned to the Premier League in 2001. But they righted that poor record with a resounding win to start the 2003/04 season.
Ryan Giggs (two), Paul Scholes and Ruud van Nistelrooy found the net, although this game was noteworthy for providing a United debut for a little-known teenage Portuguese winger named Cristiano Ronaldo.
Bruno Fernandes scored 40 goals in his first 18 months as a United player, but for the most part the club was playing behind closed doors during the coronavirus pandemic. It was fitting, then, that in the club’s first home game with a full crowd since March 2020, he scored his first hat-trick.
Paul Pogba was also on fire, racking up four assists and proving unplayable, despite the ongoing speculation about his future, with Mason Greenwood and Fred getting on the scoresheet as well.
The media narrative surrounding United ahead of the 2006/07 season was focused on how Wayne Rooney and Cristiano Ronaldo would fare as teammates after having clashed at that summer’s World Cup.
The answer was that it mattered not one bit. Already the stars of a developing young side, Rooney and Ronaldo were on fire as United put Fulham to the sword in their Premier League opener. Both scored inside the first 19 minutes, by which time it was 4-0, and it finished 5-1.