Marcus Rashford scored twice, either side of a close-range effort from Anthony Martial, who had been given the number nine shirt back following the sale of Romelu Lukaku to Inter Milan.
Substitute Daniel James completed the scoring with a goal on his debut nine minutes from time.
The final scoreline was harsh on the visitors, who were the better side before the break and hit the frame of the goal through Tammy Abraham and Emerson.
But the ecstatic home supporters did not care about that at the end as the negativity of a difficult summer was swept away by their best result against Chelsea since the 1994 FA Cup final.
An £80m introduction
United had to pay Leicester £80m – and make Harry Maguire the most expensive defender ever – to land manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s number one summer transfer target.
Maguire’s England team-mate Rashford may grab the plaudits with his brace but the Yorkshireman’s authoritative performance underlined why his new boss wanted him above getting the big name midfield or striking reinforcements so many United fans have demanded on social media.
His calmness under pressure helped ensure that when the home side looked shaky in the first half they did not add to their concerns with self-iNFLicted mistakes.
Maguire was happy to keep it simple in possession and push the ball on to Paul Pogba when he could, and had the awareness to spot team-mates in trouble, something former United boss Jose Mourinho rather churlishly said on TV might be frequently needed in the case of Luke Shaw.
The game was still in the balance when Maguire stepped up to challenge Abraham on the edge of the United box. Maguire calmly took possession, leaving Abraham on the floor in the process, and strode away, setting in motion the attack that ended with Martial bundling home.
The Blues’ record goal-scorer has made some bold decisions already, despite being barely a month into his new job.
He has picked seven home-grown players in his squad: the four in action against United – Abraham, Mason Mount, Andreas Christensen and Fikayo Tomori – the currently injured duo of Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Callum Hudson-Odoi, and promising defender Reece James.
It is an unprecedented number for the Roman Abramovich era. But, while it is the philosophy of promoting youth from within that Chelsea’s fans have wanted, it comes with risk.
For every powerful fourth-minute shot from Abraham that thunders off the inside of a post, there is the moment Mount had when, presented with a shooting opportunity from an angle on the right of the United box, the 20-year-old elected for a cut-back, which ran disappointingly through for new United defender Aaron Wan-Bissaka.
Given that investment in youth, this summer’s transfer ban and the departure of Eden Hazard to Real Madrid, Lampard took a brave decision to sell David Luiz to Arsenal on deadline day.
The Brazilian may not be the most reliable defender but his experience is valuable and Luiz’s replacement on Sunday, Kurt Zouma, struggled badly.
He not only conceded the penalty but was also caught out of position and gave away possession, both expensive mistakes in an era when top teams routinely build from the back.
Chelsea’s inability to stem the flow of goals in the second half will be a major concern for Lampard, whose name was still being sung heartily by the visiting fans at the end.
More to follow.
- 1de Gea
- 2LindelöfBooked at 69mins
- 14LingardBooked at 48minsSubstituted forMataat 86′minutes
- 15PereiraSubstituted forJamesat 74′minutes
- 10RashfordSubstituted forGreenwoodat 86′minutes
- 9MartialBooked at 80mins
- 15ZoumaBooked at 36mins
- 5JorginhoBooked at 52minsSubstituted forKantéat 73′minutesBooked at 90mins
- 8BarkleySubstituted forPulisicat 58′minutes
- 9AbrahamBooked at 57minsSubstituted forGiroudat 66′minutes
- Anthony Taylor
- Shots on Target