Maguire Demanded That United Kept Cleansheet Against Chelsea

REUTERS/Phil Noble

It was Manchester United’s show all along as Chelsea was hammered 4-0 at Old Trafford. The Blues did display great intent and firm possession in the opening minutes, but Marcus Rashford cut short their impact with his penalty.

In the second-half, the Red Devils were relentless as Anthony Martial netted a superb goal, following which Rashford scored his second and then sweet delight was added to the party when 21-year-old Daniel James marked his Old Trafford debut with a scintillating goal.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will be highly pleased with the goal-scoring intent and the defensive solidity of his side and will be hoping for more of the same in the lengthy season ahead.

As far as their defensive brilliance goes, the cleansheet is credited to one person in particular.

Harry Maguire, speaking after the full-time whistle, revealed his on-pitch impact: “It’s a great start for myself and the team. We rode our luck a bit in the first half but in the second half we were a lot better and I think we thoroughly deserved the three points.”

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He then went on to state a crucial bit of information (via United Xtra): “I was reiterating on the pitch even at 3-0 and 4-0 that we wanted a clean sheet. We have to make this place a fortress and a hard place to come and score. It is the first game at Old Trafford so I think there were nerves.

“We gave the ball away in dangerous areas. We moved it nicely second half and our front three are so dangerous on the break. We knew there were only two clean sheets last year here. We need to make it a fortress.”

This is precisely the kind of mentality that United require powering their lineup. It is fair to say defensive brilliance may be a regular feature at the Theatre of Dreams this season.