Rashford held his nerve to fire United ahead from the penalty spot before showing great composure to make it 3-0 after a sublime pass by Paul Pogba
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Manchester United recorded their biggest Old Trafford win over Chelsea since 1965 to condemn Frank Lampard to a miserable start as a Premier League manager.
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 still suffered their worst ever opening-day defeat in 104 league seasons.
The ecstatic home supporters did not care about that though, as the negativity of a difficult summer was swept away by their best result against Chelsea since they beat them by the same score in the 1994 FA Cup final.
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. (BBC)