Manchester United ran out comfortable 4-0 winners over West Ham United at Old Trafford this afternoon to top the Premier League at the end of matchday 1.
£75 million summer signing Romelu Lukaku scored a brace whilst Henrikh Mkhitaryan set up two goals. However, it was Nemanja Matić who took the plaudits on his Premier League debut for the Red Devils.
It came as a big surprise to many when the Serbian made a £40 million move to United from rivals Chelsea at the end of July. Today’s performance will only baffle Chelsea fans and journalists more.
Matić was a rock in the centre of the pitch, notably setting up the opening goal by blocking Pedro Obiang’s attempted pass from the halfway line to set Marcus Rashford away down the left wing.
The 29-year-old had more touches (88) and attempted more passes than any other player, completing 86% of them.
We have been in need of a quality holding midfielder like Matić since the beginning of last season. With Michael Carrick 36 years old, Ander Herrera not being an out-and-out defensive player and Paul Pogba enjoying breaking forward, the new signing is a perfect addition for our central midfield trio.
On the flip side, Chelsea could have done with their former player on Saturday during their 3-2 home loss by Burnley. With Tiémoué Bakayoko injured and Gary Cahill sent off after 14 minutes, Matić would have been the ideal player alongside N’Golo Kanté to shut up shop at the back.
Nemanja Matić was a key part of Chelsea winning two Premier League titles over the past three seasons and also scored a fantastic goal in their FA Cup semi-final victory over Tottenham Hotspur last season.