KENYA BROWN - Monday, August 12, 2019
It was a rough day for Christian Pulisic and Chelsea as they were throttled by Manchester United as the English Premier League season got underway over the weekend.
Manchester United 4-0 Chelsea
Chelsea could not capitalize on a strong start as Manchester United took advantage to come away with a big win in the season opener at Old Trafford.
Christian Pulisic would come off the bench for the Blues to play 32 minutes in his debut.
The game saw former players Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Frank Lampard take on each other for the first time in a coaching capacity, with both having a lot of pressure to bring out good results during the season.
There have been a lot of questions over Chelsea's appointment of Lampard as head coach as he only has one year of experience at Championship team Derby County, but from the start of the game it appeared that his team had the upper hand.
Tammy Abrahamm came very close to opening the scoring when his blistering shot beat United goalkeeper David De Gea, but it did not beat the post as the ball came crashing off it and back into play.
However, the tide would change later on as the referee pointed to the spot for a penalty when it was judged that Kurt Zouma brought down Marcus Rashford in the area. The young England forward then stepped up and tucked penalty into the back of the net just beating the outstretched hand of Chelsea goalkeeper Kepa.
The half would not end until Chelsea brought themselves a chance to level the score when Emerson was left wide open on the one the left side to take a crack at goal, but once again the Blues were left unlucky as the Italian's shot bounced off the post.
The second half would see Pulisic make his appearance in the 58th minute coming on for Ross Barkley. He would soon receive a warm welcome from United midfielder Paul Pogba as he sent the young American crashing to the ground following a foul in the midfield.
That first half penalty gave the host some momentum and they went on to double their lead in the 65th minute when Anthony Martial steered the ball into the goal following a cross from teammate Andreas Pereira.
And it did not take long for them to add a third as Rashford scored his second on the day two minutes later when he ran onto a lofted ball from Pogba and slotted his shot past Kepa.
United iced the game in the 81st minute when a counter-attack saw Pogba set up debutante Daniel James for his first goal of the season.
It was a rough outing for Chelsea, and they will want to forget it as soon as possible as they face European champions Liverpool in the UEFA Super Cup in the middle of the week followed by their home opener against Leicester City on Sunday.
Fulham 2-0 Blackburn Rovers
Fulham got their return to the Championship off the ground with as goals in both halves saw them come away with the shutout win over Blackburn Rovers at Craven Cottage.
Tim Ream made his first appearance for the Cottagers and played the entire 90 minutes.
After narrowly losing to Barnsley in the season opener last week, Fulham were looking not to lose anymore ground to the other promotion challengers.
And they went on to open the scoring four minutes after the half-hour mark when Tom Cairney's long-range strike beat Blackburn goalkeeper Christian Walton and hit the back of the net.
The host dominated large stretches of the game and had several excellent opportunities to add to their tally.
They did add their second in the 81st minute when Aleksandar Mitrovic pounced on a low cross from teammate Joe Bryan and guided the ball into the goal to seal the win.
A much-needed win for Fulham as they look to make a return to the Premier League.
DeAndre Yedlin did not dress for Newcastle United due to a groin injury as the Magpies started their season under new head coach Steve Bruce with a 1-0 loss to Arsenal.
In the Championship, Eric Lichaj and Hull City came out on top of Matt Miazga and Reading in a 2-0 win. Andrija Novakovich did not dress for the Royals.
Antonee Robinson started for Wigan Athletic as they had a rough day in their 3-0 loss to Preston North End.
Geoff Cameron started for Queens Park Rangers as a late goal helped them to save a point in their 1-1 tie with Huddersfield Town.
Down in League One, Lynden Gooch came to the rescue of Sunderland as his goal helped them salvage a point in their 1-1 tie with Ipswich Town.
Matthew Olosunde started for Rotherham United while Jordan Adebayo-Smith watched from the bench for Lincoln City as the Imps came away with a 2-0 win.
Charlie Kelman came off the bench to play the final 18 minutes for Southend United in their 3-1 loss to Blackpool.