Magnificent Seven Part 11: Best Opening Day League Matches

There’s no reminding football fans that Manchester United has won the Premier League a record 13 times. The club at Old Trafford have been known to kick off campaigns in style, and have mostly won under Sir Alex Ferguson when they’ve dominated the season right from the very beginning. It’s well known that the first win is usually the hardest, but as you start winning matches you get more confidence to challenge at the top. With that being said, here’s a look at Manchester United’s best opening day victories in the Premier League era-

3-0 vs Wimbledon (1996-97)

This match has been famous particularly for Beckham’s goal from the half-line. He was already a popular player, but became a household name after he spotted Neil Sullivan off his line and lobbed him to round off a comfortable victory, which also saw Cantona and Irwin score in the first half. United went on to win the league that season.

3-2 vs Fulham (2001-02)

In a roller coaster opening day fixture, United defeated Fulham 2-1 courtesy of a first half goal by Beckham and two quickfire Van Nistelrooy goals just after half time. United came from behind to see off the First Division champions, who went ahead twice through Louis Saha. However, it wasn’t another trademark United season as they could only muster a 3rd position in the league.

4-0 vs Bolton Wanderers (2003-04)

In a match very similar to last weekend’s win at West Ham, United totally dominated Bolton at home and a superb win on the opening day raised the fans’ expectations from their team. However, it wasn’t meant to be as they were no match for Wenger’s Invincibles. For the record, Giggs scored a brace while Scholes and Van Nistelrooy chipped in with a goal each against Bolton.

2-0 vs Everton (2005-06)

United began the 2005-06 season with an emphatic 2-0 away victory over Everton. Goals from Van Nistelrooy and Rooney’s first against his former team were enough to claim all three points in a dominant United display. They could not win the league, though, as a Mourinho-led Chelsea side won their second title in a row, which was confirmed as United lost 3-0 to the Champions with just two games remaining.

5-1 vs Fulham (2006-07)

United ran riot at home against Fulham, scoring five goals on the opening day in front of a fully-packed Old Trafford. Saha scored the opener and Pearce scored an own goal, while Rooney’s brace and Ronaldo’s brilliant strike meant that United got their best start in five seasons. They went on to reclaim the title that season, and such was their dominance that the PFA Team of the Year consisted of no less than eight United players.

3-0 vs Newcastle United (2010-11)

Another season opener against Newcastle, another superb victory. A five star United performance saw them through to a brilliant victory and led to another league trophy in the bag for Sir Alex’s men. Berbatov and Fletcher scored in the first half while Giggs put the cherry on the cake in the 85th minute.

4-0 vs West Ham (2017-18)

The latest of the victories, which has provided a major fillip to Mourinho’s men in their quest to bring home the Premier League title. The team has become formidable since the arrival of Matic and Lukaku in particular, and Mourinho can now easily rely on players proven in England. The thrashing of the Hammers on the opening day was reminiscent of the beautiful football United played under Sir Alex, and Lukaku’s brace on his debut, along with goals from Martial and Pogba gave Mourinho his biggest win in charge of the club. He has always won the league in his second season at any club, and there’s a strong case for him to maintain his sensational record.