​​Chelsea's Premier League campaign got off to the worst possible start, as the Blues fell to a ​4-0 defeat to ​Manchester United at Old Trafford on Sunday.

Unfortunately for Frank Lampard, individual errors marred a positive performance from a weakened Chelsea side and left them in the relegation zone for the first time since September 2000. 

Frank Lampard

Of course, it is only matchday one. The table will tell you ​Brighton are gunning for Europe; ​Burnley are competing with ​Arsenal for a Europa League place; Chelsea are in crisis.

However, when you consider the 90 minutes at Old Trafford as a whole, the general consensus amongst Blues fans is that it was far from a thrashing per se, and there a positive season of change is still expected at Stamford Bridge.

Throughout Sunday's match, the Blues showed their new boss several glimpses of what he is looking for from his players: high energy, quick interplay and plenty of chance creation. 

Inside the opening five minutes, Chelsea's new number nine Tammy Abraham had ​David de Gea counting his lucky stars, as the 21-year-old smashed the post with a crisp strike from the edge of the box. 

Shortly after, a well-worked move set ​Cesar Azpilicueta off down the wing, where the Spaniard took on ​Luke Shaw and played a tantalising ball across the face of goal, just evading the runs of Mason Mount and Abraham - a run both players would make half a second earlier with a few more games under their belts.

On another day, Chelsea find themselves 2-0 up inside 20 minutes. 

Instead, two rather brainless mistakes by two of the more experienced players in the starting lineup - first ​Pedro, then crucially Kurt Zouma - gifted ​Marcus Rashford the chance to put United in front and give the game a different complexion. 


But again, blue heads didn't drop and they responded well. Chelsea continued to use the ball well and carve out chances, as ​Ross Barkley forced De Gea into a smart save before the woodwork was rattled once more - this time by left-back Emerson.

A makeshift Chelsea side had a full strength Man Utd on the ropes for much of the game and could've easily walked away from Old Trafford with three points in the bag by the half-time break.

After the interval, United absorbed some more early Blues pressure before nicking the all-important second goal against the run of play. Two minutes and another defensive lapse of concentration later, it was 3-0 and the game was over.

Marcus Rashford

However, had Chelsea had the rub of the green they probably deserved, it could have been Ole Gunnar Solskjaer facing early questions about his managerial credentials in Monday's back pages.

It's not every week that you allow you limit your opponent to five shots on goal in 90 minutes and come away on the receiving end of a 4-0 defeat, but there are obvious defensive frailties that need to be rectified quickly if Chelsea are to reach their targets this season.

There was an unquestionable naivety in the way the Blues pressed their opponents, as they left themselves vulnerable to the counter - something which played right into United's hands, thanks to the pace of Rashford, ​Anthony Martial and later Daniel James.

Having said that, it shouldn't be long before we see a stronger, more balanced Chelsea under Frank Lampard.

Youngsters Mount and Abraham did themselves no harm on debut, with the former in particular causing United plenty of problems in the first half. They will only improve as the season continues.

Returning loanee Zouma had an afternoon to forget at the back but it's likely that the Frenchman will be taking a place on the bench once ​Antonio Rudiger returns, which immediately brings more stability to a back four that really needs it.

Although Jorginho and ​Mateo Kovacic controlled the midfield for large parts of the game, the return of the irreplaceable ​N'Golo Kante will be a huge boost for Lampard in the coming weeks and provide the aforementioned balance between defence and attack.


It mustn't be forgotten that Chelsea are still without their best centre-back, their best midfielder, as well as the experienced (and sometimes brilliant) ​Willian. Not to mention the integration of the exciting Christian Pulisic, who turned on a sixpence to beat Aaron Wan-Bissaka within seconds of coming off the bench.

Add to that the return of academy stars and England internationals ​Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Callum Hudson-Odoi, plus versatile defender Reece James, and Frank Lampard's Chelsea really begins to take shape.

It's clear that this Chelsea side will take time to mature and iron out its mistakes, but it's just as clear what Lampard is trying to do and that is why, despite the result, so many Blues fans remain positive about the upcoming season.