Cardiff City 1-5 Manchester United: Lingard shines as Red Devils begin new era with thumping win over Bluebirds
Lingard celebrates after scoring his second and his side's fifth goal against Cardiff on Satruday evening (Photo Source: Stu Forster / Getty Images)

Cardiff City 1-5 Manchester United: Lingard shines as Red Devils begin new era with thumping win over Bluebirds

Lingard led from the front as United netted five goals in the Premier League for the first time since Sir Alex Ferguson retired as the Solskjaer era started on a real high.

Brandon Sayer
cardiff-cityEtheridge; Morrison, Manga, Cunningham, Bamba; Gunnarsson (Ralls, min. 83); Camarasa, Hoilett (Harris, min. 74), Arter (Zohore, min. 61), Murphy; Paterson.
manchester-unitedDe Gea; Young, Lindelöf, Jones, Shaw; Matić (Fellaini, min. 87), Pogba, Herrera; Lingard, Rashford (Fred, min. 79), Martial (Pereira, min. 87).
SCORE0-1, min. 4, Rashford. 0-2, min. 29, Herrera. 1-2, min. 38, Camarasa. 1-3, min. 41, Martial. 1-4, min. 57, Lingard. 1-5, min. 90, Lingard.

Manchester United produced a five-star performance in  Ole Gunnar Solskjær's first game in interim charge as they defeated Cardiff City 5-1 at the Cardiff City Stadium on Saturday evening.

A new era began for the Red Devils on Saturday evening and what a performance they put in as they dismantled the Bluebirds to give Solskjær a perfect start in the Premier League.

Two goals from Jesse Lingard and goals from Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial and Ander Herrera sealed a massive win for United away from home. 

Victor Camarasa scored the Bluebirds goal but it wasn't to be crucial as they felt the wrath of a United team who had just been let off their leash.

Pogba and Martial brought back in by Solskjaer

As was to be expected, Solskjær made four changes to his United team for his first game in charge with Paul Pogba and Martial coming back into the side.

For the hosts, Neil Warnock unsurprisingly didn't change too much to his starting lineup giving their improved form.

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Rashford gave the Red Devils the perfect start

The game itself started at a frantic pace which saw United take control of the game in the fourth minute as the took the lead with their first shot of the game.

Rashford unleashed a brilliant free-kick which flew into the back of the net after Pogba was fouled after a good passage of play.

That goal really helped the visitors as they looked assured and kept the ball for a large amount of time. 

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Herrera doubled United's advantage

This increased pressure led to them taking a 2-0 lead just before the half-hour mark when Pogba played the ball to Herrera in space, with the midfielder hitting a deflected shot into the top corner of the net.

You could see that the swagger was back in United's play but out of nothing, the Bluebirds got a lifeline.

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Bluebirds got a goal back but Martial restored United's two-goal lead minutes later

Camarasa slotted home a spot-kick into the top corner of the net after Rashford handled the ball in the area.

Therefore, it was down to the visitors to not let the nerves creep into their play and it was helped that they restored their two-goal lead three minutes after conceding.

This goal had the feel of the old United as a slick one-touch passing move ended with Lingard finding Martial in the box with the forward making no mistake by slotting the ball home into the back of the net.

Therefore, at the break, United were in full control of the game but knew that they would need to keep it up in the second half and not allow the hosts to get back into the game.

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Lingard netted a fourth for United from the penalty spot

The second half started exactly the same as the first as United started on the front foot straight from kick-off as Rashford forced Neil Etheridge into a very good save.

They did get a fourth goal though just before the hour mark as Lingard scored from the penalty spot after the winger was fouled in the box by Sol Bamba.

The visitors really should have netted the fifth goal with their next attack as a great run and pass from Victor Lindelof ended with Rashford shooting wide with only the keeper to beat.

Despite not having very much to do during the game, David de Gea was called into action to stop the hosts from scoring a second goal as Jamie Murphy hit a great shot towards goal which was destined from the bottom corner.

United though weren't satisfied with just the four goals as Pogba forced Etheridge into making a very good save from the edge of the box.

Lingard netted a fifth for United before the end to start the new era with a win

United did get a fifth goal though, in the final minute of the game, as Pogba's great through pass found Lingard, who rounded the keeper before slotting the ball home to score his second goal of the game, to seal the three points for United in Solskjær's first game in charge of the Red Devils.

Three takeaways from the game

United players shine when giving the licence to attack

One game in and it already looks so much better for United under Solskjaer. It was easy to see why though as the United players were allowed to showcase their abilities and therefore they looked so much better and it also showed that they don't have such a bad group of players after all.

United's defence still needs addressing

Even though United won comfortably against Cardiff, the game once again showed their defensive frailties. It's now only 2 clean sheets in 18 Premier League games for United which needs to improve if they are to even challenge for a top-four place.

Bigger challenges lay ahead for United

Yes, it was only Cardiff but it showed that United do have the players to help them climb up the table. The challenge really starts now for Solskjaer to get his players to continue on from this game as bigger games will follow in the near future.