Manchester United 3 Fulham 2 | FA Barclaycard Premiership | 19 August 2001 | Att: 67,534
Ruud van Nistelrooy's first two goals for the club were perfectly choreographed, coming within three minutes of each other shortly after the visitors had re-taken a shock lead.
Future Reds forward Louis Saha had been threatening to royally poop the party with his goals in the 4th and 48th minutes, until Ruud rode to the rescue. The Dutchman's quick reactions polished off moves involving sub Andy Cole and the scorer of the Reds' first equaliser, David Beckham, to ensure a winning start for Sir Alex's thrice-in-a-row champions. Van the Man - Mark I - had delivered at Old Trafford and not for the last time.
United: Barthez, Neville, Stam, Silvestre, Irwin; Beckham, P Neville (Cole, 35), Veron (Brown, 80), Giggs; Scholes, van Nistelrooy (Chadwick, 77). Subs not used: Carroll, Solskjaer. Scorers: Beckham, 36, van Nistelrooy 51, 53; Saha 4, 48.