It was Ruud to the rescue as he made a decisive introduction to life at OT...
United 3 (Beckham 35, Van Nistelrooy 51, 53) Fulham 2 (Saha 4, 48) | 19 August 2001
United sought a record fourth consecutive Barclays Premier League title with a visit from First Division champions and top-flight newcomers Fulham on the season’s opening day with some new faces in the team: Juan Sebastian Veron and Ruud van Nistelrooy.
Veron’s OT career never quite took off, but van Nistelrooy wasted no time making his mark on his home and Premier League debut. However, Fulham were also keen on making a good early impression and Louis Saha put the visitors a goal up after just four minutes.
David Beckham struck a stunning free-kick in off the bar shortly before half-time, but Saha again put Fulham ahead as his pace continued to trouble the Reds’ defence. Enter van Nistelrooy, scoring two goals in three minutes and displaying the predatory instincts Old Trafford would come to cherish.