MAN UTD 5 - 1 FULHAM
Cristiano Ronaldo and Wayne Rooney teamed up for the first time since the World Cup to help Manchester United thrash hapless Fulham.
Louis Saha headed United in front on seven minutes and his cross then forced Ian Pearce to divert into his own net, prompting a Fulham collapse.
Rooney tapped in before crossing for Ronaldo to make it four in 19 minutes.
Fulham pulled one back through Heidar Helguson's deflected effort but Rooney wrapped up victory after the break.
Sir Alex Ferguson and his players had stressed the need for United to begin the season firing on all cylinders, but they could not have dreamed of a start like this.
Ferguson teamed up Ronaldo and Rooney for the first time since their World Cup disagreement and the pair responded with some delightful interchanges.
They did, though, have the luxury of playing against a shambolic defence.
United were ahead after only seven minutes, Ryan Giggs' superb cross falling between Pearce and Liam Rosenior where Saha was waiting to head in his third goal against his former club.
Pearce got in front of Rooney to try and cut out Saha's low cross but could only steer into his own net.
With Fulham in complete disarray, an unmarked Gary Neville crossed and though Antti Niemi parried Saha's volley, Rooney was on hand to sidefoot home before the England striker turned provider for Ronaldo to half-volley in.
It could even have been much worse for Chris Coleman's side at half-time.
Rosenior cleared a dangerous Giggs corner off the line and Paul Scholes saw his venomous strike canon back off the foot of the post, hit Antti Niemi and trickle back towards the goal-line before the Fulham keeper managed to collect.
Fulham's first-half display did not merit a goal but it got one when Helguson's shot hit Rio Ferdinand and looped over the stranded Edwin van der Sar.
It was a momentary relief for Fulham though because the misery continued after the break.
Michael Brown was extremely fortunate to escape with only a yellow card for a horrible two-footed lunge on Giggs.
The usually placid Giggs was clearly upset and was booked for a clumsy challenge on the Fulham defender before both players were substituted.
United exacted the perfect revenge after 64 minutes with a devastating attack.
Ronaldo picked up the ball from Scholes and fed the overlapping Wes Brown, who pulled it back for Rooney to shoot low into the corner.
United understandably took their foot off the pedal as the clock ran down but by then Fulham were too shell-shocked to take advantage.
Coleman must pick up the pieces quickly or it will be a season of struggles for the Cottagers.