Wednesday, September 9, 1998 Published at 21:43 GMT 22:43 UK
Red Sky at night, Dwight Yorke's delight
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer runs to congratulate United's new hero, Dwight Yorke
Manchester United 4 Charlton 1
This game had everything - goals, atmosphere and a streaker who many cynics might have suspected was a News International publicity stunt.
The ghost of Rupert Murdoch hovered over Old Trafford all night but the expected demonstrations against the BSkyB takeover failed to materialise.
There was only a handful of banners and a few muted chants.
Glorious home debut
United's faithful appeared more interested in record signing Dwight Yorke, who bagged a couple of goals on his home debut.
Up front Alex Ferguson opted for pace over height with Yorke and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer favoured over Teddy Sheringham and Andy Cole.
The 55,000 capacity crowd were struck dumb in the 32nd minute when Mark Kinsella fired a superb goal from out of the blue.
Kinsella, who used to ply his trade at lowly Colchester, beat Peter Schmeichel from 25 yards with the aid of a cruel deflection to send the visiting supporters into ecstasy.
A watching Victoria Adams, aka Posh Spice, may have been worried at that point but within minutes United were ahead.
First goal conceded this season
Solskjaer's goal - the first one Charlton have conceded in the Premiership - was a superb individual effort, although Yorke helped to distract the Charlton defenders.
Alex Ferguson could have been excused a quiet grin - two weeks ago he turned down a £5.5m offer from Spurs for Solskjaer.
Moments before the interval Yorke repaid the first instalment of his £12.6m transfer fee when he met a cross and powered the ball into the net.
Killjoy ref Paul Durkin - England's World Cup representative - ticked off Yorke for his exuberant celebrations but stopped short of booking him.
After the break United's pressure began to break up the Charlton defence like a shipwreck.
Solskjaer bags a brace
In the 48th minute Yorke slid into an open goal from six yards - his 100th League goal - and a quarter of an hour later Solskjaer scored his second.
By this time the mood in Old Trafford had turned from resentful - towards chairman Martin Edwards, who has agreed to sell the club to Sky - to joyous.
When the streaker, with a scrawled message on his back, made an appearance shortly after the fourth goal he was met with playful cries of: "Are you Murdoch in disguise?"
Yorke was substituted 15 minutes from the end - to a standing ovation - and replaced with Sheringham.
For Charlton boss Alan Curbishley - who won the Manager of the Month award for August - it was a timely reminder that his club still has a long way to go to secure its Premiership place.
Man Utd: Schmeichel, Irwin, Johnsen, Stam, Beckham, Neville, Blomqvist, Keane, Scholes, Yorke, Solskjaer. Subs: Cole, Sheringham, Van Der Gouw, Berg, Wilson.
Charlton: Ilic, Mills, Powell, Redfearn, Youds, Newton, Kinsella, Hunt, Mendonca, Robinson, Brown. Subs: Petterson, K Jones, Mortimer, S Jones, Balmer.
Referee: Paul Durkin (Portland)