Chelsea vs Manchester United Post Match Review
|Where are the defenders?|
A fantastic game of football overall but a dissappointing game for the Red Devils in the end. The game that would keep Manchester United fighting for the title or the game to send them eight points behind the Noisy Neighbours (with Man City beating Arsenal 3-1 earlier today) and above Tottenham on goal difference of +18. A promising start to the game for both teams with opportunities at both ends. Phil Jones almost got the game off to a horrific start with an own-goal ruled out due to a ‘shove’ from Morata, Marcus Rashford was the next to attempt to open the scoring with his header going inches over the bar and with Gary Neville on commentary for Sky Sports critical of the 20 year-old closing his eyes when jumping and not being brave enough and Lukaku later in the first half tested Courtois for the first time in the game with a good shot to Courtois’ right hand side.
Bakayoko also spurned several opportunities and after a big save from David de Gea from Hazard’s shot, Fabregas hit the side netting from 3 yards with his header. At half-time the game looked overall even but with Jose Mourinho not adopting a park-the-bus strategy and attempting to gain something from the game was leaving spaces at the back for Hazard and Morata to move into.
Chelsea capitalized on these spaces early in the second half and looked by far the better team in the opening stages with Azpilicueta’s wonderful delivery meeting a completely open and unguarded Alvaro Morata to score a sumptuous header against the team that rejected him in the summer. Throughout the second half Chelsea kept looking more and more dangerous as Man United looked less and less clinical. When Jose Mourinho put Marouane Fellaini and Anthony Martial on for Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Phil Jones, the Red Devils had a focal point for their attacks and finally put Martial, Rashford and Lukaku in the same 11 for the first time this season and it looked much better than with Mkhitaryan in the team but still unable to test Thibaut Courtois as they would have liked to. The only shot on target for Manchester United fell to the big Belgian, Marouane Fellaini who’s chest and volley was smartly saved and returning Blues player Nemanja Matic was inches away from the rebound. In the final knockings of the game, Marcus Rashford stood over the freekick that could decide the game and spare some dignity for Man United and was unfortunate not to score but at the end of the day, a miss is a miss.
No creativity, no clinicality, no points.
DAVID DE GEA 7/10
Good saves and urging his team forward in the last minutes of the game. Always calm and composed, no chance for the goal and the best Manchester United player on the pitch by far.
ERIC BAILLY 6/10
Whilst not looking overall convincing and really should have got closer to Morata for the goal, put in a shift at the back and showed his strength and pace against Morata and Hazard.
CHRIS SMALLING 6.5/10
Looked the strongest of the defenders for the Red Devils, aerially strong at the back and did very well in jockeying Morata late in the second half
PHIL JONES 5/10
Looked like he was in trouble from the start and kept getting knocked about the park by the Chelsea forwards and was a good decision by Jose Mourinho to take him off after 60 minutes
ANTONIO VALENCIA 6/10
Not as strong as he has been in recent weeks. His attacking play halted every now and then and didn’t trust his pace against Alonso in the final third and rarely delivered a cross.
NEMANJA MATIC 6.5/10
Solid for the majority of the game. Was dictating what small possession Manchester United had and was the most consistent of the game despite the odd poor pass and foul.
ANDER HERRERA 6/10
Took a couple of fouls for the team and did man-mark Eden Hazard once again but was in the end lucky to stay on the pitch
ASHLEY YOUNG 4/10
As good as Young was against Tottenham he was just as poor today. Shambolic passing and no link up play between him and Matic or Rashford.
HENRIKH MKHITARYAN 3/10
The worst player on the pitch. A shame he didn’t leave after 45 minutes as he was basicsally absent for the whole time he was on the pitch. Missing Mata and Pogba more than ever.
MARCUS RASHFORD 5/10
Not the best game from the now 20 year-old. His work rate and pace is ever-present but his final ball was poor and either overhit or underhit with respect to his corners for the latter.
ROMELU LUKAKU 5.5/10
Played with more movement today but still feeding off scraps against the big teams and needs to work better with Rashford and Martial. Ibrahimovic can’t come back sooner.
MAROUANE FELLAINI 6/10
Poor defensively and could have caused Chelsea to be 3-0 up in the second half but offensively was the target man up front and made more chances by himself than the rest of the team during thw whole game.
ANTHONY MARTIAL N/A
Did nothing to prove he should start, unlike against Spurs he had a good half an hour to show his quality and failed to do so
JESSE LINGARD N/A
Did nothing of note
MAN OF THE MATCH: DAVID DE GEA (on a technicality that there has to be a MotM)