|Source: Manchester Evening News|
Following a successful international break for most the Manchester United players, they came back and faced one of their toughest challenges yet, playing high flying Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. United’s form of late had been inconsistent to say the least, so facing a Chelsea side that haven’t lost a game this season looked like a tough proposition.
Manchester United XI: David De Gea, Ashley Young (c), Chris Smalling, Victor Lindelöf, Luke Shaw, Paul Pogba, Nemanja Matic, Juan Mata, Anthony Martial, Romelu Lukaku, Marcus Rashford
Chelsea XI: Kepa Arrizabalaga, Cesar Azpilicueta (c), Antonio Rudiger, David Luiz, Marcos Alonso, N’Golo Kante, Jorginho, Mateo Kovacic, Willian, Alvaro Morata, Eden Hazard
The game started off as expected with Chelsea dominating the ball and United sitting back trying to make it difficult for them. For the most part this game plan worked out with United keeping most of Chelsea’s star men quiet. However, it wasn’t all positive for Manchester United as in the 21stminute they conceded a goal from a corner, which was headed home by Chelsea centre back Antonio Rudiger. This goal was probably deserved on the balance of the play but only came about due to United’s poor defending on a corner, once again. The first half carried on much the same with it eventually finishing 1-0 to Chelsea.
The second half started much more positively for United as they came out and attacked Chelsea, knocking them off their rhythm. And it wasn’t long until this pressure led to the United equaliser. Chelsea goalkeeper Kepa kept out a good Juan Mata shot but, the Chelsea defence never managed to clear the ball away properly, leading to Ashley Young having a go from the other side of the box. His shot took a slight deflection off Jorginho and then Marcus Rashford before reaching Martial, who fired in coolly and emphatically.
And it wasn’t long before United once again punished Chelsea as Martial managed to get his second goal. A quick counter attack by United saw Mata and Rashford combine before the ball fell once again to the feet of Martial who made no mistakes yet again, to put United in the lead for the first time in the game.
Unfortunately for United the victory wasn’t to be as in the 96th minute there was a scramble in the United box which eventually fell to substitute Ross Barkley who fired home for the Blues, denying United of their first victory at Stamford Bridge since 2012.