Chelsea vs Manchester United Match Analysis

Chelsea vs Manchester United Match Analysis
Image from The Guardian
I love writing after such nights. Wow! Ole’s at the wheel and Manchester United now have an FA Cup Quarter Final to look forward to after beating Chelsea at Stamford Bridge for the first time since October 2012 in a 2-0 win. United played a really great game and was a good reaction from the mid-week loss to PSG and must now focus on hosting Liverpool on Sunday. 
Team Selection
Honestly, after both squads were released, I was a bit skeptical. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer set up a diamond formation of 4-3-1-2 with Juan Mata in the no.10 role and Romelu Lukaku partnered alongside Marcus Rashford as the main strikers. Alexis Sanchez was a substitute again, something that was shocking to me when the teams were announced. Sergio Romero started in goal with Chris Smalling the only change from the back four that faced PSG  leaving Eric Bailly on the bench. Chelsea made five changes to the side that faced Malmo with Gonzalo Higuain, Eden Hazard and N’golo Kante the three big changes Sarri made with Marcos Alonso and Antonio Rudiger also returning to the starting XI. Olivier Giroud, Callum Hudson-Odoi and Willian were named on the bench but only the Brazilian featured in this fixture to the home faithful’s dismay. 
Kepa, Azpilicueta (c), Luiz, Rudiger, Alonso, Jorginho, Kante, Kovacic, Pedro, Hazard, Higuain

Romero, Young (c), Smalling, Lindelof, Shaw, Matic, Herrera, Pogba, Mata, Lukaku, Rashford
First Half
It was a very busy opening of the game. Our second choice shot stopper, Sergio Romero saved David Luiz’s free-kick and also palmed away Pedro’s rebound. Rashford did brilliantly in winning fouls from centre-backs Luiz and Rudiger and Lukaku showed signs of determination but often his first touch let him down. United almost got the lead through Rashford in the 26th minute with a loose touch from Kepa inside the six yard area but the Spanish goalkeeper cleared the ball at the last minute with the camera flashing back to the United goalkeeping coach, Emilio Alvarez who appeared to glance disapprovingly at David de Gea behind him…
Pogba rises superbly to head home 
Image from the Telegraph
Ander Herrera, a real leader in the dressing room, steered United into the lead against Chelsea with a well-timed header through the brilliance of Paul Pogba, who superbly assisted the goal. Solskjaer showed his tactical brilliance when he signalled for Pogba to move further towards the left-hand side which eventually led to Herrera’s goal.On the stroke of half-time, Pogba put the Red Devils two goals ahead with another fabulous goal after a brilliantly whipped cross from Rashford down the right-hand side. Pogba now has 14 goals for the season in all competitions now and nine have come under Solskjaer’s reign. 

Second Half
There was an early scare for Solskjaer in the second half which was brough about by Nemanja Matic’s aggressive tackling causing a stir between the two sides having been carded in the 15th minute and many thought he would have been red carded but we were lucky to have him on the pitch for the fulltime whistle. Chelsea dominated the second half in possession but United held strong and kept out the Chelsea attacks and aimed to counter mainly with the pace of Rashford and the vision of Pogba and Mata. The away fans, despite the inconveniences around the timing of the game were once again brilliant and sang throughout the game especially with a cheeky rendition of ‘Sacked in the Morning’ late in both halves. Thank you lads! Sir Alex Ferguson, who was also in attendance today, can go to bed satisfied with the knowledge that he is no longer the last successful United manager at the Bridge. 
We face Wolves in another away game in the Quater Finals and a hard test for us considering Wolves have proven to be a very tricky side with wins against Chelsea, Liverpool and Tottenham so far this season. On to the next challenge at Old Trafford where United host Liverpool in another blockbuster game for the Red Devils. 

Author: TUD Author