Manchester United were in full control from start to end against Chelsea at Old Trafford and emerged deserved winners after an inspired display in this eye-catching Premier League clash.
The 2-0 defeat for Chelsea has put a huge twist on the Premier League table as Tottenham are now only four points behind Antonio Conte’s men, which means we will be in for an exciting finish to the title race.
Our in-depth match report from Old Trafford follows:
Form Guide & Team News
Manchester United welcomed Chelsea on the back of a 21-match unbeaten run in the Premier League. Ten of those happen to be frustrating draws and the Sunday’s matchup was the perfect opportunity for Red Devils to record a timely boost to their morale and type down their first in last 12 meetings with Chelsea.
The Blues travelled to Old Trafford hoping to make a huge step toward lifting the title, but the second defeat in their last four matches in the Premier League only ended up putting a new spin on the title chase with Tottenham now only four points behind in second.
The hosts had a couple of first-team names on the injury list as Phil Jones, Juan Mata, Chris Smalling and captain Wayne Rooney were all missing out through fitness set-backs, whereas Antonio Conte was given a late double injury blow with defender Marcos Alonso and goalkeeper Thibaut Kourtois ruled out for the big occasion.
Manchester United grabbed a firm grip on the game against Chelsea straight from the off as the Red Devils got their foot in front after only seven minutes at Old Trafford.
Marcus Rashford found the perfect way to thank Jose Mourinho for his rare start in the Premier League as the young striker went on to score the earlier Premier League goal this season. Ander Herrera passed the ball to United front-man who displayed great composure as he went one on one with Asmir Begovic to tuck the ball perfectly behind Chelsea goalkeeper’s back.
Manchester United’s early lead brought the beast in Diego Costa, who was the only Chelsea player to show a burning desire to change things in the game. The Spanish striker was his usual self on several occasions in duels against Bailly and Rojo, who were unhappy with the excessive contact, but the game remained decent throughout the 45 minutes.
Much to the contrast of their Premier League season thus far, Chelsea were struggling with sloppy passing game and leaky defenses which allowed Red Devils to create far too many opportunities and make 5 goal attempts to Chelsea’s mere 1.
It was Marcus Rashford who was creating plenty of problems to Chelsea in the first half as the England youth international who was all over the place today, taking big part in creating opportunities for his teammates and attempting to add a goal to his tally as well. Jesse Lingard and captain-for-the-day Ashley Young were only in great shape on Sunday, getting into some promising positions themselves.
Result did not change however and Rashford’s 7th-minute goal made all the difference after first 45 minutes.
Manchester United kicked off the second half with a goal that came even earlier than Rashford’s seventh-minute opener as it only took Ander Herrera only five minutes after the interval to double the lead for the hosts.
Rashford initiated the attack from the free kick Ashley Young managed to keep in play and drift into the box before Ander Herrera latched on a loose ball to put it past Begovic with the aid of a big deflection from Zouma.
Antonio Conte wanted to shake things up with a change in tactics which has seen Chelsea play with a 4-2-4 in the last half an hour as he introduced Fabregas and Willian for Moses and matic, respectively. It did little in helping the Blues fire their first shot on goal in a game which ended up being a frustratingly disappointing performance from the Premier League leaders.
Jose Mourinho’s men, on the other side, put in a disciplined and composed display with every man taking care of his business on the pitch. Increased pressure on Chelsea key men Eden Hazard and N’Golo Kante resulted in intercepted play and plenty of unforced errors from the Blues as Jose Mourinho’s tactics yielder maximum result at Old Trafford.
Red Devils took their foot off the pedal a bit in the closing stages leaving Chelsea in agonizingly failed attempts to break forward but Manchester United made sure the game finished well in their favour without letting the Blues putting David De Gea in danger even once.
The Blues failed to make a single shot on goal in the entire game which speaks volumes of their inability to answer to Manchester United’s perfectly executed tactics.
Mourinho’s men were always in control and they fully deserve the three points from Sunday afternoon.
- Man United make 12 goal attempts to Chelsea’s five
- The Blues fail to fire a single ball on target at Old Trafford
- Man United extend unbeaten run to 22 Premier League games
- Chelsea have now lost 2 of their last 4 Premier League matches
- Chelsea’s lead at top is now cut to 4 points with 6 games to go
MANCHESTER UNITED: De Gea 7 – Bailly 7.5, Rojo 7.5, Darmian 7.5 – Valencia 7.5, Herrera 8, Fellaini 7.5, Pogba 6, Young 8 – Rashford 8.5 (Ibrahimovic -), Lingard 8 (Carrick 6.5)
Unused subs: Blind, Fosu-Mensah, Mkhitaryan, Romero, Shaw.
CHELSEA: Begovic 6 – Zouma 6.5 (Loftus-Cheek -) – Moses 6.5 (Fabregas 6.5), Kante 6.5, Matic 6 (Willian 6), Azpilicueta 6.5 – Pedro 6.5, Hazard 6.5 – Costa 6.
Unused subs: Ake, Batshuayi, Eduardo, Terry.
REFEREE: Robert Madley
Other results this afternoon
West Brom 0-1 Liverpool
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