Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Chelsea 4-3 Manchester United: What Were The Key Talking Points As The Blues Complete A Record-Breaking Comeback In SW6?

Tom Dunstan in Editorial, English Premier League 5 Apr 2024

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In what will long be remembered as an all-time Premier League classic on Thursday night, Chelsea completed a record-breaking comeback at Stamford Bridge as they secured a 4-3 victory against historic rivals Manchester United.

Although the English duo of Cole Palmer and Conor Gallagher might have got Chelsea off to a flying start as they Blues stormed their way to a 2-0 lead in the opening 19 minutes, Manchester United mounted their own first-half comeback.

Heading into the half-time break level as Alejandro Garnacho and Bruno Fernandes capitalised on Chelsea’s leaky defence, the Reds then appeared to be sat in pole position to claim a famous victory in west London.

With Garnacho grabbing his brace midway through the second-half, United were just seconds away from really shoring up their spot in the top-six chase.

However, suffering what was a monumental collapse in the capital, it was eventually Palmer who stole all of the midweek headlines following a remarkable last-gasp flurry.

Converting from the spot in the 100th minute and sending the home support into overdrive, Palmer then managed to claim the match ball in the most stunning of fashion.

Then just seconds after converting his second penalty of the night, Palmer picked the ball up from a short corner and his drilled shot was deflected past United goalkeeper Andre Onana to spark wild scenes in the stadium.

In what was a pulsating affair from Stamford Bridge on Thursday, we have taken a look at the key talking points from SW6.

A record-breaking comeback at Stamford Bridge

Marking their return from March’s international break with a frustrating 2-2 stalemate at home against leading relegation scrappers Burnley, Chelsea always knew that they had a huge amount of pressure on their shoulders here.

Nevertheless, while there might be continued speculation over Mauricio Pochettino’s long-term future at Stamford Bridge, the Blues will take plenty of positives away a record-breaking comeback on Thursday night.

In fact, United were ahead with 99 minutes 17 seconds on the clock, the latest a side has ever led in a Premier League match they have gone on to lose.

Skyrocketing their way back into the top-half of the Premier League table and enduing their 12-match top-flight winless run against the Red Devils, Chelsea still have their sights set on mounting a dramatic late European charge.

Now unbeaten in all of their previous six Premier League appearances and continuing to gain a reputation for their action-packed affairs, Pochettino’s men must use Thursday’s comeback as a platform to build on.

A potential nail in ten Hag’s coffin

With Manchester United finally officially announcing Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s minority arrival last month, there has been continued speculation that the English billionaire is looking for a change in the Old Trafford dugout.

With the Red Devils breaking a string of unwanted European records back in December as they came crashing out of the Champions League, there are sections of the United fanbase who believe Erik ten Hag should be replaced at the end of the season.

Long since accepting that they will be unable to clinch another crucial top-four finish come may, the former Ajax boss has found a huge amount of pressure on his shoulders in the red half of Manchester.

Suffering what will long be remembered as an infamous collapse at Stamford Bridge here, United have drastically struggled to find any kind of stability this season and Thursday’s heartbreaking defeat could be a major nail in ten Hag’s coffin.

Marking their return from March’s international break with a generous 1-1 stalemate away at relegation outsiders Brentford, ten Hag’s men have now collected just a single win from their previous four Premier League showdowns.

Is Palmer the signing of the season?

While many of Chelsea’s big-money arrivals over the past few transfer windows might have drastically fallen short of living up to their hefty price tags, there is no doubt that Palmer has cemented his spot as one of the Premier League’s signings of the season.

Although the 21-year-old might have almost felt that he was pushed out of Manchester City last summer, Palmer has enjoyed a remarkable rise since arriving at Stamford Bridge.

Quickly becoming the post boy in west London and set to be part of Gareth Southgate’s EURO 24 squad this summer, Palmer put in another stunning performance here.

Bagging a record-breaking hat-trick in SW6 and now registering 16 Premier League goals this season, the ex-City starlet now sits only behind Erling Haaland in the race for the Golden Boot.

Rightfully stealing most of Thursday’s headlines in the capital and receiving a string of praise from across England’s elite, Palmer has undeniably lived up to his £40million price tag.

Match Report

Chelsea: Petrovic, Gusto, Disasi, Badiashile, Cucurella, Fernandez, Caicedo, Mudryk, Gallagher, Palmer, Jackson

Subs: Chalobah, Gilchrist, Sterling, Madueke, Chukwuemeka

Manchester United: Onana, Dalot, Varane, Maguire, Wan-Bissaka, Mainoo, Casemiro, Antony, Fernandes, Garnacho, Hojlund

Subs: Evans, McTominay, Mount, Rashford, Kambwala

Goals: Chelsea: Gallagher (4’), Palmer (19’ P, 90+10’ P, 90+11’) – Manchester United: Garnacho (34’, 67’), Fernandes (39’)

Yellow Cards: Gusto, Fernandez

Red Cards: N/A

Referee: Jarred Gillett

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tom Dunstan


Formerly of The Independent, Tom has spent the past six years as one of our senior writers and betting experts. Alongside working with numerous publications from across the globe, Tom also graduated from the University of Falmouth in 2014 with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Digital Media.
Spending almost the past decade working in countries such as Australia, New Zealand and Canada, he has also spent time featuring in sports radio. Tom can be followed on Instagram - @iamtomdunstan

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