Manchester united vs chelsea

Revealed: How Manchester United stopped rampaging Chelsea

The biggest fixture from Sunday afternoon in Europe was the Manchester United v Chelsea game. Three weeks ago it felt like no one could stop Chelsea. They were strolling to the Premier League title and had a 10-point gap at the top of the league. However, losing two league games from three and Tottenham’s seven-game winning streak has snapped that gap to just four points.

In yesterday’s Manchester United v Chelsea tie, we saw a resurgent Manchester United who really could’ve beat any team on the day. Here’s an analysis of how Manchester United bumped rampaging Chelsea’s stroll to the Premier League title.

Jose Mourinho won the tactics game

Manchester United have suffered a lot at the hands of Chelsea in the past few years. You have to go back to 2012 to remember the last time the Red Devils beat Chelsea. In nine Premier League games between the pair, Chelsea had lost just once (in 2012), but they’ve beaten United four times and drawn four.

This season alone, Manchester United had lost their first two meetings with the Blues – Losing 4-0 at Stamford Bridge and getting knocked out 1-0 in the FA cup.

It was, however, imperative that Manchester United find a tactical solution to how they could stop Chelsea from hurting them again. The man paid for that job is Jose Mourinho. The Portuguese gaffer simply did not disappoint. He set up his team brilliantly and they nipped Chelsea in the bud.

Mourinho deployed a 3-5-2 formation, in a bid to curtail Chelsea’s counter-attacking prowess and stretch their defence. He said after the game:

"It was the same plan that was working with 11 players in the FA Cup at Stamford Bridge. They are the best counter-attacking team in the country and we controlled them very well.”

Anthony Martial and a jaded Zlatan Ibrahimović (who are both slower) were dropped in favour of Marcos Rashford and Jesse Lingard; that attack pairing worked a treat as Manchester United were already one goal up inside seven minutes, thanks to Rashford.

Mourinho also deployed two midfield destroyers in the mode of Marouane Fellaini and Ander Herrera; the latter was to be Hazard’s shadow all through the game, what a great job he did! Antonio Valencia, Paul Pogba, and Ashly Young made up the midfield five. Marcos Rojo, Eric Bailly, and Matteo Darmian made up the back three.

Perhaps on any other day, this same Manchester United team might’ve played out another boring draw at Old Trafford, but on Sunday, it was a perfect team performance, as Mourinho would say later:

“I think we have had a perfect performance - today I think was a special performance because it's also a special opponent - the leaders, the way they play. I think we played really well, a very solid performance. We gave them double problems,"

Manchester United had beaten Chelsea because they were better tactically set up than Chelsea.

Manchester United players show up

Jose Mourinho can draw up all the tactics and make all the tweaks but if his players don’t rise up to the occasion, it’ll all count for nothing.

In the Manchester United v Chelsea game, the Manchester United players showed up. The players played with so much determination and were poised to rip their opponent apart.

Ander Herrera was determined to make Hazard pay for getting him sent off in the FA Cup fixture last month. The Spanish midfielder also contributed a goal and an assist to sink Chelsea.
Marcos Rashford and Jesse Lingard were determined to show their boss they could be relied on as a replacement for Wayne Rooney, Anthony Martial, and Zlatan Ibrahimović.

Marouane Fellaini also produced a stellar performance, devoid of shenanigans and Fellaini madness. Paul Pogba was impressive, although he’d had received some stick had Manchester United lost. Antonio Valencia and Ashly Young did great work on the wings. Eric Bailly and Rojo was lovable at the back and Matteo Darmian cannot be criticized.

This time, Jose Mourinho cannot fault his players for not playing well enough – they were simply fantastic on the day.

Lackluster Chelsea

Chelsea was poor on the day. Antonio Conte’s men capitulated within the first seven minutes. Sadly, they remained down for the entire duration of the game. For the first time since September 2007, Chelsea failed to register a shot on target in a Premier League game – it was that bad! Manchester United played really well, but they were made to look even better by a lackluster Chelsea team who offered nothing going forward.

Antonio Conte blamed himself for his team’s poor show:

"Manchester United deserved to win because they showed more desire, more motivation, more ambition to win this game.

"It is simple. The fault is mine, because this type of situation the fault is the coach. I wasn't able to transfer the right concentration, the right motivation.”

The Manchester United v Chelsea game was a real cracker, but one that Manchester United simply couldn’t lose. They were superb on the day.

About the Author Kingsley

I am a football/soccer connoisseur who enjoys crafting interesting articles like the one you just read.

follow me on:

Leave a Comment: