Manchester shocked Chelsea and opened the title race wide open with a 2-0 win over the league-leaders, at Old Trafford. Chelsea needed a win to keep their lead at the top of the Premier League table to 7 points but United kept up their quest for a top 4 finish with the victory.
Marcus Rashford scored the opener after just 7 minutes. Ander Herrera picked after the ball after a debatable handball, before picking out the United teenager who ran with pace past David Luiz, before slotting into the far corner past Chelsea keeper Asmir Begovic.
United dominated for the rest of the first half, surprising many fans who thought Mourinho’s choice of line-up was absurd and questionable. It appears the United manager’s tactics where spot on with pace and good counter-attacking football.
United doubled their lead just 4 minutes into the second half as Ander Herrera wacked in a shot deflecting off Chelsea players and flying past Begovic. The Manchester side where then able to sit back and defend at Old Trafford to keep a clean sheet and give the league-leaders a huge reality check.
The whole Manchester United team stood out and looked nothing similar to their majority performances this season. The side played with passion, desire and energy and deserved the win. Rashford and Herrera particularly stood out with brilliant performances and where both Man of the Match contenders. Other players such as David De Gea had a very easy day out and was hardly ever called upon as Chelsea where unable to even get a shot on target.
What made the United team look so good and a brilliant Chelsea side look so dull today, where the individual performances. The Chelsea boys had a whole week to prepare whereas, United would have only had 2/3 days after the Europa League tie in Belgium on Thursday. It was the red devils however, that came out with more desire and energy and this was made clear to see on the pitch. Marcos Rojo covered Costa very well in their personal battle. Fellaini and Pogba outshone Kante and Matic and Herrera done a brilliant job on man-marking Hazard, following the Belgian wherever he went, making him invisible and useless in the game, something that normally doesn’t happen to Hazard.
United’s pace upfront also had the better of the London Blues as Rashford and Lingard were constant nuisances for Cahill, David Luiz and Zouma.
The win leaves United 4 points off the top 4 with a game in hand on their city neighbours; Manchester City. Chelsea remain top of the league by 4 points but Spurs are not breathing down their neck. Chelsea face Southampton at home next time out, while second place spurs travel to Crystal Palace and United travel to Burnley.
Manchester United Player Ratings:
D De Gea: 6 – A comfortable day for the United keeper and was not tested whatsoever.
A Valencia: 7 – Solid performance from the Ecuadorian. Continues to impress from the right back positon. Got forward many times but defended when called upon.
E Bailly: 7 – The young defender continues to show how solid he is at centre back. Kept the Chelsea attackers quiet all game.
M Rojo: 8 – Won his personal battle with Costa and had a fairly easy afternoon. Slowly becoming United’s best defender with Bailly.
M Darmian: 7 – Has had a difficult season but performed well today and done the job set out for him.
A Young: 6 – Got on the ball a lot and done well captaining United today but missed a few decent chances.
A Herrera: 10 (MOTM) – One of his best games in a united shirt. Continuing his incredible season. Man-marked Hazard out of the game, scored the 2nd and assisted the first goal.
M Fellaini: 8 – done well keeping Matic and Kante out of the game and slowly wins over the United fans evermore.
P Pogba: 8 – Finally came out on top over midfield rival and national teammate, Kante. Dominated in the park and finally showed his worth.
J Lingard: 7 – His pace was a threat for Chelsea throughout the first half and despite playing in a new position in a front 2, still showed how important he is to Mourinho’s side.
M Rashford: 9.5 – Had the Chelsea defence in tatters all game as they just couldn’t handle the youngster. His pace, movement and finishing made a solid and trusted Chelsea back 3 look like a Sunday league defence.
M Carrick: 6 – Done well in a more defence shape after Lingard came off and his experienced helped the United side see out the result.
Z Ibrahimović: 6 – Didn’t do too much after coming on but the game was already won at that point.
T Fosu-Mensah: N/A – Not enough time to give a decent or fair rating.
Chelsea Player Ratings:
A Begovic: 5 – was called upon today after injury to Courtois but didn’t perform well and was poor for the first goal.
G Cahill: 6 – wasn’t at his best and had a tough time up against Lingard and Rashford.
D Luiz: 6 – was poor to let Rashford run past him in the lead-up to the first goal and also had trouble handling the youngsters up-front.
K Zouma: 5 – was quite anonymous in the game and when called upon, struggled to defend with his partners.
C Azpilicueta: 6 – certainly wasn’t at his best after changing positions due to Alonso being removed in the warm-up.
N Matic: 4 – was completely anonymous for much of the time he played. Completely dominated and out-played in midfield.
N Kante: 6 – A rare poor performance from the Frenchmen. Still played well but just didn’t have the same influence on games as usual as Chelsea’s midfield where second best.
V Moses: 6 – Made some good runs but never threatened United and Darmian did well keeping him quiet.
E Hazard: 4 – One of Chelsea’s worst performers today. Herrera kept him out the game with thorough man-marking and the Chelsea forward ran out of ideas.
Pedro: 5 – Was also lacking ideas and creativity and the United defence kept him quiet.
D Costa: 4 – Was clearly frustrated all game and Rojo won the personal battle between the 2. Couldn’t create any chances or get any shots away.
C Fabregas: 6 – Helped Chelsea push forward more in the last 30 minutes but couldn’t create nothing for a comeback.
Willian: 6 – Also tried to help Chelsea attack more but was not able to create anything against a solid United defence.
R Loftus-Cheek: 5 – Came on for the last 10 minutes but couldn’t really get into the game.
All Images Sourced from Google Images.