Tuesday 25 July 2017

Manchester United v Chelsea - Story of the match

Marcus Rashford (left) celebrates scoring Manchester United's first goal
Marcus Rashford (left) celebrates scoring Manchester United's first goal

Jose Mourinho got the better of his old side as Manchester United slowed Chelsea's title charge with a 2-0 win at Old Trafford.

Goals from Marcus Rashford and Ander Herrera gave Mourinho's United a deserved and unexpectedly comfortable victory to leave the Blues just four points clear of Tottenham at the top of the Premier League.

The result also gave United's hopes of finishing in the top four a lift on an afternoon when talisman Zlatan Ibrahimovic did not feature until the last 10 minutes.

TWEET OF THE MATCH

"1 - Chelsea mustered just one shot in the first half against Man Utd, their lowest total in a PL first half this season. Restricted" - Statisticians from Opta ( @OptaJoe) highlight United's dominance of play.

STAR MAN

Ander Herrera.

Set United up for a fine afternoon with an exquisite ball for Rashford's early opener but his greatest contribution came in a superb man-marking job on Hazard. The Chelsea playmaker got little change from Herrera all afternoon as he was effectively shut down by the Spaniard. Herrera capped his display by scoring United's second goal, although it did take a huge deflection.

MOMENT OF THE MATCH

The stage was set for a pulsating game in the seventh minute as Herrera slid Rashford in on goal with a fine defence-splitting pass. The striker still had much to do but the opportunity was a golden one and he made sure he didn't waste it by beating Asmir Begovic with a composed finish.

VIEW FROM THE BENCH

Much was made of the potential battle on the touchline with a new rivalry simmering between United's former Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho and his Stamford Bridge successor Antonio Conte. The Italian was assumed to have the upper hand with his side having coped well with most challenges this season. Mourinho's pre-match claims that his players were tired and a team selection that left out talisman Zlatan Ibrahimovic also seemed to play into the visitors' hands. It all worked out well for the Portuguese, however, thanks to Rashford's early strike. His smothering tactics then worked out brilliantly and Conte's men will need to pick themselves up to get the job done.

RATINGS

David De Gea: 7

Antonio Valencia: 7

Eric Bailly: 7

Marcos Rojo: 8

Matteo Darmian: 7

Marouane Fellaini: 7

Ander Herrera: 8

Paul Pogba: 7

Ashley Young: 7

Jesse Lingard: 7

Marcus Rashford: 8

Substitutes:

Michael Carrick: (for Lingard, 60): 7

Zlatan Ibrahimovic (for Rashford, 83): 6

Tim Fosu-Mensah (for Young, 90): 6

Chelsea

Asmir Begovic: 6

David Luiz: 5

Gary Cahill: 5

Cesar Azpilicueta: 5

Victor Moses: 5

Marcos Alonso: 5

N'Golo Kante: 6

Nemanja Matic: 5

Pedro: 5

Eden Hazard: 5

Diego Costa: 5

Substitutes

Cesc Fabregas (for Moses, 54): 5

Willian (for Matic, 66): 5

Ruben Loftus-Cheek (for Zouma, 83): 5

WHO'S UP NEXT?

Manchester United v Anderlecht (Europa League, April 20)

Chelsea v Tottenham (FA Cup, April 22)

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