Chelsea FC vs Manchester United proved the real derby; goals, emotions, mistakes and boiling blood.
For the rest more or less everything as expected.
Chelsea FC vs Manchester United
It was expected to be the game of the weekend and you’d be forgiven if by half-time you’d be wondering what the fuss was all about. Chelsea was leading thanks to a Ruediger’s goal midway thru the first half and… that was pretty much it! United’s only meaningful escape in the blue half of the pitch was a Lukaku header that ended up well wide.
Once the teams came back from the dressing rooms it was a whole different story! Mourinho apparently instructed his players to step up and attack with more men which resulted in the eventual turn around. Martial took advantage from Chelsea’s shaky defending. And for me David Luiz was the shaky part of it.
He’s a great player, good passer or the ball, tremendous shot, good in the air a a lot more but he’s not a defender! That’s probably why Benitez, when in charge of the Stamford Bridge club, played him as defensive midfielder.
For the first goal David Luiz was on the floor, presumably in pain while the ball was bouncing around the box. Can’t determine the severity of his pain however he continued with the match right after therefore I can imagine that he could be on his feet and kick the ball away thru the pain – Martial was striking on goal just next to him! And then lie down and seek for help if it was really needed.
His partners in crime can’t be proud of their reactions also but, being such a hard player when it comes to tackling and fighting, I can’t get rid of the feeling that he could do more in that situation.
If for the first goal he might be in pain and somebody could justify him, for the second I can’t find any excuses. He mistimed his challenge, by a lot I might add, Mata flew past him and with a hole the size of Grand Canyon in the heart of the Blues defence it wasn’t too hard for the visitors to find a player who could fire on target without any obstacles.
After the comeback there were still 20 minutes left to play and Mourinho had his team playing like it was a handball match; everybody close to the box and playing it safe. Meaning kicking the ball as far as you could.
And after 20 minutes of relentless pressure from the home side, what happens?
United black out
In the 95th minute with the ball flying into United’s box and with all 11 men defending the lead, THREE Chelsea players find themselves just few steps away from De Gea. Completely alone! And didn’t even score from the first shot after the ball bounced of the post. They had time to take another shot before anybody in red bothered to come close!
Surely the Spaniard is one of the best goalkeepers in the world and has produced some miraculous saves that kept his team afloat several times, however this was too much even for him.
It reminded me of the scenes in Shaolin football…
No matter what provocative words were said that caused all of Mourinho’s outrage, he should jump on his players on the field and shout at them! Incredible laps of concentration at the heavens door. Mourinho would enjoy getting one over his old club!
And while he’s shouting he could say a word or two about the first Chelsea goal as well. Ruediger was left completely alone in the center of the box and duly took advantage of it. Directly from a corner! It wasn’t a laboured action, a loose ball or a rebound. The cross came in a he was alone in the very center of the box, free to power his header into the net! Not really top notch defending.
But then again, it was the story of the whole match.
Another clue we could see in this game is that United has fire-power. A lot of it! Why Mourinho is keeping it on a short leash is anybody guess but if he decides to release it and actually play some attacking football from the beginning and not only when he’s losing it might bring some victories. Even the fans might start enjoying themselves in the beloved club’s performances.
Sarri maintained defeat box empty and Mourinho prolonged his stay at the helm of the most successful club in England. And both got a point for their troubles.
Chelsea FC vs Manchester United ended with a draw that before the match would be enough for the visitors, as stated in yesterday’s post and after the match is enoguh for the hosts.
Beside the match of the day little surprises. Actually there was one! Liverpool’s win at John Smith stadium. And why is surprising that Liverpool won against Huddersfield Town? Well, because Liverpool didn’t play well, at all, and still managed to take all the stakes! In previous years the game would end up in a draw or perhaps even in a defeat but this time they got the result wanted. Winning without scintillating football, nobody can play 38 matches well, is champions material.
And additional surprise for me are only 3 goals conceded by the Reds defence. When you look at the line-up you don’t see 4 world-class defenders standing in front of Allison. There is one very good player, Virgil, and whoever partners him is just above average at best. Anyway, if it works, why changing it.
For the final victory Manchester City will be asked a question or two and probably also Chelsea, however the Beattles club is running smoothly for now.
City ran riot against Burnley and showed no mercy or sympathy for former club mate and captain Hart in visitor’s goal. Moreover, the Citizens had different scorers for all of the 5 goals while Ederson had the afternoon off. Guardiola surely appreciated the display.
As Liverpool, Tottenham managed to get all three points in the London derby against West Ham also without really demonstrating any of the sexy football they’re so famed for.
Important wins for Cardiff and Brighton against direct opponents for Premier status and for Watford in their quest for season wonder against Wolverhampton.
Due to next week’s European matches all but 2 games have been played on Saturday which left the Sunday’s afternoon free. And it was a sad afternoon for football hungry fans.
Chelsea 2 – 2 Manchester United
AFC Bournemouth 0 – 0 Southampton
Cardiff City 4 – 2 Fulham
Manchester City 5 – 0 Burnley
Newcastle United 0 – 1 Brighton & Hove Albion
West Ham United 0 – 1 Tottenham Hotspur
Wolverhampton Wanderers 0 – 2 Watford
Huddersfield Town 0 – 1 Liverpool
Everton 2 – 0 Crystal Palace
21:00 Arsenal – Leicester City