Home ยป Match Report: Manchester United 2-1 Chelsea

Match Report: Manchester United 2-1 Chelsea

by Mathew Cohen

Manchester United produced a dominant performance to defeat Chelsea 2-1 at Old Trafford on Wednesday night.

The visitors held onto possession at the start, making a lot of short passes around the field until Harry Maguire dispossessed Nicholas Jackson with a crunching tackle.

A minute later, United decided to reestablish dominance in front of the Old Trafford crowd, with Bruno Fernandes unleashing a shot from distance that veered over the top.

Three minutes in, a masterful through ball by Luke Shaw reached Rasmus Hojlund, whose shot was saved by Chelsea keeper Robert Sanchez.

United continued to pile on the pressure, winning two corners that Chelsea struggled to defend against.

While Antony did well to swerve around Thiago Silva and unleash a shot on goal, it was deflected out for a corner.

Suddenly, the referee was called to the sideline to review a potential penalty after VAR determined that Antony’s foot was caught by Enzo Fernandes.

While the penalty was awarded, Bruno Fernandes scuppered the chance to hand United an early lead as his penalty was smoothly saved by the Blues’ shot-stopper.

11 minutes in, Chelsea launched a rapid counter-attack which saw Mykhailo Mudryk’s effort hit the post.

Moments later, it was United’s turn to strike, with Alejandro Garnacho’s close-range effort saved by the Chelsea goalkeeper.

In the 19th minute, Old Trafford erupted as United got the breakthrough they needed.

Scott McTominay picked up a loose ball in the box, flicking it up before burying it in the back of the net to send United into the lead.

Around 10 minutes later, McTominay was close to getting his second when he rose to header a Fernandes’ cross.

Unfortunately for United, Sanchez was perfectly placed to parry the shot, limiting the home team’s lead to one goal.

It didn’t take long for Chelsea to hit back, however, with an unmarked Jackson breaking through United’s defence to go one-on-one with Onana.

Ultimately, Onana was able to easily stop a soft attempt by the Chelsea striker.

United continued to pressure the Chelsea defence before half-time, with Fernandes striking a free kick into the wall to win a corner kick.

Shaw’s cross found Fernandes, whose shot sailed over the crossbar.

On the stroke of half-time, Cole Palmer got on the end of a Chelsea counter-attack and weaved his way past Victor Lindelof to get a view of the goalposts.

The Chelsea midfielder rolled a precise yet slow shot past Onana to the far post, thereby bringing the visitors back into the game.

Both Onana and Lindelof will surely be disappointed to have allowed the Blues to score such a soft goal.

Garnacho sent a threatening pass into the box in stoppage time, which Marc Cucurella managed to block with a sliding tackle.

While there were calls for a handball, a penalty was not awarded.

With United dominating for most of the first half, Erik ten Hag would no doubt be fuming at his defence for allowing Chelsea to claw their way back into the game.

Victor Lindelof was substituted at half-time, with Sergio Reguilon slotting in at left-back while Shaw shifted to the vacant centre-back position.

There was a lot of back-and-forth in the early stages of the second half, with both teams attempting to break away on the counter but lacking a final product.

Chelsea’s corner in the 48th minute found the head of Jackson, who thumped the ball over the top.

53 minutes in, Garnacho thought he would replicate his stunning goal against Everton with another overhead kick, however, this time, he missed by some distance.

Moments later, the Argentinian received the ball from Reguilon, weaving past two Chelsea defenders and curving an in-swinging shot toward the far post that narrowly went wide.

On the 60-minute mark, Antony came close to scoring when his shot from outside the block was deflected just inches past an off-guard Sanchez.

Following up from that opportunity, Shaw struck a hard shot goalwards which appeared to have struck Levi Colwill’s hand.

Ultimately, VAR determined that there was not enough in it for a penalty to be awarded.

McTominay fired another header goalward a few minutes later, however, Sanchez comfortably collected this effort.

In the 69th minute, McTominay succeeded, as he got on the end of a Garnacho cross to header United back into the lead.

Moments later, the home fans’ celebrations were cut short as VAR checked to see if McTominay committed a foul in the buildup to his goal.

Shortly after, Old Trafford breathed a collective sigh of relief as the goal stood.

In the 79th minute, Garnacho was given a prime opportunity to wrap up the game when he received an opportune through ball from Reguilon only to hit his shot wide of the far post.

Eight minutes from time, Diogo Dalot handed Chelsea a free kick, however, Enzo Fernandes’ shot was blocked, with Garnacho picking up the loose ball to launch a quick counter-attack.

Once Chelsea hit the ball out for a throw-in, a mostly absent Rasmus Hojlund was substituted for Marcus Rashford.

Garnacho was substituted before the final whistle, receiving massive applause for his stellar performance as he made way for Jonny Evans.

While the visitors attempted to pressure United’s back line in stoppage time it proved too little too late for the Blues.

Ten Hag would be proud of his team’s dominant performance and strength in attack as they finally defeated top-half opposition this season.

Starting XI: Onana, Lindelof, Amrabat, Maguire, Fernandes, Hojlund, Garnacho, Dalot, Antony, Shaw, McTominay
Subs: Reguilon, Rashford, Evans

Latest Top Stories...