Match Report: Chelsea 4-0 Manchester United
Manchester United pulverised in nightmarish Stamford Bridge return for old favourite Mourinho.
The Manchester United manager was humiliated in his first return to his old stomping ground since taking over as Man Utd manager. His side was dominated from the first kick and simply could not handle a rampant Chelsea side.
Conte once again set his team out in a 3-4-3 formation, which has proved fruitful since their defeat to Arsenal in September and United could not find an answer to their width and relentless pressing. Wingers Lingard and Rashford often filled in at full back positions as Marcos Alonso and Victor Moses were constantly bombing forward which penned Unite back in their own half. Ultimately Man Utd were the masters of their own downfall, making numerous of both individual and collective mistakes in the defence, which Chelsea took full advantage of.
The first defensive error came from miscommunication in the United defence in the opening seconds of the game. Smalling and Blind were both at fault as they allowed Pedro latched on to a ball from Marcos Alonso who rounded a De Gea, who needlessly rushed out, and slotted the ball into a gaping net. All within 30 seconds.
The hosts played with a much greater intensity than their opponents who looked tired and lethargic in comparison. Chelsea looked dangerous every time they ventured forward and it was only a matter of time until they scored their second. They doubled the scoring in the 21st minute when poor marking from a corner allowed Cahill with time and space to score.
The half ended with the score at two nill, but frankly the score flattered Manchester united who lacked any of the team unity that was on display in their Monday night game against Liverpool. However a moment of contention came in the 40th minute when David Luiz was lucky to remain on the field; his reckless high challenge on Fellaini only received a booking from Martin Atkinson.
After the break, Mata came on for Fellaini, which enabled Rashford to move up front alongside Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Minutes later Jose Mourinho was forced into another change after Bailly picked up an injury and Rojo replaced him in the 52nd minute.
Man Utd started to gain their footing in the game and began controlling possession but Chelsea once again capitalised on poor concentration in the United backline and in the 62nd minute, Hazard played a one two with Matic and found himself free from any markers and dribbled by Smalling before slotting the ball effortlessly into the corner.
Chelsea could sense blood at this point as Man Utd looked increasingly vulnerable, another goal was inevitable and it came from an unlikely source. Kante’s run was not tracked by Herrera or Pogba and the Frenchman dribbled past Pogba and Smalling with consummate ease before showing De Gea the eyes and putting the ball into the corner. A goal Eden Hazard would have been proud of.
In spite of the horror show they were witnessing, the visiting fans were vocal throughout the match, with their voices overpowering the Chelsea faithful. Not one to be outdone Conte began to rile up the Stamford Bridge crowd which Mourinho allegedly took offence to when the two came together at the end.
The result sees Chelsea move up to 4th on 19 points just one behind the leaders Man City. Man Utd remain in 7th on 14 points.