Manchester United vs Chelsea – Match Report

By on October 27, 2014

Manchester United filed out tonight against Chelsea as the underdogs, and you couldn’t ask for more as the Red Devils could only manage 12 points from their previous 8 outings. To add more woes on Louis van Gaal who is already without team captain Wayne Rooney, the manager was also left without the services of Radamel Falcao and Ander Herrera both of whom featured against West Brom on Monday.

It is very important to note the wonderful relationship between Louis van Gaal and the temperamental Mourinho as both coaches hugged and exchanged warm pleasantries never before seen in the English Premier League. The Old Trafford boss adopted what looked like a 4-5-1 formation with Juan Mata, Marouane Fellaini and Daley Blind choking the midfield leaving Andan Januzaj and the enterprising Angel Di Maria to float in from the wings and offer occasional support to Robin van Persie upfront.

José Mourinho preferred to deploy Oscar, Nemanja Matic and Cesc Fabregas in the midfield with Eden Hazard and Willian teeing up with Didier Drogba in the attack. For most of the first half, the game was balanced with both teams showing flashes of brilliance although Robin van Persie flunked a couple of decent chances.

As was the norm, the match was characterised by card-worthy tackles and it didn’t take Rafael more than 12 minutes to get into the referee’s books when he tugged at Hazard’s shirt after the prolific Belgian eased past him. In the 22nd minute, the odds evened out as one of Chelsea’s players, Didier Drogba also saw a yellow from the referee. In the later stages of the game, Nemanja Matic, Cesc Fabregas, Oscar, Marouane Fellaini and Robin van Persie all got yellow cards with Branislav Ivanovic getting a double and subsequently a red card in the closing stages.

The first half ended goalless and both managers must have made some tactical changes because Chelsea in particular came out more aggressive and after several attempts, Hazard broke loose and got behind the Red Devil’s defence to send in a shot that was brilliantly parried to the corner by De Gea. The resulting cross was connected by Didier Drogba and as it went towards the keeper, van Persie in an attempt to defend nodded the ball straight into his own net.

Manchester United rallied and continued to pester the Blues, although José Mourinho’s men would lie low either, but after an Ivanovic expulsion, Di Maria sent in a cross from the awarded set-piece and Marouane Fellaini connected but Chelsea keeper, Thibaut Courtois denied. As the ball rolled away from the keeper, Robin van Persie saw the opportunity to make up for his earlier mistakes and blazed home from close range.

An explosive match no doubt, and both teams will derive gratification from the much deserved point they earned.

By Tomilayo Alapinni

 

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