This match between these two Barclay’s Premier League giants lived up to its pre-match hype in all aspects – it turned out to be a fiercely contested game from the opening whistle to the very end.
Chelsea deservedly won the game by a single goal, in match they could have even scored more goals had Tiemoue Bakayoko and Alvaro Morata not squandered the chances they had in front of the goal-post.
Manchester United were unable to play their ultra-defensive tactic due in part to the unending criticism Jose Mourinho has received on account of what his army of critics call his anti-football tactics.
The Red Devil came out to attack Chelsea in the opening exchanges, with Ashley Young and Antonio Valencia very active from the both flanks.
Chelsea had legitimate goal early in the match which was disallowed. Phil Jones had kicked the ball into the net but the referee disallowed it in the erroneously belief that Alvaro Morata’s slight push on Jones’ back in the build-up to the goal was what pressured him into shooting the ball into his own goal-post .
In United’s early attacking play, Marcus Rashford headed over the crossbar an Ashley Young’s cross that found him inside the opponent’s eighteen yard box.
Chelsea had an opportunity to shot into the lead in the eleventh minute through Bakayoko, but he fired the ball wide from the goal-post from inside the eighteen yard box.
After fifteen minutes into the match, Chelsea became the dominant side. Their talismanic mid-fielder, Eden Hazard , compelled the opponents to abandon their offensive play in order to concentrate on stopping him. The Belgian inter-national troubled United with his dribbling runs and excellent link-up play with his team mates. David DeGea was on hand to prevent his curling shot from entering the goalpost with a breathtaking save.
Chelsea came into the second half with a clear intention to score, but United’s well-drilled defensive formation proved very diffficult to penetrate.
In the build-up to Chelsea’s goal, Phil Jones had ventured out of his position to shore up the defensive play in the mid-field ; and Caesar Azpilicueta, on seeing Morata running into the gap created by Jones’ in United’s central-half position, crossed the ball to him and the nimbled-feet striker powered the ball into the net : leaving a bemused DeGea rooted to one spot.
Mourinho, seeing the ineffectiveness of his tactic, tried to find an equalizer through a method he has a partiality for – he instructed his players to make recourse to crossing long ball into Chelsea’s eighteen yard box the moment he introduced Maroaune Fellaini, who was expected to feed off the long crosses.
The method almost paid off when Fellaini successfully controlled with his chest a long that was crossed inside Chelsea’s eighteen yard box but Courtois was able to save his final shot.
A wasteful Tiemoue Bakayoko was able to dispossess Fellaini at the edge of United’s eighteen yard box, but he shot the ball unbelievably wide from the goal-post after successfully racing into the eighteen yard box with it.
Morata was the next Chelsea player to waste an opportunity that he had inside the opponent’s eighteen yard box. The Chelsea’s striker received a pass inside the opponent’s penalty box, but Chris Smallings was able to thwart his attempt to shoot at the goal as he assayed to shake the defender off his path by dint of a feint.
In the last five minutes of the game, United bombarded the home team with long balls aimed directly into their goal-mouth but Chelsea’s players were able to check the aerial bombardment.
Jose Mourinho, who had stationed himself at the mouth of the tunnel to greet Chelsea players and Antonio Conte at the beginning of the game was stylishly rebuffed by the Italian tactician as tried do the same thing at the end of the match; Conte, who is no best friend of Mourinho, walked into the pitch to congratulate his players and rouse the spirit of the fans with his chant of – Come on, come on” – and thus succeeded in avoiding Mourinho’s act of good sportsmanship after defeat.