Chelsea 1-0 Manchester United
It was a frustrating return to the Stamford Bridge for Jose Mourinho yet again. After suffering a 4-0 defeat in the Premier League the league leaders again came out victorious with a 1-0 score line.
Defensive line-up was expected from United as there was a shortage of strikers but Rashford overcame his illness to start against the Blues. Mourinho put out a well-organized team and used the same tactics as Conte has been using all season. As the game played out it became obvious that Chelsea talisman Eden Hazard was being targeted and Ander Herrera saw red for his second offense after previously being booked.
The game turned on its head after that. United were very comfortable earlier but the red card forced Mourinho to throw in Fellini to add steal to the, one man down, United team.
But it did not have much effect in attacking sense as Chelsea began to pressurize United and kept majority of the possession. United were on the back foot. Chelsea sent on Cesc Fabregas to make things more difficult for the Reds.
Mourinho went with a three man defense to subdue Chelsea but as a result of the red card they had to take an attacking player, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, off which really weakened United’s offense.
The Blues were slow to start but sprang into action as Hazard turned away from Chris Smalling in the 16th minute and pierced through the Red’s defense to get a shot away which forced a save from De Gea.
Herrera was booked for his body check on Hazard and he remained a constant threat for the United backline but his second shot was well off target. Few minutes before the second half Herrera received a second yellow for his unnecessary challenge on Hazard which started a heated confrontation between the Blue’s manager and the former Blue’s manager.
After that Chelsea began to put pressure on United and Diego Costa went unpunished for his elbow on De Gea, which left him on the ground. United managed to keep a clean sheet heading in to the interval.
There was a gap in the midfield because of which Kante managed to slip away from Paul Pogba and got a shot away which ended up in the back of David De Gea’s goal, who had been perfect for United the whole match.
Rashford was energetic throughout the match despite the lack of service that was being provided to him. His big chance came after an error from David Luiz which sent him through on goal but unfortunately he could not finish it as his shot bounced off Courtois’s knee. It summed up the night for United. There were not many attempts after that to get an equalizer and as a result the holders bowed out of the competition which means that now Mourinho would go all out in the Europa League.