MATCH REPORT: Chelsea 3-1 Manchester United

Chelsea 3-1 Manchester United

The Reds played the bulk of whatever attractive football happened in the game, notwithstanding occasional exquisite touches from Hazard, but were picked off by a far more streetwise team, Mourinho clearly confident that his side could absorb whatever United produced, contain it and make the most of their own chances.  And that’s exactly what happened.  Anyone who believes Moyes is a negative tactitian isn’t paying attention: United’s chief problem at the moment is tactical naivety.  It was, you felt, a game that cried out for three in midfield, but then to go with 4-4-2 no matter what was something his illustrious predecessor had a tendency towards as well.  In that sense, this was a game very much in the classic Mourinho-United sucker punch category helped, it has to be said, by some pretty lax United defending on the second and third goals.

United started with impressive brightness, but found themselves a goal down when Chelsea struck against the run of play, Eto’o cutting in from the right to score via a deflection off Carrick’s leg.   Januzaj played in an advanced forward role and it was an experiment that didn’t work.  Although he’s played in that role often enough for the Under-21s, he found it more of a challenge against experienced Premiership defenders and when, finding himself out left, he destroyed David Luiz before playing the ball inside, only to find no one there, it seemed an apt illustration of United’s problem in the first half: playing most of the football, but possessing far less of a cutting edge than their opponents.   When Welbeck did get on the end of one, he struck his shot straight at Cech while arguably in the process of having his right leg taken away from him: not for the first time this season, the calls for a penalty went unanswered.

It was to prove a crucial moment in the game: having been denied the possibility of going in all square, the Reds were to see the home team double their lead before the break.  Chelsea were continuing to cause problems on the break, particularly through Hazard, whose clever play around the box led to a chance for Oscar, who ballooned his overhead kick high over the bar.  It was a rare sustained period of pressure just before half-time, however, that led to their second goal, Ramires releasing Cahill, who’d stayed up from a corner, on the right to put in a simple ball from which Eto’o grabbed his second.

When Chelsea and Eto’o added to their tally straight after half-time, the ex-Barcelona man securing his hat-trick by picking up a loose ball after Cahill’s header for a corner had been saved, worries about a cricket score began to form.  Facing a sheep or lamb scenario, Moyes brought on Chicharito for Young, a sensible decision given that Januzaj’s tendency to drift left was leaving the Reds with too much on the left and possessing very little threat in the box.

Mourinho has always had a natural tendency to stick rather than twist, though, and the introduction of Mikel for Oscar showed he was understandably happy with 3-0.  Although United, largely through the always lively Januzaj, continued to press for a goal, Chelsea largely successfully broke up the tempo of the play and it was difficult to establish any sustained attacking rhythm.  Chicharito did pull a goal back when he pounced to score from close range, but that did little other than add slight respectability to the scoreline.  Apart from a harsh straight Red received by Vidic for a frustrated challenge on Hazard in stoppage time, and a two-footed lunge from Rafael that seemed more deserving of that punishment, it proved to be the last meaningful action in the game.

There will be some, of course, who see this result as a further illustration that the opposition manager was a horse United ought to have backed; the greater tactical nous was certainly his, by a long distance.  Another way to look at it is that Stamford Bridge is once again back to being the fortress it once was and that, were United to approach the rest of the season with the attacking verve they showed in the first half here, not to mention the spirit displayed in the closing stages, it’s unlikely we’d suffer many more results like this.

22 Comments

  1. Did you see Young’s impersonation of a statue for the first Chelsea goal…….really brilliant……..and his impersonation of dithering David Moyes for the second……dithered for a second…..can’t attack ….and he can’t defend……Why was he picked….an’t wait to get Fellaini back……him and Young will be able to do a comedy double act……Any players thinking of coming into this Dazzling David Moyes Circus….Think again….

  2. I have always felt moyes has some potential…. i now believe he needs to have his head examined!

    young – SERIOUSLY???? the guy has flopped at united… reason for his inclusion…. as an excuse for his mis-management of zaha!!! NO other reason, young flopped hugely in this game

    jones – hes a centre back!!! stop playing him in midfield!!! great to have him back, but he should never have played!!! hes not match fit, had too long out!

    janujaz – greatest attacking threat yet again… but i do believe its too much to think moyes would have the sense of realising this young lad is better on the wing…. oh wow…. i just realised… moyes wants the winger to play centrally… and the central player kagawa out wide on the wing…. WOW moyes is idiotic!

    kagawa – i am just not surprised he was not included because hes the kind of player that would have helped us win… so naturally moyes would decide to leave him out wouldnt he…. his passing and attacking instincts were greatly missed. kagawa is the best link we have between midfield and strike, better so than rooney who should be a striker!!!

    my guess for southampton is moyes will play yet an even more ridiculous side and we will go out… the team he SHOULD play is

    de gea
    rafael jones smalling buttner
    zaha cleverley kagawa janujaz
    hernandez welbeck

    but it will probably be

    de gea
    rafael rio evans evra
    valencia giggs carrick young
    janujaz welbeck

    because moyes is just silly

    i am all for supporting the manager…. but when your going to continue to mis manage your squad you have to reach a point where you say stop! do we have to be relegated before this happens? because the way hes going we will lose the best players we have after the season is over!

    carrick – i have given up on this guy… actually good first 5 min… then what was the point of him being on the pitch???

    • lol post got messed up, bit about carrick was supposed to follow after comment on kagawa. oops i did a moyes (played the paragraphs out of position :P)

  3. The pressure is getting to Moyes and his boys.

    The selection of Young and Jones over Fletcher and Kagawa was very surprising. Fletcher is a better midfielder than Jones (who wasn’t match fit anyway) and Young is never effective for more than five minutes in a game. Should have played Kagawa in the middle and Januzaj on the left as in the second half against Swansea.

    United played some good stuff at times, but against Chelsea everyone needs to be on their game. I’ve yet to see Carrick have even a decent game against top four opposition. He gets found out too easily against a quality midfield.

    The red mist descends too quickly on the likes of Vidic and Raphael. Vidic’s red card was so unnecessary and Raphael is lucky not to have been sent off twice in the last three matches.

    What would we look like without Januzaj?

  4. Total rubbish this season. No pride shown by the senior players. We cant just rely on januzaj. Too much pressure on the boy. Get the chequebook out and salvage something before its far too late. Top 4 is gunna be a push the way we are just giving away goals for fun. Absolutely devastated this season.

  5. The midfield duo was bad he should have played carrick,fletcher. Jones,young have just recover from injuries and he played them against chelsea which was tough match. Stupid manager. Only him to blame

  6. And wat he said we are still in the title race. Rubbish first try to be in 3 position. He is in 7 position for so long and he said we still can win title. Is he mad.

    • Yes I support ur comment bro””dat tactic was totally wrong”and u knw we can’t jus rely 0n januzaj alone’cus he gat so much depression”is lik dey ar ridinq on him”and I dnt even c d reason why dey assigned him as d coach 4us sef.

  7. Guyz with chelsea we lost 3-1 just imagine now with liverpool,mancity its a humiliation. We are doom now. Moyes has ruin the team.

  8. Moyes: We lost in the boxes,we did,nt defend well enough for the corners,I thought we played well otherwise ,Hmmmmwhat?.Mourinho:We were lucky and got 3goals,that did it,he was being nice.Well another game on wednesday.Bet there is a manager out there that could get more out of it but the Club MUST know best ,fans are only meant to buy a ticket and support the manager.

  9. D boys are doin well”infact dey really did well aqainst d blues’But dat man has all d blame#Moyes”he’s never makinq d ryt changes” I tink he’s jus De_uniting d team known as”United”’sumone said we can’t rely on januzaj’yes its true cuz dat boy is jus an upcoming legend and he has his own disadvantages’cus he makes use of d Left leg alone’he alwys fnd it difficult with right feet support”I jus blve Moyes is d barrier 4us dis season#Team_MUFC

  10. Yes only moyes have to blame bad line-up and bad decision in 2 half. We could have change the match. And we have done it before and against chelsea. Remember mata two goal. Then we score 3 with rooney score

  11. The glazer owner don’t have eyes! And i saw matric which united was chasing. Chelsea is quick in transfer market rather than united.

  12. I said fans should react and tell glazer that he is not the right man. See we will get huge humiliation when we will face liverpool and man city. Both biggest enemy will take advantage to humiliating.

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