Manchester United suffered a 4-0 defeat at the hands of Chelsea after a goal from Pedro in the first minute completely stifled the Reds. The rest of the match was a quest for controversial recovery, one that didn’t really end in success. The result puts United 6 points out of the title race and many points off every other main rival the Red Devils have.
The game got off to a rough start as Chelsea opened the scoring after just 30 seconds because of a piece of incredibly poor defending from Chris Smalling. The Englishman failed to track a long ball from Marcos Alonso and allowed Pedro to round David de Gea and score. United, in need of a goal, was able to sustain pressure after recovering, though.
In the eighth minute, Ibrahimovic had a great chance from a wonderful Antonio Valencia cross, and he made a hash of it. He needs to finish those chances. United tried to thwart Chelsea attacks without much success, and with a defensive setup, there was no attacking fluidity. Chelsea doubled their tally after a terrible error from Smalling that allowed Gary Cahill to finish.
Herrera had an effort from range to earn one goal back, but it was saved by Courtois to the feet of Jesse Lingard, who won the corner. United, unable to do anything from corners, as usual, lost the ball, despite having the greatest height advantage in a long time.
Around the 40th minute, David Luiz injured Fellaini with a terrible challenge into his knee, but only received a yellow card. How is that even possible? He clearly should’ve been sent off before the half, which proved to be a poor one for United.
Finally, the change that was begging came. United brought on Mata for Fellaini, as should’ve been done after 20 minutes. United, seemingly switching to a 4-4-2 formation, would hope to have some better chances in the second half.
United’s football was much better as soon as Mata got on the pitch, and the attacking football allowed the Red Devils to completely pin Chelsea back. Unfortunately, though, another ridiculous individual error from Smalling allowed Hazard to score very easily. That was another example of purely ridiculous defending.
And, Smalling made a fourth crazy error to allow N’Golo Kante to score a quick goal and cap off the Englishman’s horror show. United had a few chances but not enough to even come close to Chelsea, with Ander Herrera the only outfield player showing any impetus to succeed.
United’s defending was poor all match and allowed Chelsea to score four goals that shouldn’t have happened in the first place. That being said, it is hard to deny that Chelsea deserved the win and the three points. 4-0 is a tough score-line, and the referee could’ve changed the game by doing the right thing and sending David Luiz off. However, it would be more than unfair to Chelsea fans to say that they didn’t deserve the win, that they weren’t and aren’t the better team, and that Mourinho didn’t completely mess it up today.
Jose Mourinho is still learning how to be a Manchester United manager, and the side is still learning how to be Mourinho players. The job at United is bigger than all the other ones in the elite Premier League, but now United sits five points outside the top five and things need to click quickly. Lots of deadwood needs to leave and things need to change.
Manchester United: De Gea; Valencia, Bailly (Rojo 52′), Smalling, Blind; Fellaini (Mata 45′), Herrera; Lingard (Martial 65′), Pogba, Rashford; Ibrahimovic
Substitutes Not Used: Romero; Darmian; Carrick, Young
Bookings: Bailly (29′), Pogba (75′)