Manchester United were beaten 3-1 by Chelsea in the semi-final of the Emirates FA Cup at Wembley on Sunday. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will not be happy with this defeat, his first in 20 matches, which is a good sign of things to come. Frank Lampard finally got his win against United, fourth time lucky. United will have to get to the bottom of this poor performance with two big mistakes for David De Gea, which is something that needs solving sooner rather than later.
It was a poor start to this FA Cup semi-final for United, who were under the cosh by Chelsea from the very start of the match. Solskjaer will be worrying about his defence after Harry Maguire and Eric Bailly collided with the former suffering a cut and having his head strapped and Bailly coming off injured, on a stretcher after he left the pitch. To add more, Olivier Giroud opened up the scoring in the 11th minute go stoppage time at the end of the first half. United will need to dig deep to find something.
Chelsea doubled their lead in the first minute of the second half with Mason Mount putting a cracking strike towards David De Gea only for him to make a touch of the ball, sending it in off the post rather than out for a corner. This has been a disastrous performance for United and the deeper they dig, the further they will have to come back into the game. Solskjaer will not be happy with what he has seen here. All the work since the restart has been undone in 46 minutes of football.
Solskjaer made a double change with Paul Pogba replacing Fred in the 55th minute and Mason Greenwood replacing Daniel James in the 56th minute with United throwing all they can to get back into the game. In the minutes before, Marcus Rashford had a good chance but his diagonal shot rolled past the far post and out of play. De Gea made a save, denying Chelsea from another goal, although the sting was taken out by the United defender, cutting down the impact of the shot.
United found themselves 3-0 down in the 74th minute after Chelsea broke forward again with Marcos Alonso beating his man on the left, rolling the ball to Antonio Rudiger. He challenged at the near post with Maguire, the ball then ricocheted off both players with Maguire getting the last touch before beating De Gea for the third time in the match. Solskjaer then send on both Odion Ighalo and Tim Fosu-Mensah for Marcus Rashford and Aaron Wan-Bissaka in the 79th minute, too late to fight back?
United won a penalty in the 86th minute after Callum Hudson-Odoi clipped Martial in the box. Bruno Fernandes stepped up to take the spot kick, putting it past Willy Caballero giving United only a consolation in this FA Cup semi-final. United just did not seem determined to get anything from this match after going 1-0 down, certainly not after 2-0 or 3-0 down. The penalty was literally the only thing United have to write home about. Back to the Premier League on Wednesday.
Goals: Bruno Fernandes 86′ penalty; Olivier Giroud 45+11′, Mason Mount 46′, Harry Maguire (og) 74′
Assists: Cesar Azpilicueta 45+11′
Manchester United: De Gea; Lindelof, Bailly (Martial 45+2′), Maguire; Wan-Bissaka (Fosu-Mensah 79′), Fred (Pogba 55′), Matic, Williams; Fernandes; James (Greenwood 56′), Rashford (Ighalo 79′)
Substitutes Not Used: Romero; Mata, Pereira, McTominay
Bookings: Paul Pogba 71′
Written by John Walker