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Player Ratings: Manchester United 1-3 Chelsea; FA Cup or bust – United chose bust

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.

Manchester United

1 David De Gea

A terrible performance for the Spanish goalkeeper. He could have done more for Giroud's opener and definitely could have done better for Mount's goal, which put Chelsea 2-0 up over United. De Gea should be inspiring the team based on the length of time he's played for the club but today he let them down.

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2 Victor Lindelof

The Swedish Iceman let Giroud open the scoring at the end of added time and the evidence of him being the main problem in the back four is all the more plain to see.

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3 Eric Bailly

The Ivorian defender did not have the best of games against Chelsea. He came off injured after a lengthly break because of a collision of heads with Maguire, coming off on a stretcher in the end, after he had left the pitch. Not good for him, especially with all his other injuries.

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5 Harry Maguire

The captain received a head injury towards the end of the first half and carried on playing. United looked very poor during this game and needed some inspiration, which they were not getting. United conceded a third goal which was awarded as an own goal for Maguire.

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29 Aaron Wan-Bissaka

The right-back, playing as a right-wing-back was not all that energetic against Chelsea but tried to get the job done. He was replaced by Fosu-Mensah in the 79th minute of the match.

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31 Nemanja Matic

The Serbian midfield veteran showed his experience in this match but United needed more than that. The team just seemed destined to lose the game form the very start of it. One defeat in 20 matches is not all that bad really.

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17 Fred

It was a poor appearance for the Brazilian who just did not settle in the game. United were losing the game because of the weak midfield from the very start of the game. He was replaced in the 55th minute of the match by Pogba.

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33 Brandon Williams

The left-back played as a left-wing-back in this game and looked annoyed that United were out of the game at the end of the first half. He continued to run during the game and continued to keep his head high.

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18 Bruno Fernandes

The Portuguese midfielder forced a save early in the game and looked like he needed a rest. His passing was not the best, possibly because of fatigue. His missed Pogba in the game and when the Frenchman came on, it was probably too late to start something. Scored a late penalty, beating Willy Caballero this time.

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21 Daniel James

The Welsh winger performed well against Chelsea in the past but today, he seemed out of form and out of sorts. It has been a long season for him. Perhaps he will improve next season? Who knows. This spectacularly failed today. Solskjaer will not be impressed. He was replaced by Greenwood on the 56th minute of the match.

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10 Marcus Rashford

The England forward had a poor match against Chelsea. There was little creativity with a weaker midfield. 22 goals scored this season is a great start but it does not cover up the lack of creativity and options in this squad. Rightly replaced by Ighalo in the 79th minute of the match.

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Substitutes

9 Anthony Martial

Replaced Bailly 45+2'. The Frenchman was fouled within a minute of him coming on - nothing given. He was unable to start the magic which was needed to get United fighting in this match. Won the penalty which Fernandes scored. Nothing else to say really. It just did not work for United today.

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6 Paul Pogba

Replaced Fred 55'. The French World Cup winner should have come on much earlier than he did. The damage was already done when he came on at 2-0 down. United need serious options in this team as many players are playing above the level they should be, or so it seemed today.

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11 Mason Greenwood

Replaced James 56'. He was unable to inspire United as he has in the very recent past. It is not his fault that United have relied upon him recently. United will need to bounce back from this.

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24 Timothy Fosu-Mensah

Replaced Wan-Bissaka 79'. Came on late giving Wan-Bissaka some time to rest as he will likely start on Wednesday. The Dutchman did well and helped United minimise the damage, which had already been done.

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25 Odion Ighalo

Replaced Rashford 79'. The Nigerian could have perhaps started this game ahead of James. When he came on, with 11 minutes to play, United just had no chance to get back into this game.

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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

Confirmed XI: Manchester United strong for Chelsea clash

Manchester United will face Chelsea in the semi-final of the Emirates FA Cup at Wembley Stadium this evening. It will be the fourth time this season that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side has met Frank Lampard’s side with the Norwegian doing the double over Chelsea in the league, which was a great achievement, also knocking them out of the Carabao Cup, winning twice at Stamford Bridge, an achievement in itself.

United will get a break from the Premier League this weekend with two matches still to play and a place in the top four up for grabs. Beating Chelsea and setting up an FA Cup final will be what Solskjaer would like to do, however, achieving UEFA Champions League football will be the more important task this season. Perhaps Solskjaer will try to do both, also having the chance of another trophy – the UEFA Europa League.

Manchester United:

De Gea;

Lindelof, Bailly, Maguire;

Wan-Bissaka, Fred, Matic, Williams;

Fernandes;

James, Rashford

Substitutes:

Romero; Fosu-Mensah; Pogba, Mata, Pereira, McTominay; Martial, Ighalo, Greenwood

Chelsea:

Caballero;

Azpilicueta, Rudiger, Zouma;

James, Kovacic, Jorginho, Alonso;

Mount, Giroud, Willian

Substitutes:

Arrizabalaga, Christensen, Abraham, Pedro, Loftus-Cheek, Hudson-Odoi, Pulisic, Tomori, Emerson

United and Chelsea have played 16 times in the FA Cup with United winning nine, drawing twice and losing five times. United have scored 25 goals conceding 13. United have kept seven clean sheets with Chelsea keeping six. Three of the past FA Cup matches have been finals with United winning one against Chelsea, a 4-0 victory in 1994, losing twice by 1-0 scorelines in 2007 and 2018.

This season, United have beaten Chelsea three times already winning 4-0 at Old Trafford at the start of the season with Rashford scoring a brace with Martial and James on the scoresheet also. In the Carabao Cup, United won 2-1 at Stamford Bridge with Rashford scoring both goals then in the second Premier League match, played at Stamford Bridge, United won 2-0 with Martial and Maguire scoring the goals. Here’s to a fourth victory.

Written by John Walker

Predicted XI: Manchester United to field strong side against Chelsea in FA Cup semi-final?

Manchester United will face Chelsea in the semi-final of the Emirates FA Cup at Wembley Stadium on Sunday evening. It will be the fourth time this season that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side has met Frank Lampard’s side with the Norwegian doing the double over Chelsea in the league, which was a great achievement, also knocking them out of the Carabao Cup, winning twice at Stamford Bridge, an achievement in itself.

United will get a break from the Premier League this weekend with two matches still to play and a place in the top four up for grabs. Beating Chelsea and setting up an FA Cup final will be what Solskjaer would like to do, however, achieving UEFA Champions League football will be the more important task this season. Perhaps Solskjaer will try to do both, also having the chance of another trophy – the UEFA Europa League.

How United have faired against Chelsea in the Emirates FA Cup, plus their recent form in the Premier League and the Carabao Cup.

United and Chelsea have played 16 times in the FA Cup with United winning nine, drawing twice and losing five times. United have scored 25 goals conceding 13. United have kept seven clean sheets with Chelsea keeping six. Three of the past FA Cup matches have been finals with United winning one against Chelsea, a 4-0 victory in 1994, losing twice by 1-0 scorelines in 2007 and 2018.

This season, United have beaten Chelsea three times already winning 4-0 at Old Trafford at the start of the season with Rashford scoring a brace with Martial and James on the scoresheet also. In the Carabao Cup, United won 2-1 at Stamford Bridge with Rashford scoring both goals then in the second Premier League match, played at Stamford Bridge, United won 2-0 with Martial and Maguire scoring the goals. Here’s to a fourth victory.

Here is my predicted starting XI to face Chelsea in the FA Cup at Wembley Stadium on Sunday evening…

Goalkeeper: David De Gea

Normally, I would think Solskjaer would rest David De Gea in cup competitions but against Chelsea, it makes me think that he would play him, no matter the fact that United will need to be rested enough to face West Ham United on Wednesday evening in the final Premier League match at Old Trafford this season. Sergio Romero has been a good back up goalkeeper this season, but something makes me think that he’s probably likely to remain on the bench, possibly getting a run out against West Ham or even Leicester – probably in the UEFA Europa League next month too, especially in the round of 16 second leg against LASK.

Defenders: Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Victor Lindelof, Harry Maguire, Brandon Williams

In defence, I think we are likely to see as strong a back four as possible. Aaron Wan-Bissaka will keep his place, possible for the first half, giving him a break before the visit of the Hammers next week. Brandon Williams seems the most likely to recover, out of him and Luke Shaw, so the left-back position will be his. If not, Tim Fosu-Mensah could be drafted in as he did well against Crystal Palace. Victor Lindelof and the captain, Harry Maguire will keep their places too. Both will need to be at the best of their ability as this season looks to get longer.

Midfield: Nemanja Matic, Paul Pogba

United’s midfield does need some reinforcement. Scott McTominay did not look at his best against Crystal Palace and Nemanja Matic needed to come on to strengthen it with Paul Pogba unable to stabilise it himself. Solskjaer will have seen this and the fact that after Matic, Pogba and Bruno Fernandes, the ability remaining is pretty questionable. As Solskjaer says, Wembley will give anyone energy, so that is a clear indication that his best team will start and this is not something that is debatable, his first choice XI includes these two in the centre of midfield.

Attacking Midfield: Marcus Rashford, Bruno Fernandes, Mason Greenwood

United have been playing some spectacular football of late but in the past two matches, the magic seems to have burnt out and needs that spark to reignite is once again. This attacking trio with Mason Greenwood on the right, Bruno Fernandes in the middle and Marcus Rashford on the left is the best creativity in the squad right now – hopefully with Solskjaer seeking to bring in quality additions to his squad this summer so rotation will be an option without quality lacking. There are 46 goals and and 24 assists in this area alone this season, so goals are not something that United should struggle with these three on the pitch. Wembley should bring the life out of them as they could play again there this season if they send Chelsea packing.

Striker: Anthony Martial

The Frenchman as scored 22 goals and eight assists this season – 30 goal contributions. It is his best season at the club, by far and he looks set to continue his run of form, which is great to see. It is clear that his talent was never an issue but his application was, which could have been down to the manager more than anything else. That said. Solskjaer seems to have brought out the very best of Anthony Martial this season, seeking to continue his form into next season, albeit after a little break, after the UEFA Europa League, of course. United should be fired into the FA Cup final this season, where they will either face Manchester City or Arsenal.

Substitutes: Sergio Romero; Eric Bailly, Tim Fosu-Mensah; Juan Mata, Andreas Pereira, Fred, Daniel James, Scott McTominay; Odion Ighalo

Solskjaer has five substitutes to use for the remainder of the season, and into next season. There are three opportunities within a match to make the substitutes, not including the half time break. Solskjaer might need these to keep his team fresh, pushing for the kill early in the match, like they did in the opening match of the season, beating Chelsea 4-0. Sergio Romero will likely be on the bench, if needed. I defence, Eric Bailly and Tim Fosu-Mensah could be brought it, if needed. In midfield, the experience of Juan Mata could be needed with Andreas Pereira, Fred, Daniel James and Scott McTominay could be utilised. In attack, Odion Ighalo could add a different type of forward, if required/

Written by John Walker

Preview: Solskjaer to go for broke against Chelsea aiming for FA Cup final?

Manchester United -v- Chelsea

Emirates FA Cup

Wembley Stadium, London

Sunday 19 July 2020, KO 18:00 BST

Referee: Michael Dean Assistants: Ian Hussin, Richard West 

Fourth Official: Andrew Madley Replacement Official: Stuart Burt

VAR: Michael Oliver Assistant VAR: Sian Massey-Ellis

Manchester United will face Chelsea in the semi-final of the Emirates FA Cup at Wembley Stadium on Sunday evening. It will be the fourth time this season that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side has met Frank Lampard’s side with the Norwegian doing the double over Chelsea in the league, which was a great achievement, also knocking them out of the Carabao Cup, winning twice at Stamford Bridge, an achievement in itself.

United will get a break from the Premier League this weekend with two matches still to play and a place in the top four up for grabs. Beating Chelsea and setting up an FA Cup final will be what Solskjaer would like to do, however, achieving UEFA Champions League football will be the more important task this season. Perhaps Solskjaer will try to do both, also having the chance of another trophy – the UEFA Europa League.

Form: United unbeaten in 19 matches now with Chelsea losing two of their last six. United will be the team to beat in this match for the simple reason that Chelsea have not beaten United in three attempts this season.

Manchester United: WDWWWW

Crystal Palace 2-0 W, Southampton 2-2 D, Aston Villa 3-0 W, Bournemouth 5-2 W, Brighton and Hove Albion 3-0 W, Norwich City 2-1 W

Chelsea: WLWWLW

Norwich City 1-0 W, Sheffield United 3-0 L, Crystal Palace 3-2 W, Watford 3-0 W, West Ham United 3-2 L, Leicester City 1-0 W

Top Scorers: United have scored 104 goals this season with Chelsea scoring 90; Rashford and Martial have 22 goals each with Abraham on 16, Willian on 11.

Manchester United Goals: 22 – Anthony Martial, Marcus Rashford, 16 – Mason Greenwood, 8 – Bruno Fernandes, 5 – Odion Ighalo, Scott McTominay, 4 – Daniel James, 3 – Harry Maguire, Juan Mata, 2 – Fred, Own Goal, Jesse Lingard, Andreas Pereira, 1 – Diogo Dalot, Phil Jones, Victor Lindelof, Nemanja Matic, Paul Pogba, Luke Shaw, Brandon Williams, Ashley Young

United are unbeaten in 19 matches, scoring 50 goals, conceding eight times, keeping 13 clean sheets. Solskjaer’s side will be seeking to end the season on a high with a place in the top four of the Premier League, which is not something they can work towards this weekend. However, winning a trophy will be important too. United could hope to set up a first Manchester derby FA Cup final, providing City beat Arsenal.

Chelsea Goals: 16 – Tammy Abraham, 11 – Willian, 9 – Christian Pulisic, 6 – Michy Batshuayi, Jorginho, Olivier Giroud, Mason Mount, 5 – Ross Barkley, 4 – Marcos Alonso, César Azpilicueta, 3 – Callum Hudson-Odoi, N’Golo Kanté, 2 – Reece James, Mateo Kovacic, Pedro, Antonio Rüdiger, Fikayo Tomori, 1 – Kurt Zouma

Chelsea are a team that are in a position that they perhaps do not deserve to be in based on their form since the restart of the Premier League and the FA Cup. They find themselves seemingly secure in third-place in the Premier League with United likely to take on Leicester City for a place in the top four the season. United have beaten Chelsea three times, doing the double in the league and knocking them out of the Carabao Cup.

Team News: Solskjaer definitely has two players out of action with Lampard having three; United to sweat in the fitness of Shaw and Williams?

Solskjaer will continue to be without defenders Axel Tuanzebe and Phil Jones with the former out for the remainder of the season and the latter likely to return to training soon. Against Southampton, United lost Luke Shaw (ankle) and Brandon Williams (head injury) – both players missed the 2-0 victory over Crystal Palace on Thursday evening. Shaw has a 50% chance; Williams having a 75% chance of making the match. We shall see.

Lampard looks set to be without at least three players for the FA Cup semi-final this weekend. Marco van Ginkel (knee), Billy Gilmour (knee), and N’Golo Kante (thigh) could miss the match with the former two ruled out and the Frenchman only having a 25% chance of making the squad for the encounter at Wembley on Sunday. Could Lampard have the right players to take on this high-press attacking United side?

Predicted Starting XI: I predict that Solskjaer will put out a full team. pushing for the win then grinding out the result in the Wembley spectacular. UTFR.

Many United supporters feel that Solskjaer should be making many changes ahead of this match, just to focus on the Premier League and finishing in the top four. However, I don’t think Solskjaer will give Chelsea the chance to make a cup final easily. It could be a trophy for Solskjaer this season, the same first trophy Sir Alex Ferguson won, setting off his fantastic reign of the club. Therefore, not one to turn down.

Match Prediction: United have beaten Chelsea nine times in the FA Cup in the history of both clubs, however, Chelsea has beaten United in two finals, which means nothing at this stage.

United and Chelsea have played 16 times in the FA Cup with United winning nine, drawing twice and losing five times. United have scored 25 goals conceding 13. United have kept seven clean sheets with Chelsea keeping six. Three of the past FA Cup matches have been finals with United winning one against Chelsea, a 4-0 victory in 1994, losing twice by 1-0 scorelines in 2007 and 2018.

This season, United have beaten Chelsea three times already winning 4-0 at Old Trafford at the start of the season with Rashford scoring a brace with Martial and James on the scoresheet also. In the Carabao Cup, United won 2-1 at Stamford Bridge with Rashford scoring both goals then in the second Premier League match, played at Stamford Bridge, United won 2-0 with Martial and Maguire scoring the goals. Here’s to a fourth victory.

Manchester United 2-0 Chelsea

Written by John Walker

copyright: JW