All about the match

What a thrilling game was this Chelsea vs Manchester United match, but then we never expected anything less.

The game ended 1 - 0, thanks to a stunning header from and inform Álvaro Morata which saw United Keeper David De Gee, rooted to spot as the ball blazed into the net with the force of a hundred storms. This goal marks the end of a six-game goal drought by the Spaniard and given that most of his goals have come via his head, it’s wise to think that billionaire Chelsea owner, Roman Abrahamnowich, will now begin moves to ensure the head for at least a hundred million pounds!

All the necessary drama and hatred was on display between the two managers, Antonio Conte and Jose Mourinho, mostly because old Jose used to sit in Conte chair and is so fond of mind games. The bad blood here runs so deep and its main contributor is none other than Jose Mourinho.

The match opened with the Portuguese super coach all smile as he acknowledged the Chelsea players. Watching him, one would have thought all was well but alas! The Portuguese delivered a huge snub on Eden Hazard which promptly got all the gossip columnist in England, sports pundits and fan buzzing. That may have been a big mistake though because the snub must have put more fire in Hazard feet, what with the way he ran riot in the United defense, forcing the defenders to keep pulling him down since they couldn’t get the ball off his feet. In all, three Man United players got hit with yellow cards for fouls on Hazard, several warnings were given by an easy-going referee Tylor.

There were no direct confrontations between the two managers during the game but right after it, Mourinho walked off, refusing to shake Antonio Conte’s hand as is customary between managers after a match.

Manchester United were heavily outplayed by a highly technical Chelsea that didn’t even have David Luiz in it. The Brazilian spent the game seated directly behind the Chelsea dugout as he wasn’t even among the substitutes named for the game. This move by Conte indicates that Luiz was probably one of the players that forced the coach to move Blues captain, Gray Cahill to the left of a back three that concealed three goals against AS Roma earlier in the week.

Whichever the case may be, the Brazilian now has a fine rival for the center back position in Andres Christiansen who put in a five-star performance that kept one of the deadliest attackers on earth, Romelu Lukaku, very quiet.

N’Golo Kante was present in the middle of the pitch for Chelsea and It was clear from the first minute that his absence was the root cause of Chelsea’s woeful performance in recent games. The little French man hardly put a foot wrong, and with him in the play, Fabregas seemed more confident, so did Bakayoko, who drove forward endlessly from beginning to end of the match. Even before the end of halftime, these three midfielders had worn down the United defense to a state of nonexistence. United fell back to full defensive status.

A fine cross from an undisturbed Cesar Azpilicueta, bombing down the inside right channel, saw Bakayoko run from left to right pulling Smalling out of the middle of defense, leaving Morata blissfully alone, no red shirt near him. Morata, 12 yards from goal, rose and delivered a stunning header into the top left corner of goal with a baffled De Gea rooted to the spot!

United still sit in second place but eight points adrift of Manchester City while Chelsea, still in fourth place, are now just a point behind them.

Chelsea FC Vs Man United.

Chelsea Player Ratings.

Thibaut Courtois 7/10
Had little to do, but made one really good save from Lukaku and then a super stop to deny Fellaini a goal in the dying minutes of the game.

Cesar Azpilicueta 8.5/10
Chelsea’s Mr. Dependable enjoyed a good match as usual. Had a showdown with Rashford and got the better of the United attacker. He set up Morata’s neat goal too.

Andreas Christensen 7/10
The Dane, replacing Luiz in what Conte called a tactical decision, defended superbly and used the ball nicely when he had it. Helped keep Lukaku quiet but wasted a big chance to score before half-time but then seeing him so up front is a rare thing indeed. Guess he’s trying to do all that Luiz can do and he did it really well.

Gary Cahill 7/10
The Englishman put in a no-nonsense display that saw Lukaku reduced to a ghost on the pitch, apart from that, he was rarely tested.

N’Golo Kante 9/10
The Chelsea midfield engine room was back in action and showed what was missing in the Chelsea that has been losing games recently as he zipped up the midfield and allowed others much freedom to attack.

Davide Zappacosta 6/10
Lots of pace, nice cross too. Was subbed off in the second half.

Cesc Fabregas 7/10
The Spanish playmaker was like a ball spraying machine all through the game, that’s till he was subbed off. With Kante firmly behind him, Fabregas roamed free, setting up play and bombing forward.

Tiemoue Bakayoko 8/10
A possessed in midfield, that’s what this guy was in the match. His energy was awesome but his finish does need work. He too seemed more confident with Kante in play.

Marcos Alonso 6/10
Not a good day in the office for the towering Spaniard but did well enough.

Alvaro Morata 8/10
The stunning header brought home the game. He’s got lots of hard work in him and the trust of his team.

Eden Hazard 8/10
The terror of the Man Utd defense. Hammered the United goal with shots, one of which nearly got in. Was the most fouled player on the pitch.


Manchester United.

David de Gea  6/10
World class save, did little wrong. Was helpless against the lone goal.  

Eric Bailly. 6/10
Found Eden Hazard very hard to deal with but never gave up trying. Was kept too busy to do anything else.

Chris Smalling 6/10
Not a good day at the office. He got away with a bad shove on Morata right in the box. Disappeared completely when the goal came.

Phil Jones 5/10
Luck was on his side as his own goal was disallowed and he didn’t get booked for numerous fouls on Hazard in particular. Subbed off in the second half as Mourinho switched system.

Antonio Valencia 6/10
Reliable performance as usual but not as influential.

Ander Herrera 5/10
Kept buys in midfield as he fought to stop Kante and Bakayoko running riot. Ended up making so many fouls on Hazard’s ankle instead as he was pulled out of position plenty times

Nemanja Matic. 6/10
Everyone keeps hearing how Chelsea made a huge selling this guy but he was kept quiet by the new look Chelsea midfield.

Ashley Young 5/10
Was so preoccupied with Chelsea’s attackers, particularly in the second half, and so never went forward.

Henrikh Mkhitaryan 5/10
Vanished in attack and gave away too many balls, one of which was in the build-up to Chelsea’s goal. Booed by fans and was duly substituted.

Romelu Lukaku 5/10
Was kept quiet by the Chelsea defense. Had just one big shot on target.

Marcus Rashford 6/10
Missed a big chance early in the game and never got another chance until the dying minutes of the game.

That’s about it.  Jose was in a foul mood after the match, of course, wonder if he will be accepting the dinner invitation for Roman Abrahamnowich. If I were him, I wouldn’t miss it, what good is throwing away expensive Russian wine and beef stew?

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