FA Cup: Chelsea 0-2 Manchester United |Match Report & Talking Points

FA Cup Fifth Round: Chelsea 0-2 Manchester United – Match Report and Talking Points

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s rejuvenated Manchester United booked their place in the FA Cup quarterfinals with a relatively comfortable 2-0 win at Chelsea on Monday night. 


Chelsea vs United, The two iconic Premier League sides played out yet another mouth-watering contest. But on Monday, there was only one winner.

Former manager, Jose Mourinho, had left the team in tatters, but Solskjaer’s exuberance still prevailed. He instigated an 11-game unbeaten run, finally giving the supporters something to cheer for. Solskjaer’s Red Devils tasted defeat for the first time in the first leg of the Champions League last-16 tie against Paris Saint-Germain. Thomas Tuchel’s men outclassed the Premier League outfit to pick up a 2-0 win, handing them a harsh reality check.

So, in many ways, the FA Cup fifth-round tie against Chelsea was about bouncing back, proving that the PSG game was a one-off. Without the injured Anthony Martial and Jesse Lingard, the Norwegian was forced to switch things up. Romelu Lukaku and Juan Mata were introduced and to good effect. Chelsea, on the other hand, were desperate to take some pressure of Maurizio Sarri. The Italian hasn’t been as successful as he would have liked and needed a positive performance against an iconic rival.

Both teams came out all guns blazing in the first half, but Manchester just looked a tad sharper in their decision-making. They looked hungrier and more eager to take their chances. The visitors upped the ante in the closing quarter of the first half and got themselves a two-goal cushion through Ander Herrera and Paul Pogba’s decisive headers.

Chelsea started the second half on the front foot, but couldn’t be decisive when it mattered. Eden Hazard mustered half a chance, which was never going to beat an in-form Sergio Romero.

Talking Points

Manchester United Shine

Against Chelsea, away at Stamford Bridge, with two first-choice players injured, Manchester United were supposed to have a difficult time. The Red Devils, however, had something else planned. Despite playing out an even first-half, they got themselves a comfortable two-goal cushion, thanks to their composure and incisiveness.

The second half was more about positivity and discipline. A two-goal cushion gave them plenty of confidence, yet they didn’t push forward mindlessly in search of the third goal. They held their ground, dug deep, and came away with the result they needed.

Pressure on Sarri

Maurizio Sarri came to England with a big reputation. His football made Napoli look like a world-class team, so, fans expected something similar at Stamford Bridge, as well. So far, the 2018/19 campaign hasn’t bode well for the Italian. His side have been oscillating between extremes, and Monday was one of his worse nights in England.

The Blues couldn’t match Manchester United’s tempo on the night and gave the ball away cheaply on a couple of occasions. Their defensive organization was also poor as they failed to mark the high-flying visitors numerous times.

Also Read: 5 Chelsea youngsters with unmatched potential 

Paul Pogba Makes It Look Easy

During the final few months of Jose Mourinho’s ill-fated Manchester United career, Paul Pogba slid down the pecking order, often due to non-footballing reasons. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s appointment has turned his career around it seems. He has been absolutely superb since his appointment, and last night, too, was no exception.

Running the show from the middle of the park, Pogba played an inch-perfect cross to locate Herrera’s head for United’s opener. He then doubled his contribution — just before the half-time whistle — by heading home the Red Devils’ second.

Chelsea vs Manchester United: FA Cup | Match Preview and Analysis

Chelsea vs Manchester United: FA Cup | Match Preview and Analysis

Manchester United make the trip to the Stamford Bridge for FA Cup fifth round clash against Chelsea on Monday and will be looking to bounce back from their first defeat under caretaker manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. 


This is the high-profile clash of the fifth round of the FA Cup. Chelsea have been having their struggles with form and confidence, but at least have home soil for this. But they are facing a Manchester United side who look as if they have plenty to give at the moment.

Chelsea

Image Credit: Twitter (Chelsea)

News

Chelsea returned to winning ways with a 2-1 victory at Malmo in the Europa League on Thursday, following their 6-0 humiliation against Manchester City in the Premier League, but they haven’t been particularly consistent and on the domestic front, they have taken a mixed record in their last eight games in all competitions. It is worth noting that most of their problems have been away from Stamford Bridge, Chelsea are on a five-match winning streak on home soil, unbeaten in six there. Chelsea have also scored at least two goals in each of their last five home games.

Team Form

Chelsea have kept four clean sheets in their last six fixtures at Stamford Bridge. Will they be able to put it together on home soil? Overall this season, Chelsea have lost only one home game in all competitions, a Premier league defeat against Leicester back in December. It has been a fairly comfortable ride for Chelsea in the FA Cup so far this season, having taken back-to-back wins over Championship sides Nottingham Forest and Sheffield Wednesday at Stamford Bridge. Both of those Cup wins were with a clean sheet. Chelsea have produced good Cup form this season, having reached the final of the EFL Cup.

Manager’s point

The fight for his job is rather more desperate for Maurizio Sarri than Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s. At least the Chelsea boss has nearly seen out the week, which is longer than some people gave him after the embarrassment at the Etihad Stadium last Sunday. They have conceded 12 and scored none in their last three domestic away games. Of course, they rattled five past Huddersfield before surrendering to City but the Blues boss then was clearly still seething from the Bournemouth capitulation. He said

“I hope in the future we will not need a lost match to find the right mentality,”

after thrashing Town 5-0. A week later City scored six to confirm that Sarri is yet to find a fix.

Predicted Chelsea XI: Kepa; Azpilicueta, Rudiger, Luiz, Alonso; Kante, Jorginho, Kovacic; Willian, Higuain, Hazard

Manchester United

Image Credit: Twitter (Manchester United)

News

In this season Manchester United have been to Stamford Bridge and saw a 2-2 draw in the Premier League meeting back in August. This is a repeat of last season’s FA Cup final which Chelsea won 1-0. Things are even though in the last five meetings with two wins each and a draw between them. Manchester United had their first taste of defeat under the interim management of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as PSG beat them in the first leg of their Champions League round of 16 tie on Tuesday. United did pick up a couple of injuries in the game to a couple of their speedy forwards Anthony Martial and Jesse Lingard.

Team form

The Red Devils lost against PSG at home in the UEFA Champions League in midweek, their first defeat under the interim management of Ole Gunner Solksjaer. They did pick up a couple of injuries in the game to speedy attacking players Anthony Martial and Jesse Lingard. The Red Devils have a great streak away from going as they are on a six-match winning streak of form on their travels. Throughout most of the early part of the season, they were struggling badly to earn a clean sheet away from home.

Also Read: Man United 0 – 3 PSG

Manager’s point

Interim boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer could face his biggest dilemma yet as United boss in the FA Cup fifth round tie at Chelsea on Monday. Having seen Jesse Lingard and Anthony Martial limp out of the Champions League last-16 first leg defeat to Paris Saint-Germain on Tuesday, Solskjaer will almost certainly have to recalibrate his attack at Stamford Bridge. While Marcus Rashford can lead the line in west London, it’s the identity of those in support of him that will particularly perplex Solskjaer. It’s a decision made tougher by the disappointing displays of Juan Mata and Alexis Sanchez in the second half against PSG.

Predicted Man Utd XI: Romero; Young, Lindelof, Jones, Shaw; Matic, Herrera, Pogba, Lukaku, Mata, Rashford

FA Cup Final 2018: Eden Hazard cool as a cucumber, seals it for Chelsea

Chelsea FA Cup 2018 Winners

FA Cup Final 2018 Highlights, Manchester United VS Chelsea: Eden Hazard’s 20th-minute penalty was enough to seal the game for Chelsea and to prove that he’s truly world-class. It wasn’t just the penalty but the lead up to it that was exciting, Fabregas found Eden hazard with a beautifully waited pass and Eden Hazard’s perfect first touch set him up and he was soon in the box one-on-one with De Gea before United Centre-back Phil Jones brought him to ground and referee Michael Oliver was quick to point to the spot.

Cool, calm an collected Chelsea’s talismanic Belgian tucked the ball into the bottom-right corner while David De Gea dived to the left. Early on Chelsea were the better team even though Manchester United dominated possession,  Chelsea did so much more with the ball when they had it and gave Jose a taste of his own medicine by sitting deep and ‘Parking the Bus’ every time  United build an attack.

With 66% possession, United did have a few opportunities to equalize, especially Pogba’s dreadful miss in the 85th minute from a corner, Pogba found himself unmarked eight yards from goal but headed wide. Marcus Rashford put in a good performance and troubled Chelsea Keeper Thibaut Courtois a few times in the second half.

What would be interesting to see is how this affects Chelsea in terms of their management? will they still stick with Antonio Conte or look to recruit someone else. Conte indicated clearly that the ball is now in Chelsea’s court, ” I think after two years the club know me very well. And if they want to continue to work with me, they know very well. I can’t change. My way is always the same and I work to build a strong mentality with the players. I can’t change, I am this and my past speaks very clear as a manager and a player. I am a serial winner. I showed this in England after a tenth place and also today as we found the right way to win this trophy. I am very happy for the players and for our fans and at the same time, I am happy for the club. The decision, I have brought two trophies in two seasons.” 

For now, Chelsea can celebrate and enjoy the moment but they have a very tough decision on their hands and come August. We will have to wait and watch.

FA Cup Final 2018: Manchester United vs Chelsea, Jose Mourinho vs Antonio Conte, the Final Countdown!

Chelsea vs Manchester United FA Cup Final

The FA Cup, the oldest cup competition in the world dating all the way back to the 1871-72 season. There is something about cup competitions that make it special, probably the fact that they’re knockout games, past reputations don’t matter, the size of the club doesn’t matter, stats don’t matter the only thing that does matter is a team’s performance on the day. 

So 146 years since the first FA Cup competition, let’s try to analyze how 2018 finalists Manchester United and Chelsea set themselves up for this mouthwatering encounter.

Chelsea:

After an underwhelming season that saw 2016/17 Champions Chelsea finish 5th in the Premier League, Antonio Conte would be hoping to save his season and potentially his job by winning the FA Cup. Furthermore, Conte may become the first manager since Everton’s Howard Kendall (1986) to lose consecutive FA Cup Finals, A record which he wouldn’t want against his name.

Chelsea lost 3-0 against Newcastle United, they will have to quickly forget that result and move on.

Predicted XI: Courtois, Alonso, Cahill, Rudiger, Azpilicueta, Moses, Kante, Fabregas, Bakayoko, Giroud, Hazard.

Strengths: If Eden Hazard can march into Wembley all guns blazing, there is no stopping Chelsea. Cesc Fabregas will need to be at his creative best and the onus will be upon him to create as many chances as possible.

Weakness: Barring N’Golo Kante, Chelsea has been sloppy in Midfield especially French import Timoue Bakayoko who has not lived up to his hype or potential. 

Manchester United:

Manchester United’s season, in contrast, has been a good one barring Champions Manchester City no team seems to have hit the consistency and organization of United. With assured Champions League football next season United would want to finish on a high. Manager Jose Mourinho would be looking to finish his second season as United Boss with a trophy to satisfy the huge expectations of United’s fans

United beat Watford 1-0 in their last Premier League victory and would be hoping that they can get a positive result at Wembley.

Predicted XI: De Gea, Valencia, Jones, Smalling, Young, Matic, Pogba, Herrera, Sanchez, Lukaku, Rashford

Strengths: Custodian David De Gea is arguably the best in the world and Chelsea could struggle against him. Pogba and Matic are solid in midfield and will look to cancel out the threat of N’Golo Kante. Like Most Jose Mourinho teams, United are very well organized in defense especially full-backs Ashley Young and Antonio Valencia who seem rejuvenated under the Portuguese Manager.  

Weakness: Alexis Sanchez’s form has been poor and with Romelu LukakuRomelu Lukaku returning from an injury, United could be struggling to take their chances in the final third. Jones and Smalling have been good but are prone to making mistakes.

A Battle within the Battle:

Antonio Conte and Jose Mourinho haven’t been anything but shy and their ‘War of words’ has really turned some heads in the Football world. It would be interesting to see who comes out on top and who has the last laugh.