Premier League 2018/19 Highlights: Chelsea VS Manchester United, a thriller in every aspect ended in a 2 – 2 draw at the Bridge. Stamford Bridge, a ground where Jose Mourinho dominated for so many Seasons was, in the end, an amalgamation of frustrations for Mourinho as a dramatic and controversial ending left the United manager distraught.

A thrilling encounter at the Stamford Bridge saw Chelsea deprive Mourinho’s Manchester United of a famous win as Ross Barkley scored a 95th-minute equalizer. The game was marred by controversy, as soon as Ross Barkley scored the 95th Minute equalizer Chelsea’s second Assistant Coach, Marco Ianni took the celebrations to Jose Mourinho. The Former Napoli assistant sprinted towards Mourinho and celebrated by swinging his clenched fist. Marco Ianni was Sarri’s Assistant at Napoli and has followed him to the Chelsea job as well. The Fixture lived up to it’s potential and a Draw can be considered a fair result as Chelsea dominated for about 60 Minutes while Manchester United were excellent for the next thirty. 

The tempo of the game in the opening minutes was unsurprisingly low, considering both teams had a bulk of their players returning from International duty and a lot of the players seemed tired. But given that the players were fatigue can in no circumstances be presented as an excuse for Paul Pogba’s negligence. As Chelsea won a corner in the 21st Minute, Willian’s delivery found Centre-Back, Antonio Rudiger’s head who put the Blues in front. Paul Pogba was marking the German defender and Pogba seemed to have gone to sleep as Rudiger was left completely free and the Frenchman looked distraught.

Chelsea continued to dominate possession in the first half and continued to play with Sarri’s signature attractive style. The Blues kept racking up the passes with Jorginho at the centre of it all and even looked threatening in the final third but couldn’t create any substantial chances. 

Whatever Jose Mourinho said to his players at Half-time seemed to transform Manchester United, the players looked a lot more agile, hungry and organised. Just 10 minutes after the break United forwards plummeted into the box and put pressure on the home side’s defence. Juan Mata took the first shot that forced Kepa to pull off a good save but after the rebound and a few ricochets, the ball landed with Anthony Martial who tucked it away with a good volley to bring the game level.  

Post the equaliser it seemed like Chelsea got flustered and seemed to have forgotten their own philosophy of Football. Instead of the general quick one-touch ground passing, we saw the Midfielders dart in long balls which according to Maurizio Sarri, the team wasn’t prepared for. It was pretty clear that United’s resurgence is what flustered Chelsea and the Red Devils took advantage of the situation, It was Anthony Martial once again who received Rashford’s pass on the edge of the Penalty area and with a clever first touch set himself up for a brilliant curling finish to put United ahead. 

It all seemed over for Chelsea but like most things in this beautiful game, the result was unpredictable and thrilling. As the official lifted his board to show 6 additional minutes, Stamford bridge began to believe, at the stroke of the 95th Minute David Luiz headed Pedro’s cross straight at the post while Rudiger fired his shot straight at David De Gea this time, the rebound fell straight to Ross Barkley who smashed in his first Chelsea goal at the Bridge. Barkley has started to consistently perform with a good Performance against Southampton as well. Barkley ensured that Chelsea maintained their unbeaten start while Mourinho was deprived of a win at a ground where he has found so much success. Though Marco Lanni marked the game with a rather unpleasant memory, it should be remembered for the quality of Football at display and not the distractions around it. 


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