Manchester United 2-1 Chelsea - It's over and credit United.

Let me start by congratulating Man United for the third time this season on their performance once again. We have to hold our hands up and a...

Let me start by congratulating Man United for the third time this season on their performance once again. We have to hold our hands up and admit that Manchester United players were far more effective than ours were and it pains me to say it but we all have to be honest here.

No one could have imagined what happened at the start of the game and questions need to be asked as to why United had the time and space to play two passes forward under no real pressure. Luiz's attempt at getting his foot to the ball will make some headlines as it already has, but you have to admit, Hernandez took his goal well.

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I had said in my preview earlier about the dangers of Rooney and Hernandez and they both played fantastic once again. The two of them were far more productive and effective than our front three of Malouda, Drogba and Kalou.

Luiz was obviously not happy at the fact that Carlo was shouting at him to whack the ball clear and Luiz felt it wasn't his fault. I have to say it IS harsh on Luiz but you could tell his concentration was shot by the blast from Carlo and although it affected him, he seemed to get his head together for the remainder of the half.

Looking at the first goal again and bearing in mind we have had a full week to prepare, to analyse United to make ourselves aware of the threat they pose, why did we allow Hernandez the space to get in between Terry and Luiz in the first place!?.

So not even a minute was on the clock and we are a goal down and have it all to do. Again though, apart from a Kalou header from close range and a Drogba free kick, Van der Saar coped easily with anything else thrown at him.

Their second goal was a joke. Chelsea's first half defending was slack at times and it has cost us as United took full advantage. As the Giggs plays a short corner and then gets the ball back, watch Chelsea's defence walk into place, there is no urgency to get set into their defensive positions and the header from Vidic was easy. Drogba and Luiz go for the ball with one United player and Vidic steals a yard on Ivanovic. Slack Chelsea, very slack!.

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The second half and with Luiz off and Alex on, Ramires on for Mikel, Chelsea looked to get control of the game and get an early goal. Again however, the industry of United and their players prevented Chelsea from any real clear cut chances. United looked dangerous every single time they went forward.

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Ok we got our goal and hoped that we would kick on from there but our play was once again to slow, too laboured and United packed their defence and dealt with most of what we threw at them when we eventually did. Torres came on and made no impact at all but it's hard to try and get involved in a game once again when Chelsea are not playing quick enough.

The thing that frustrates me and has done at different times this season, is it took till the final minutes for Chelsea to play with any real urgency, to step in and nick the ball of United, win tackles and move the ball forward quickly. That was United all over. As soon as they got it they moved the ball forward or wide and forced Chelsea backwards. Chelsea hardly did that and that's disappointing.

I said earlier that United's players were far more effective than Chelsea's were and I want to clarify what I mean.

Fabio at right back didn't have a lot to do really. How many times did Cole or Malouda beat him? I think Malouda did once which led to the Kalou header. Ferdinand and Vidic, how often were they caught out or put on the back foot?. John O'Shea/Jonny Evans, again how many times did Kalou beat them down the line?

Ryan Giggs and Michael Carrick were far more productive next to each other than Frank Lampard, Michael Essien, Mikel/Ramires were. Giggs had the best game I have seen him play in a long long time. Carrick played it simple and as soon as he got the ball moved it wide or into the front two.

Park was once again outstanding and ran Giggs for the MOTM in my opinion. Park out performed the whole of our midfield and that's saying something.

Hernandez and Rooney forced Terry/Luiz/Alex into far more defensive work than our front line did and had numerous chances in the last ten minutes.

The worry I had and I think we all had would be that Chelsea would choke and I am sorry to say we did. Our three man midfield had plenty of the ball but not in effective areas. We struggled to move the ball forward into promising attacking positions whereas United did that as soon as they came forward.

United's play is simple and their method is simple. Play to your strengths. Work hard to win the ball and then move it forward or wide quickly. Once they do that, they look for that killer pass straight away to punish sides. Chelsea got sucked into playing the opposite and lacked any real kind of substantial width to test what i believed to be two weak United fullbacks.

We got sucked into playing the Arsenal way with silly balls into the middle of midfield and no signs of any through balls for our forward players to run onto.

All the hard work of recent weeks has been undone by United today and yes it hurts. We had a chance to put in a performance and grab this league title race with both hands. To make a statement of intent in front of the watching world. The problem is, United did that and we didn't!.

Credit United for your performance when it really matters. You will have your work cut out to beat Barcelona but with Rooney and Hernandez you have a chance. As for the Premier League, Chelsea have come up short but need to remember exactly where we have come from compared to where we were.

In the end, it was just a little short and that's because like I said, three times this season, United have put a side out to win the game against Chelsea and have done so.

The inquest and speculation about Chelsea and Carlo will begin but I want to say just one thing to you people reading this and it's an important point that as I have said, I think is relevant to both teams today.

Your manager can prepare you for the game physically and mentally. You can be as prepared for this game more than any other and you arrive at the stadium knowing exactly what your role is, what you need to do to give your team the chance of winning the game. As soon as you cross that line, it's out of the managers hands and down to you the individual to carry out your instructions and to play as well as you can. Carlo has seen his players choke now three times against United and it's not Carlo's fault but the players.

So ignore the rubbish about Carlo you are likely to read tonight and tomorrow. I want to see Carlo given the time to rebuild this side in his mould and he should be given time to do so.

For now and for Sir Alex and their fans, they will sleep safe in the knowledge that their players performed exactly as they were asked to do and have more or less won their record breaking 19th title.


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