Manchester United 1-3 Chelsea - Frank Lampard's boys spoil the Bruno Fernandes party.

Make no mistake, building up to the game yesterday evening, and even in the pre-match coverage before kick-off, Chelsea had been writte...

Make no mistake, building up to the game yesterday evening, and even in the pre-match coverage before kick-off, Chelsea had been written off, given no chance of winning with the focus being on a Manchester United side that was unbeaten in nineteen games heading into this one. Most pundits would have you believe that Manchester United with Bruno Fernandes was far too strong for Chelsea and would ease their way into the final. As the final whistle blew United had been out-thought, outfought, and bullied into submission in one of the most outstanding performances from Frank Lampard’s side this season. 

Both managers changed their tactical approach heading into the game reverting to a back three, a four-man midfield, and three upfront. You could say both managers would have been better off hedging their bets at casinoclic casino en ligne . But, it was a system that had been used five or six times by Frank Lampard already and comparing the two teams it became clear that Chelsea was far more comfortable than United.
Cesar Azpilicueta moved inside to play alongside Kurt Zouma and Toni Rudiger in a back three, Marcos Alonso and Reece James operated down the wings with the midfield combination that has worked so well previously of Jorginho alongside Mateo Kovacic in the middle. Christian Pulisic was replaced by Mason Mount who played alongside Willian as our floating number tens in behind Olivier Giroud up front. All supported by Willy Caballero in goal. 

To a man, Chelsea was outstanding yesterday and that includes the manager. Frank Lampard revealed that he had drilled the players for two days focusing on the strengths of United and to settle into the tactical shape he wanted to deploy. We were looking to nullify their goal-threat while being in a position to exploit their defensive frailties when we could. It was almost as if we had placed all our chips down at best online casino

Thinking back now, Willy Caballero had two easy saves to make in the game tipping over the bar for corners and but for the penalty (which was the only real disappointment from the performance) had little else to do. That was down to the three-man defence coping so well with their attack, bossing their opponents, holding their shape, and being supported by a hard-working midfield. 

With the ball Chelsea were good. Dominating possession, keeping it moving from side-to-side whilst looking for that final pass and making United chase it down. We looked dangerous almost every time we went forward and to score three unanswered goals (before the penalty) was excellent. 

Olivier Giroud led the line as he does and had an excellent game scoring again. Both Willian and Mason Mount were a constant thorn in United’s side working hard to press and close the ball down. Mount also scored with an opportunistic strike from 25-yards that found a way past David De Gea which I am sure you have either all seen or find yourselves reading about. 

The fact that Toni Rudiger could make a surging run into the box to force Harry Maguire into an error to flick the ball into the net whilst trying to challenge Rudiger speaks volumes at how in control Chelsea was in the game. At that point, Chelsea were 3-0 up and cruising. 

Bruno Fernandes has talent, I will admit that. The problem I have is that everyone has painted this picture of him as some sort of messiah and has been the catalyst in the unbeaten run that United were on before yesterday. In fact, I believe he had not experienced being on a losing United team heading into the game. He was mediocre yesterday, unable to inspire his team-mates, and was finally dominated in midfield. I'm glad we have spoiled his party and knocked him down a peg or two!

As a manager when you decide on a starting eleven and a tactical shape – all you can do then is pray that it can deliver the right result whilst hoping for a performance. If anything, yesterday was perfect and one of the most impressive performances so far this season. 

Now onto Liverpool on Wednesday, Wolves next Sunday and Arsenal in the FA Cup Final on 1st August!

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