Man Utd 2 Chelsea 0: Victory blows title race open:
Manchester United produced their best performance under Jose Mourinho to defeat the champions-elect Chelsea and – quite possibly – blow open the Premier League title race.
Chelsea’s lead remains at four points ahead of Tottenham Hotspur – with the two sides meeting each other in the FA Cup semi-finals next Saturday in which, psychologically, could prove an important fixture – with just six matches to play.
How the United manager will have delighted, revelled in this victory having been humiliated by his former club in the league earlier this season and been knocked out of the FA Cup by them also.
Marcus Rashford celebrates after scoring the first goal CREDIT:AP
This was classic Mourinho as United claimed their first win over Chelsea in 13 matches and did so with Zlatan Ibrahimovic on the bench, rested, although he came on with 10 minutes to go. So much for Mourinho’s complaints of tiredness and fixture congestion. He did a number on Chelsea, forensically nullifying them and probing their weaknesses.
Without Ibrahimovic there was more pace to United’s attack with Marcus Rashford outstanding as was Ander Herrera – detailed to man-mark Eden Hazard – and Marcos Rojo who powerfully dealt with Diego Costa. Tactically Mourinho got it spot-on as he nullified Chelsea’s threat althougn there was a huge slice of fortune with his side’s opening goal. It should not have stood.
Rashford’s strike was superbly executed but there was a clear hand-ball by Herrera in the build-up as he blocked Nemanja Matic’s pass with his outstretched arm. Allowed to play on by referee Bobby Madley he then played a precise pass behind David Luiz for Rashford to run onto before he clipped his shot across Asmir Begovic and into the net.