25 February 2018
Man United moved back into second place in the Premier League as substitute Jesse Lingard gave them victory over top-four rivals Chelsea at Old Trafford.
Chelsea came close to scoring after just four minutes, as Alvaro Morata fired Marcos Alonso’s volleyed cross against the bar, with David de Gea tipping Eden Hazard’s follow-up over the bar.
Alexis Sanchez had a good chance for United when he should’ve shot first time after being set up by Anthony Martial, but he took a touch which let him down and he ended up firing at Thibaut Courtois with no power.
In the 32nd minute, Chelsea took the lead through Willian. From a United free-kick in Chelsea’s half, Chelsea counter-attacked with Hazard playing the ball through to Willian who fired the ball through de Gea. Scott McTominay should’ve followed Willian and de Gea probably should’ve saved the shot but, it’s hard to fault de Gea, who has been excellent all season.
In the 39th minute Romelu Lukaku equalised for United. After Sanchez played the ball to Martial inside the box, he layed it off for Lukaku who finished into the corner. This was his first goal against the top six this season, his 13th Premier League goal this season and his first goal against his old club.
In the second half, Danny Drinkwater had a long-range effort which was saved unconvincingly by de Gea, but United managed to clear the ball.
Lukaku, who had an excellent match, game close to scoring again when his acrobatic effort from Sanchez’s cross was tipped over the bar by Courtois. The momentum was certainly with United.
In the 75th minute, United took the lead for the first time in the match through substitute Jesse Lingard. Lukaku did great work with the ball on the right, before brilliantly crossing to Lingard who headed in.
In the 86th minute, Chelsea had a goal disallowed, with the assistant referee adjudging that Morata was offside from aces Fabregas’s pass. But, replays showed that he wasn’t.
In the end United held on for a massive win to consolidate our place in the top four and to move back above Liverpool into second.
One player who shone in this game was Lukaku who was excellent throughout. He came into the game having scored 12 goals in the Premier League so far this season but none and only four shots on target against the other teams in the top six.
But, in this game he was a massive reason for United’s victory. He scored the equaliser and then assisted the winner. Overall it was a brilliant display as he worked his socks off throughout.
Much of the build-up to the match had centred on the ongoing disputes between Jose Mourinho and Antonio Conte. But, in this game, the pair shook hands before and after the game with all seeming fine.
United return to second in the league, 13 points behind leaders Man City, two points above third-placed Liverpool, and six points above fifth-placed Chelsea, who slipped out of the Champions League places due to Tottenham beating Crystal Palace earlier on Sunday.
Next up for United is a trip to Crystal Palace next Monday, the 5 January. Hopefully we can continue our winning form.