By: Obiweluozo Martins
In the highly expected match of the weekend between arch-rivals Chelsea and Manchester United many things were said and be viewed as regards to the match coupled with keen interest from former Chelsea manager who had been linked with the Manchester United job and Dutch manager Louis Van Gaal who shunned criticism about questions concerning his job.
There were fireworks consistently towards the game as pressure was building on both sides (Chelsea and Manchester United)who have fallen off the ladder in the league table (particularly Chelsea who are currently not in the top 10 on the log) and are chasing the league leaders by the tail.
It was a massive game which involved two experience Dutch managers in Guus Hiddink and Louis Van Gaal who showed tactical strength in the dugout as the game ended one goal apiece (1-1).It was really an entertaining game which both sides deserved a share of the spoils as both teams marched each other one on one.
From the outcome of the game we highlight some significant issues to take home from the match. SoccerNet Nigeria evaluates the lessons from the Chelsea vs Manchester United game.
MANCHESTER UNITED GOT CLASS
|Jesse Lingard hooks in the opening goal for Manchester United in their 1-1 draw with Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.|
From the game against Chelsea, it was a match Manchester United players proved to the watching world their class. As they say that form is temporal but class is permanent, such was Manchester United situation as they showed what they were made off threatening from all cylinders and with the United’s current form against Stoke City in the previous game one would wonder if it was this United side that struggled at some point in the season.
The quick movement in which there forward play was characterised left Chelsea fans fuming calling for Chelsea to make hasty substitution without clarity of whom to bring on. Just at the hour mark United player notably Anthony Martial and talismanic Captain Wayne Rooney broke though Chelsea play in exemplary fashion to set up Jesse Lingard which the youngster turned and finished into the top right corner to give the Red Devils the lead (0-1).
It was an exquisite finish which left United fans in celebration and Chelsea fans compounded with the signs of defeat. The celebration and build up to the goal was master class a typical reminder of the Manchester of yesteryears which wowed the world with players like Ruud Van Nistelrooy, present Wayne Rooney and Cristiano Ronaldo.
The replays and slow motion to that United goal was eye catching and glamorous as goal scorer Lingard and Rooney was spotted celebrating in grand style leaving Chelsea with all to do in the remaining minutes to find an equalizer.
CHELSEA’S RESILENT TEAM SPIRIT
|Resilient Diego Costa grabbed an injury-time equalizer to give the Blues a share of the spoils.|
When Chelsea conceded to Manchester United and were one goal down there seems to be a pump of adrenaline in all Chelsea players as they fought earnestly for an equalizer.
The blues increased intensity and pace in search of the breakthrough thus stretching Manchester United to their limit forcing corner kicks at the end of the pitch to get back on level terms and United had their want away goalkeeper David De Gea to the rescue as he amazingly saved from Ivanovic’s left foot volley following the resulting corner kick as pressure was ever building on United from Chelsea swift attacking play.
The blues lightened up the game as Oscar and Nemanja Matic were hauled off for more direct and menacing Chelsea Poster boy Eden Hazard with new signing Pedro Rodriguez who added more directness and life line into the game with their quick and relentless passes coming from Fabregas and Willian in midfield with so much burst of energy that United had to solidify themselves by taking off Marouane Fellaini for Morgan Schneiderlin to partner Michael Carrick in front of the defense line.
Such was Chelsea’s pressure as United were bridged at the 91st minute as Cesc Fabregas put through Diego Costa as the Spaniard beat his Spanish Colleague De Gea in goal to slot into an empty net for the equalizer.
JOHN OBI MIKEL WAS IMPRESSIVE
John Obi Mikel was very much on top of his game as he made massive contribution to the Chelsea team, standing in front of the back four breaking up play and linking the defence to the attacking midfield in transition.
His interceptions was superb as he won the ball off a United shirt to initiate a Chelsea attack. His passes were very much ambitious and penetrating as one of his passes which found Diego Costa led to a Chelsea free kick as Costa was hauled down by Daley Blind for a foul.
Mikel’s presence in the game was assured as he marshalled the midfield well alongside Fabregas and athletic Willian following the substitution of Nemanja Matic. He made occasional runs with opened up play in United halves as the Red Devils were forced to another corner kick, this time by Fabregas from the near post.
A superb performance from the Chelsea loyal servant who is gradually riding on a high and looks set to keep his place in the first team till the end of the season. A massive performance from Mikel which helped Chelsea find themselves back in the game as defeat was looming at the Bridge.
CHELSEA CONTENT WITH A DRAW
When Chelsea found the back of the net thanks to calmness and composure from forward Diego Costa who handled the pressure well to beat his marker and the goalie to slot into an empty net, there were joyous celebration in the Chelsea camp a reminder of May 17th 2012 a famous date Chelsea won the UEFA Champions League over German side Bayern Munich when Chelsea celebrated as never before, such was Chelsea celebration as the London side seems very content and settled for a draw as Diego Costa and John Terry looked so ecstatic .
It all started from the Chelsea formation were Chelsea chose to start with two DMF(Defensive midfield players) in Matic and Mikel even when they were at home dropping Chelsea star driver Eden Hazard whose dribbling and trickery could open up play very much in the final third and sent midfielders like Oscar and Willian who are not the best of wide man from the flank as a clear evidence to what Chelsea really wanted from the game unlike United who showed intent from the onset and took a well-deserved lead at the hour mark in top class fashion.
That was glaring as they (Chelsea) got what they wanted in a draw at the dying moment to say the least for the Stamford Bridge guards.