This was supposed to be another reunion between Man U coach, Jose Mourinho and former club, Chelsea, even though he claimed before the game that with each passing year he was looing his emotional connection with Chelsea.
It was also the first time Chelsea coach, Antonio Conte, would face Jose Mourinho after both coaches abused themselves with Conte calling Mourinho a ‘little man’ with ‘dementia’ after Mourinho accused him of match fixing during his time at Juventus.
A game of this magnitude was set for fireworks considering Chelsea’s good performance during the week against Barcelona and Paul Pogba’s problems with Jose Mourinho at Manchester United .
Star signing, Alexis Sanchez, started alongside Paul Pogba and youth product, McTominay for Man U, while Conte started with Morata, Willian and Eden Hazard.
The match started in quick frenzied fashion for Chelsea who within the first five minutes struck the bar with a well timed Morata effort to which
Willian, Hazard and Moses pushed with more determination in the first ten minutes with Man Utd pleased with little flashes of possession on the counter attack as football rookie, McTominay was tasked with man marking Eden Hazard, a hard task for the young Scotsman.
At times Man United’s defenders were seen pushing up a little bit giving Hazard and Morata enough time to manipulate with pace on the counter attack.
Going forward on the 27th minute, Matic pitched the ball from Morata and launched a counter attack using Martial’s pace , the ball fell for Alexis Sanchez, who fluffed his lines, and played a powerless shot towards Real Madrid-linked goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois.
Chelsea start a counter with Willian who passes to Hazard and still on the run, Hazard gives a sweet through ball towards Willian who is on side, and the Brazilian snarky places it just inside the net, De Gea could have done more though!
Man U 0-1 Chelsea … Mourinho was already feeling the heat but Conte unlike in previous matches didn’t give the kind of animated celebrations he has been known for.
Chelsea continued having more possession and were willing to punish a lack luster Manchester United side.
The Belgian, making lousy passes and interceptions through out, in the 39th minute, scored after he was laid inside by a Martial and Sanchez pass in the 18 yard box. Lukaku didn’t over celebrate due to respect for his former side, but you can be sure that the goal meant a lot to him, as this was the first time the Belgian was scoring against a top six side.
Man U 1-1 Chelsea.
In the first half Chelsea were more fluid and steady on the ball, with a greater share of possession but this half could largely be billed as ‘cat and mouse’ and so it seemed, even though the scoreline looked different.
Both teams started the match with no changes to their starting line up, but looking at both teams one would know Man United possessed the stronger arsenal in their substitutes bench.
In the second half, Man Utd showed more veracity and zeal to go forward with numerous inplays by Pogba, Sanchez, Matic and a wasteful Martial but still there was no breakthrough.
Mourinho hooked off Martial for Lingard in search of a second goal.
The Old Trafford fans wanted the ascendancy while Conte believed he could snatch a win here.
McTominay was so efficient with his ball control and release that the 75,000 fans cheered on him whenever he was with the ball.
The players in Red started making life difficult for Chelsea with long spells of possession, and Sanchez during a counter, gave a flying cross for Lukaku who responded with an acrobatic kick, that Courtois had to be really sharp to punch above the bar.
Chelsea prepared Pedro to come on, who could go off, Morata? Maybe ?!
Chelsea bring in Pedro for Hazard, a frustrating night for the Belgian who was held and frustrated by the young McTominay.
Goallllllll! Lingard !
McTominay releases a sweet pass to Lukaku who successfully creates space and gives a good dink in to Lingard who shocks Chelsea with a perfect header . He had just been on the pitch for ten minutes!
Man Utd 2-1 Chelsea !
Willian tries again and goes near post but De Gea saves the ball. Giroud starts to warm up as Chelsea look for aerial authority . Bailly starts to warm up for Man Utd.
Victor Moses is removed for Giroud . Bailly is introduced for Sanchez.
Mourinho switches to a 3-5-2 formation to counter Chelsea who introduce Fabregas.
The match starts to boil over , Rudiger flares up with Matic, Valencia is ruffled up on the right corner while Smalling is bandied by Morata.
This was not some cavalier football, it looked like football directed and controlled by chauvinistic punters and it proved so as Man U was content to defend and then counter while Chelsea throw all they got into finding an equaliser.
Four minutes of extra time and Michael Carrick is seen warming up- could Mourinho be looking for midfield tempo more possession in the last few minutes.
Man U puffed, Chelsea pressured, but for the second season running at Old Trafford, Mourinho is victorious against Conte ….. now who is the ‘little man’ ????? Lol
Man U 2-1 Chelsea !!!