Overreactions, Three Points and Dominance: A Man Utd Story
As football fans, we’re visceral, reactive, combative but most of all we want to see our team win. How we want that win to happen, well that differs. Sometimes, we all need to calm down, watch the game and assess. However, Man Utd have been up and down all season, drawing more than winning (or losing), safe to say it has been frustrating.
Jose Mourinho has a reputation, he’s a winner but with that comes backlash. Many players have lauded him but others not so much. When you see a player of Martial, Luke Shaw, etc ilk being dropped for the likes of Young, Lingard, Fellaini etc, you react.
What we saw today from Man Utd was a masterclass tactically, especially with Man Utd’s schedule, I have to hold my hands up and say Jose Mourinho did his job, amazingly.
So what did we learn from today’s match?
Jose got his tactics right
Much was said pre-match about Jose Mourinho and his tactics. I have been very critical about Mourinho and the style of football he instructs his team to play, most of the season, but today, Jose had a masterclass. Seeing Fellaini, Young, Lingard and Darmian in the lineup has often resulted in draws and frustration, however today was a different case. Mourinho had Herrera man mark Hazard, Rojo and Bailly frustrated Diego Costa, Young tracked back, Fellaini was being a pest, Darmian did his job, Rashford and Lingard using their mobility and using pace to unsettle Chelsea’s three defenders. Chelsea also registered zero shots on target, the first time since September 2007. It was a great result especially with a decisive Europa League match coming on Thursday.
Chelsea were sleeping
Chelsea looked poor from the whistle. They haven’t looked this bad since Arsenal exposed them prompting their formation change. Conte was quiet on the sideline and part of the reason they look so poor is because of Mourinho’s tactics. Rashford and Lingard unsettled their defenders, especially David Luiz. Eden Hazard went missing, it would be nice if Ander Herrera emptied his pockets and returned Eden back to West London.
Ander Herrera is a wonderful player
Marcelo Bielsa is a legendary manager, he’s known for sitting on his cooler and having some of the most outrageous tactics. He has his own disciples (Pep, Berrizo, Poch, Sampaoli) but one player who shined under him, Ander Herrera. Ander was a pest when Utd played and lost to Bilbao in the Europa League, eventually Ander Herrera made his way to Man Utd. Just like the FA Cup match, Ander’s job was to mark Eden Hazard and he did it very well, while providing the assist for Marcus Rashford’s goal and getting a goal of his own.
Rashford is a smart kid
Much has been said about Marcus Rashford this season. Marcus has had an up and down season, fluffing his lines often but the potential is there for everyone to see. Today vs Chelsea, Marcus used his pace, his brain and strength to cause havoc against the Chelsea defense. He was duly rewarded with a goal.
The title race is OPEN.
Chelsea’s lead is now four points and Tottenham are licking their lips. With Crystal Palace, Arsenal, West Ham, Man Utd, Leicester and Hull left in the league for Tottenham and Southampton, Everton, Middlesbrough, West Brom, Watford and Sunderland left for Chelsea, the title race has become that more interesting.