Eden Hazard sinks ManUnited

Eden Hazard’s man of the match performance was too much for Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United on the day. Chelsea scored early and held Manchester United off just enough to win the game and end a low-key season on a high.

The game was a balanced one, with Chelsea lucky to capitalize on Phil Jones’ mistake in the first half. While Chelsea had only 40% of the ball in that half, the Blues had better chances than their Manchester United counterparts. David de Gea made some key saves but could not do anything on Hazard’s penalty.

In the second half, Mourinho’s team upped the ante and started pushing forward towards Courtois’ goal. The Belgian stopper was at his best, saving everything the United forwards threw at him. Chelsea defended deep, relying on the speed of Hazard and ball protecting skills of Olivier Giroud to counter attack and ultimately ended the game as deserved winners.

Hazard vs Jones key to game

Had Phil Jones been able to control the threat that Eden Hazard is, this game might have ended up differently. Jones struggled to defend against the Belgian’s speed and trickery and cost United a goal early on in the game. Manchester United were lucky that the “double whammy” has now been addressed in the rules and thus Michael Oliver correctly booked Jones with a yellow instead of a straight red (because he was attempting to play the ball). If Jones is a starter for England against Belgium at the World Cup, he will need to do much better than this.

There were many other occasions where Hazard showed his quality against the United defence and had United fans wishing they had a player of this calibre.

Manchester United wasteful

Alexis Sanchez was signed to be exactly that player for the Red Devils but his wastefulness prevented his team from attacking properly throughout the game. He was not the only offender but was probably the worse on the day. In contrast, Paul Pogba did well to keep possession in difficult situations and was trying to affect the game with his long passes and lung bursting runs. He almost equalized in the 82nd minute when he was left unmarked by a tired Chelsea defence on a corner but his header went just wide of the target.

Frustrating Martial

Anthony Martial showed once again why he is one of the most frustrating talents at Old Trafford. As soon as he came on alongside Lukaku in the 73rd minute, he showed his dribbling skills and pace but in the 88th minute, with his teamates trying hard to open up the Chelsea defence, he fumbled an easy cross, which could have ended up in a goal scoring opportunity.

Ngolo Kante’s brilliance

Kante was everywhere today, making interceptions, joining the attack, committing the professional foul when needed. He is truly the engine of Chelsea’s midfield. In the 69th minute, he even walked through the United defence to find Marcos Alonso, strangely in the left forward position, whose shot was saved by David de Gea. He is a close second for the man of the match, edged by only Hazard, who was instrumental in Chelsea taking the lead.

Congratulations Chelsea!

Antonio Conte wins his second major trophy at Chelsea and showed exactly why the board should do everything they can to keep him at the club. The grit he instilled in this players won the game today. Jose Mourinho on the other hand will already have started thinking on his plans for next season and how to bridge the gap between his team and european elites such as Real Madrid and Manchester City.

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Photo by Humberto Santos on Unsplash

 

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6 comments

  1. Excellent analysis of the game though we should admit that it was an unsatisfactory performance by the Red Devils. I guess if we were playing football rather than counter attacking our rivals we would surely have beaten Chelsea up. United do possess the talents to take on any defence in europe and this was proven in the Final in the last twenty minutes of the game. I believe that this was the real problem of United throughout last season and could explain the under performance of brillant players such as Martial, Rashford or Sanchez.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Agreed, Irfaan. Manchester United has a talented group of forwards and tend to wait till it’s late in the game to press forward. The games against City (EPL) and Spurs (FA Cup) show that. United were not the best in the first halves of those games but in the second half, they upped their level and beat both teams. This is not going to work against all top teams – United need to to better next season and strike first in those games.

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    • All over the place, attacking and defending. He’s won the EPL in his last 2 seasons and now the FA Cup. Any team would be lucky to have this kind of player. The question is how long can Chelsea keep him. I’m sure his eyes are on the champions league trophy now and Chelsea are not in the UCL every year.

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