Manchester United punished for their lack of grit

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Chelsea have taken a massive step towards the league title today after winning 1-0 against Manchester United at Stamford Bridge, but the Red Devils will have regrets for not troubling the Blues despite keeping the ball for much of the game (70% possession overall), while Van Gaal yet again was back to his old antics, as he played Rooney in midfield, making him look completely lost in the game, while Falcao yet again proved he’s not made to play in this league, by coming close only once with a shot coming off the post, and rarely imposing himself on Chelsea’s backline.

Chelsea seemed to have made up their minds to play the opportunistic way, as they left the ball for United to do whatever they wanted to do, while they sat deep confidently in their own half and breaking out rapidly whenever United lost the ball. It was this way that they opened the score on the 38th minute, as Falcao lost the ball under Terry’s challenge, and the build-up saw Oscar feeding a cheeky back-heeled pass to Hazard, who made no mistake inside the box by slotting the ball thru De Gea’s legs. It was Chelsea’s first real incursion in United’s backline, and they were already 1-goal up. United failed to switch gear as they kept passing the ball among themselves but not really creating a clear chance at any point in time to score.

Van Gaal made even more bizarre changes in the second half as he brought on Januzaj and Blackett and kept the same formation as he had started, which really baffled me, given that he could have brought on Van Persie, while changing back to a 4-4-2 formation by bringing Rooney upfront and why not Rafael and push Valencia on the right wing forward. Yet, he kept things as they were, and Chelsea held on despite an appeal in added time for a penalty for a supposed foul on Herrera, and Mourinho had rightly said in a previous interview, that it’s goals that count in the end after the media had labelled them as boring, and today, with this single goal, his team is now 10 points clear of Arsenal, 11 from United, and they still have a game in hand, which will put them further ahead should they win. As for United, it’s the end of the winning streak, and if they are not careful in future games, it will seem that all the hard work done so far would be in vain, as City can still overpass them in the table rankings, along with the teams pursuing behind looking for a European spot next season.

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