José Mourinho and Manchester United had a nightmare at Stamford Bridge today, as the “Not-so-Special-One” returned to the stadium he once ruled, but this time was taught a lesson the Italian way by his counterpart, Antonio Conte. Chelsea produced a dominant display which completely cut the grass under United’s feet, with a clueless Mourinho watching on the sidelines while some of his former players ran riot in United’s backline, while a fired-up Conte was enjoying every minute of the match and lighting up the fans so that they cheered louder as their team strolled on. Having been able to foil Liverpool last Monday by “parking the bus”, this time there was no escape for the Red Devils and their manager as they were clearly hammered by the Blues from start to finish. The “bus” was clearly hit by a monster truck this time 😈
Knowing Mourinho very well when he goes for big games, he again had the intention to “park the bus” and try scrap a draw back from Stamford Bridge, but United had barely the time to get into “parking gear” that Chelsea were already a goal up. 29 seconds in, and Alonso’s long ball forward saw Pedro beat United’s backline, with both Smalling and Blind caught napping, and with De Gea rushing out of his goal as well, the attacker had little difficulty to run past his countryman and tap into an empty net for the opener. Chelsea’s intentions were clearly defined, to attack and show Mourinho that they are now a far better side than when he was around. Although Zlatan had one chance to try get United back, his header looped over the bar, while at the other end, Chelsea found their second goal on the 21st minute. Following a corner-kick, United’s defense failed to deal with the ball properly, and a ricochet brought the ball to an unmarked Cahill to volley home past De Gea, who had nothing to do till then, except pick out the ball for the second time from his net. United were clearly lacking ideas on how to produce a good attack. Zlatan was just a shadow of himself upfront, while the midfield was not balanced at all. It was more individual rushes trying to get the ball into Chelsea’s box, while on the other side, Chelsea were playing like a team instead of individuals, with their block attacking and defending together, looking very at ease in the 3-4-3 formation Conte brought about after a series of poor games. Mourinho, being stubborn as usual, continued with his 4-2-3-1 formation, but clearly unable to either defend or attack, and he did not have any reserve plan to try get out of this intriguing situation. Half-time came as a blessing for the Red Devils, although they had managed to get control of the ball as the first half wore on, but were still not able to really threaten the Blues at the back.
Mata was sent on for Fellaini at the start of the second half, but Chelsea were still the ones posing problems to the Red Devils. United had to make a second change minutes later, this time Bailly hobbling off to be replaced by Rojo. United still lacked the attacking urge, while Chelsea were really on fire in the other half of the field. Hazard became the third player to score for them on the 62nd minute, following a lovely pass from Matic. The Belgian forward went one-on-one with Smalling, and his pace and technique were too good for the defender, and De Gea could do nothing to stop his low strike from going in at the far post. United tried to push forward, but again the block formed by the Chelsea players denied them any perforation in the backline, and instead they conceded a fourth goal on the 70th minute, as Kanté slalomed his way into the box, and easily slotted by De Gea, scoring his first goal with the Blues in the process following his transfer from Leicester City. It was game, set and match for the Blues, but still United could have scored a consolation but the Blues were having none of it, as Courtois made a couple of saves to keep his third consecutive cleansheet, and at the final whistle, the Blues (fans, management and players) were in ecstasy, while Mourinho still had something to say to Conte, as he had a rather lengthy talk in the ear of the Italian manager, then promptly made his way towards the dressing room.
It was just total humiliation for the Red Devils today, as if they were learning to play football, while so many millions have been spent already to bring in supposedly “quality” players to strengthen the team. No cohesion whatsoever, no real attacking threat, a rather non-existent defense, it was just like watching a newly promoted team play against a world-class team. A real shambolic display from the players, but the manager also must take some of the blame, as it was all talks of being “special” with United in pre-match interviews, and the whole team turns out to be a load of shit and shame, and he has no plan B or whatsoever to try counter the opposition when things start going bad. Time to take it like a real man José, play the United way in a straight 4-4-2 attacking formation, or a 4-1-2-1-2 formation with a defensive midfielder to lock the defense the required, but still having the ability to make the whole team play really like a team, instead of relying on individuality to try make things work.