Manchester United have beaten Chelsea 2-1 at Old Trafford. Lukaku lead the way for United, grabbing a goal and a wonderful assist, with Lingard heading home the winter.
It was a massive game in the top four race. Going into the match, United sat one point behind Liverpool and one point ahead of Spurs. Chelsea were only 3 points behind Manchester, but sat in 5th before the game kicked off after Spurs won vs Crystal Palace.
There was a handshake between Mourinho and Conte before the match began.
Mourinho finally caved in, reverting to a 4-3-3 with Pogba in his natural position. Martial also came in for Mata, with the rest of the team unchanged from the lineup against Sevilla.
Chelsea made the better start of the two teams, dictating the pace of play at the beginning of the game.
The away side had an early half chance, nearly pulling off a corner from the training ground. Hazard rolled the ball to Willian, who smashed a low cross to the top of the penalty area. Morata tried to get the run around on Matic, but the United midfielder was able to clear away the danger.
Chelsea came incredibly close, when Morata hit a volley onto the bar. It was exquisite play, with Hazard pinging a ball out wide to Alonso, who hit a first time cross into the penalty area. Morata made good contact, but could only crack it off the crossbar. The rebound fell to Hazard, who tried to get anything behind a shot, but could only put it over.
United begun to get into the flow of the game, as the midfield were finally able to put some passes together. Most of our attacks often went down the wings, with Young and Valencia getting in crosses whenever they could. None of them were good enough, and Chelsea were able to head away without much danger.
However, Chelsea took back control. The 3-4-3 allowed the London side to play switch balls around the pitch, stretching United defensively.
United would start to hit on the counter, and were able to create some decent chances. Some decent passing around the box lead to Lukaku being picked out. The Belgian turned quickly, but had his shot blocked away by Rudiger.
United created their biggest chance of the first half soon after. It was another counter attack, with Matic picking up the ball and playing Martial through. The Frenchman carried the ball up the pitch, before cutting inside and laying off a pass to the edge of the area. Alexis was there, and was wide open, but opted to take a touch instead of a first time shot. His touch was poor, and allowed the Chelsea defence to close down the space.
Chelsea would go on to grab the opening goal of the contest. A United corner was headed away, kick-starting a Chelsea counter. Willian drove forward, before finding Hazard. The Belgian dribbled a bit before playing Willian through with a perfect reverse pass. Willian made no mistake from there, smashing his finish past De Gea. The United goalkeeper would probably like to have that one back, as his attention was on Morata at the back post, allowing the ball to go by him at the near post.
United responded well to the goal, scoring the equaliser soon after. It was great play from the front three, with Alexis finding Martial, who played Lukaku through. It was brilliant play from the Belgian striker, who was able to settle the pass before slotting home past Courtois.
Chelsea were the better team in the first half, and United were relieved to go into the break level.
Both teams came out hot to start the second half, as the game opened up. Both Martial and Willian had long shot opportunities, but neither came too close to goal.
Chelsea took a quick free kick, leading to a shot from Danny Drinkwater. It bounced right in front of De Gea, who made the save, but gave up a rebound. Thankfully for him, Valencia was able to get to the ball first and clear away the danger.
Jesse Lingard came on for Martial to bring on some energy for United. Not everything came off for Martial, but he did very well to assist Lukaku’s goal.
Lukaku almost grabbed his second in spectacular fashion. Alexis cut inside, and chipped a ball into the penalty area. Lukaku went for the bicycle, and made great contact on the ball. However, Courtois was quick enough to react and tip the ball over the bar.
United kept up the pressure, and were finally able to take the lead 15 minutes from full time. It was world class play from Lukaku, who picked up the ball on the wing before dancing past Rudiger. It was a peach of a cross from Lukaku to pick out Lingard at the near post, who headed it smartly past Courtois.
It was almost a nightmare response, with Pedro disappearing Lindelof and having a shot at De Gea, who was able to make the save.
Eric Bailly came on for Alexis Sanchez to shore up the defense. It was a decent enough performance from the Chilean, who linked up play well enough, and played his part in the goal.
Chelsea thought they might’ve grabbed the equaliser through Morata, but the Spaniard was flagged for offside, and the goal was called back.
United were able to hold off any late Chelsea attacks to secure the 2-1 win.
Manchester United’s next match is a week on Monday when the Red Devils travel to Selhurst Park to face Crystal Palace.