Review Chelsea – Manchester United

first_imgA penalty kick converted by Eden Hazard was all it took for Conte to defeat Mourinho and for Chelsea to win the FA Cup.Jose Mourinho, who hadn’t lost a final with an English club in his career (6/6), took everyone by surprise by leaving Romelu Lukaku on the bench and starting Marcus Rashford in his preferred center forward position. He was joined by Alexis Sanchez and Jesse Lingard at the wings. Paul Pogba, Ander Herrera, Nemanja Matic, Ashley Young, Phil Jones, Chris Smalling, Antonio Valencia and David de Gea completed he starting lineup. Antonio Conte could afford to bring out his best players as well. Marcos Alonso, Victor Moses, Cezar Azpilicueta, Gary Cahill and Antonio Rudiger composed the 5-man defensive front. Bakayoko, Fabregas and Kante were the midfielders, Eden Hazard was the roaming winger/attacker and Olivier Giroud was the main striker.Considering both teams were desperate to end the season with a trophy in their cabinet and we were watching a matchup between two defensive-minded managers, it was highly unlikely we were going to see an entertaining final. Rather, we were in for a tactical and positional battle for every meter on the pitch.The first attempt on goal was made by Eden Hazard in the 9th minute. He broke free for a moment on the left flank and even though the Belgian was closed down by Phil Jones, he still fired a shot. Eden tried to surprise de Gea at the near post, but Spain’s number one was prepared, making the save with his leg.In the 21st minute, Hazard’s phenomenal first touch put Jones on the wrong foot and then his pace helped him fly by the English international, who was left with no other choice by to try and stop Hazard with a sliding tackle. He missed, fouling Eden inside the box and giving Chelsea a clear penalty kick. You might say he was lucky not to be sent off as the last defender. Hazard calmly took the responsibility of taking the ensuing penalty kick, sending de Gea the wrong way and giving Chelsea an all-important 1-0 lead.James Rodriguez, Real MadridZidane hails ‘quality’ James Rodriguez after Real Madrid’s win Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Zinedine Zidane reserved special praise for James Rodriguez after his starring role in Real Madrid’s 3-2 win over Levante.With both teams defending with eleven players, it was almost impossible to create opportunities. Counter-attacks and set pieces appeared to be the only ways to get to goal. Phil Jones had one such chance after a corner kick, but failed to direct a header at the far post. Manchester United had the best chance of the half right before the referee blew the whistle. Bakayoko didn’t make a tackle at midfield, the ball came to Pogba inside Chelsea’s box, then to Rashford’s feet and was ultimately blocked by Rudiger. The Blues kept their slender advantage.As the game was moving along, Manchester United was beginning to play with more urgency, while its opponent was toying with fire by just sitting back and waiting to be attacked. In the 63rd minute, Courtois made a fantastic save on a Phil Jones header after a set piece cross by Rashford. Alexis Sanchez scored on the rebound, but was offside. There were a couple of other threats before that as well. Mourinho worked his magic again, as we were seeing a different United in the second half.There was an incredible opportunity missed by Alonso in the 70th minute, when N’Golo Kante made a fantastic run and passed the ball on to his Spanish teammate inside the box. The left back was on his weaker right foot, but that doesn’t change the fact that he was all alone and failed to convert. In the aftermath of the action, Victor Moses got to the ball and sent a backwards pass that hit Ashley Young’s hand. VAR was available for this final and after a short consultation, the referee decided against showing on the spot, although he probably should have. Moments after that, Rashford had a great opportunity of his own as he went face-to-face with Courtois. Chelsea’s keeper was the winner of that battle, blocking Marcus’ effort.Not long after that, Romelu Lukaku entered the pitch, replacing Marcus Rashford. Anthony Martial also came into the game, swapping places with Jesse Lingard. Pogba had a free header right in the middle of Chelsea’s box in the 82nd minute, yet he didn’t hit the target. It was inexplicable how he was left so alone on a corner kick. Conte’s team was really lucky to get away with it. Juan Mata was Mourinho’s last sub. Phil Jones was taken off to make way for the Spaniard. Antonio Conte did what most managers do in his spot, using a couple of late substitutions to waste some time. Morata and Willian were the players who came onto the field. A Matic header that went wide and a Courtois yellow card were the main events in the 5-minute injury time. The whistle was blown and Chelsea had won. The FA Cup trophy was theirs.last_img