3 Reasons why Chelsea lost 2-0 to Manchester United | FA Cup 2018-19
Chelsea fell to another defeat this month, this time at the hands of Manchester United, who brushed aside Maurizio Sarri's men to progress to the last 8 of the FA Cup. Two well-placed headers from Ander Herrera and star man Paul Pogba engineered a massive comeback, especially after the defeat to Paris Saint-Germain.
The game began at a frenetic pace, with both sides recording a couple of shots each on target inside the first 10 minutes. Since then, Chelsea had most of the ball but not the right number of chances to show for it. Manchester United, on the contrary, had amassed five efforts on target in the first 45 minutes.
They dislodged Chelsea's set up on the counter, whipped dangerous yet delightful crosses into the box and grabbed their chances with both hands when a response was required. For Chelsea, along with the problems in front of goal that continue to inflate, their defence is starting to crack open time and time again now.
A lot of talking points reached the surface and probably, the boiling point, as far as Sarri's tactics and the players' appetite is concerned.
But here, let's, first of all, analyze three reasons behind Chelsea's demoralizing defeat to Manchester United in the FA Cup fifth round.
#3 Sarri's substitutions
We have discussed a lot about Jorginho's lack of agility, defensive inabilities and N'Golo Kante's misuse, but here, another thing to be noted is how horribly Sarri went about his substitutions.
There was absolutely no idea of urgency about Chelsea's play. They knocked it around safely with meagre movement in the final third. First of all, with such a system and situational demands, Sarri should not have waited until the 71st minute to bring on the in-form Ross Barkley.
Kovacic was safe as a house with his hold-up and passing, but he is nowhere as good as the former Everton man in the advanced areas of the pitch. Barkley meanwhile, is a willing runner - someone who darts down the left channel and exploits the box as well. Not to mention, he can strike the long ball.
Next, why would you bring on Davide Zappacosta, who has barely kicked a ball about this season, when you are trailing 2-0 at home to Manchester United, in need of a serious reply? Willian, who has not created even one-third of the chances from open play than he does from set pieces, was called upon to find an equalizer.
The Brazilian was wasteful with his final pass and was a shadow of his true self. Callum Hudson-Odoi is fresh, direct and lively. He can put in the right balls into the box, but he was not even asked to warm up.
And of course, with every substitution that didn't happen to be Jorginho, the Chelsea fans went totally berserk.