Chelsea 0-2 Manchester United: 5 Men who won the game for Solskjaer
At full time, the Manchester United players were full of celebrations and why not. After staying eleven games unbeaten since the appointment of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, the Manchester United Bandwagon had come to an abrupt halt in midweek in the UEFA Champions League. At home, against a rampant PSG side in the first leg of the round of 16, Solskjaer’s boys were given a lesson in football and maturity, as the French Champions won 2-0.
The sudden loss led to many questions regarding Solskjaer’s abilities to match his tactics against the best sides in the world. Much of those queries would have been squashed on Monday night as Manchester United hardly broke a sweat and yet managed to overcome a strong Chelsea side. It was also a night of revenge; the Blues had defeated United in last season’s FA Cup final and United were even now.
The stakes were higher than usual on the night though as both Anthony Martial and Jesse Lingard were out of the tie with injuries picked up in midweek. It meant that Solskjaer had to shuffle around his team as well as tactics, in a tough away game.
In the end, the Manager got his tactics absolutely right and came away with a vital win. While much of the credit must go to the Norwegian, his players also responded well to his moves. Here, we look at the 5 men who were brilliant for Solskjaer against Chelsea.
#5 Luke Shaw
Luke Shaw is one of the players who suffer the most when Anthony Martial does not play. The understanding between those two is uncanny, it is almost telepathic at times and United have benefited from their chemistry on the pitch so far under Solskjaer. Naturally, Shaw would have been disappointed to see the Frenchman in the sidelines. However, he did not let that affect the game on the night.
The Englishman was restrained while going forward, keeping a close eye on Pedro. Shaw never allowed the Spaniard to influence the game and Pedro, as such, had a quiet night. Even though Pogba and Lukaku did come to his aid throughout the game, the Englishman had to compete with Kante and Pedro for most of the game and it is a credit to Shaw's qualities that neither of the two men could get the better of him.
But Shaw did not just guard the left flank, he regularly sped inside to cover up for his centre-backs whenever they were caught out. The Englishman already looks like a fantastic player under Solskjaer and against Chelsea, his performance was crucial as United secured a vital win.