Chelsea 0-2 Manchester United: 5 Tactics from Solskjaer that won the game
Manchester United traveled to Stamford Bridge on Monday for the FA Cup 5th round tie, looking to get back to winning ways after a hiccup in the midweek against PSG at home. The Red Devils lost 2-0 at home in the first leg of the Champions League tie, their first defeat under the Norwegian manager.
Anthony Martial and Jesse Lingard picked up injuries against PSG and were ruled out of the game against the Blues, which was a big blow to Manchester United.
Solskjaer was forced to shuffle his team around to ensure that United still had that attacking edge. Sergio Romero started in goal while Smalling joined Lindelof at the heart of the defense. The Norwegian's trusted midfield trio of Matic, Herrera and Pogba continued in the middle of the park but the front three saw significant changes. Lukaku and Mata started alongside Marcus Rashford.
Both clubs started well but Chelsea soon gained control of the game. However, Manchester United opened the scoring in the 31st minute when Ander Herrera headed one past Kepa from a beautiful Pogba cross. Paul Pogba made it 2-0 with a powerful header just at the stroke of half time.
In the second half, Chelsea rallied to draw level but United never lost control of the game. In the end, those two first-half goals were enough to see United through. Solskjaer, as such, successfully managed to get United back on track after a disappointing defeat against PSG and here are 5 tactics from the Norwegian that helped United win the game.
#5 Team Selection
Tasked with getting his team selection right in a vital away game, the Norwegian opted for Romero in goal, continuing with the trend of using the Argentine in the cup games. In the back four, he brought in the fit again Chris Smalling alongside Victor Lindelof. While he had the luxury of retaining his tried and tested midfield, he was forced to change things in the top. He opted for the power of Lukaku and the poise of Mata alongside Marcus Rashford.
Sergio Romero was good in goal and made some crucial saves in the first half. Even though Chelsea piled the numbers into the United box, the defense held on in the first half. Smalling added a welcome strength and character in the back four as he bullied Higuain into submission.
Mata and Lukaku were decent in their roles and brought the rest of the team into the game. United's counter-attacking strategy worked well thanks to the qualities that these two added and their runs off the ball were equally impressive.
In the second half, the Norwegian kept United ticking by making smart substitutions, bringing on Sanchez for Lukaku and Pereira for Mata. But by getting his team selection right, Solskjaer helped United win the game.