FA Cup 2018-19: 3 takeaways from Manchester United's 2-0 win against Chelsea
Manchester United beat Chelsea 2-0 in their FA Cup 5th round match at Stamford Bridge yesterday to keep their hopes of winning silverware alive. It was United’s 12th win in 14 matches under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, and came as a morale booster after their disappointing loss against PSG last week.
Chelsea, on the other hand, lost their 3rd consecutive match against a big team, and their coach Maurizio Sarri is in a rather awkward position now at the club.
Both the United goals came in the first half. Ander Herrera scored in the 31st minute to put his side ahead and Paul Pogba increased their lead in the 45th minute. Chelsea kept looking for the elusive goal in the second half, but could not find it, crashing out of the competition as a result.
Here, we take a look at the 3 takeaways from the match:
#1 Chelsea’s midfield lacks creativity, Higuain's mixed bag
Chelsea’s midfielders held their own against United in the match. In fact, it would not be an exaggeration to say that they controlled the game and even created more chances. Gonzalo Higuain impressed with his play in the final third, but could not find the target. He blasted the ball over the bar on one occasion and forced a good save from Sergio Romero on another.
N’Golo Kante and Mateo Kovacic played reasonably well, but were not incisive enough to breach United’s defence. Pedro was highly ineffective for Chelsea on the right wing, and should have been substituted in the first half itself.
It will be interesting to see whether Chelsea decide to keep him in their squad next season. He has scored only 7 goals in 34 matches this season, and those kinds of numbers are not good enough for a regular starter in a big team.
Eden Hazard worked hard on the left-wing but failed to trouble Ashley Young, United’s right-back. He failed to play decisive one-twos with Higuain and thereby breach United’s defence. It might be Hazard’s last season at Chelsea, as he has constantly been linked with Real Madrid.