It’s going to be a bumpy ride!
Manchester United beat Chelsea 4-0 in a game whose scoreline does not tell the whole story. The final game of MW 1 did not disappoint from the get go as Ole selected his strongest possible lineup for the game. Maguire slotted straight into the starting XI along with a front three of Rashford, Martial and Pereira with Pogba, Mctominay and Lingard playing behind them. Lampard chose a mixed lineup but with the best available defence as Kepa started in goal with Azpi, Christensen, Zouma and Emerson making up the back four. Kovacic and Jorginho started in the pivot with Mount, Barkley, and Pedro starting behind Tammy upfront. Pulisic started the game from the bench.
Chelsea began the game with fire and hunger as Tammy hit the post with a great shot within 3 minutes. Chelsea created chance after chance in the opening 15 minutes but De Gea, and luck were on United’s side, along with the lack of finishing one can associate with Chelsea. United’s first goal came agains the run of play as Zouma tripped Rashford in the box to concede a penalty. Rashford then stepped up and gave United the lead in the 18th minute. United then dominated the next 10-15 minutes in which they kept possession as well as created chances but Chelsea stayed strong and got back into the game as Emerson hit the post. De Gea made some more saves as Chelsea went into half time 1-0 down when it should have easily been 1-2 or 1-3.
The second half started in similar fashion with Chelsea on the front foot but as Chelsea were caught in possession United countered with pace and Pereira whipped in a ball for the arriving Martial to finish, United made it 2-0 at the 65th minute. Chelsea could not gather themselves and Pogba played a brilliant pass into Rashford’s path who was unmarked and he scored the third in the 67th minute. Chelsea were done and dusted and we lost all cohesiveness in the final 20 minutes as Pulisic, Giroud, and Kante could not make any massive difference. Daniel James then got a dream debut goal from the bench as United made it 4-0 in the 81st minute.
4 goals for Ole and United as they climbed to 2nd in the table while 4 mistakes for Lampard and Chelsea dropped to 19th in the table. In all honesty the game did not feel like a 4-0 loss, Chelsea were the better team for about 60 minutes and could easily have had 2-3 goals on a better day. The pressing was intense and Chelsea made some brilliant passages of play in the first half. Mount was for me the best player in the first half he was active, and covered every area of the pitch as he connected passes and even got a couple of shots. Tammy did well initially but drifted as the game went on. Zouma and Azpi need to be called out for a poor game. Zouma was at fault for 2 of the goals and he really felt out of sorts although it is a first game and it’s to harsh to make judgements but this game was not great. With every passing game I feel Azpi’s time at right back is coming to an end. Azpi just does not have the legs to play the expansive football and was caught out for two of the goals as well. The return of Reece James could not be more important and for me he will make the biggest difference down the right hand side.
Did we miss Hazard? No. We had creativity we created plenty of chances but we were not good in our finishing and were unlucky other times. It is the first game of the season and I can assure anyone reading this that when everyone is back fit Lampard will probably field a much changed lineup. Looking at the bench itself Kante, and Pulisic should have started although we do have a game against Liverpool. CHO, RLC, James, and Rudiger can arguably start in this team and would make it better with the likes of Pedro dropping to the bench. Take this result, learn from it and move on, there are 37 more games to play and it’s actually good we suffered a loss and a big one we can learn from. Cancel out the silly mistakes and the results will follow. COME ON YOU BLUES!!!