Chelsea took on Manchester United on Sunday night and a win would have taken us into the top four. Tuchel made some interesting decisions as Mendy started in goal and the back 3 remained the same with Azpilicueta, Christensen, and Rudiger. Hudson-Odoi started at right wing back while Chilwell came in on the left. Kante, and Kovacic started in the midfield with Mount, Ziyech, and Giroud starting up front. It was clearly a team setup expecting that United would sit back.
The first half was even on both sides. United decided to press for once, and it didn’t really cause Chelsea any problems. What did cause problems for Chelsea was the fact that we had no pace up front to exploit the spaces left behind the United centre backs. The first half did see Giroud go close with a brilliant cross by Hudson-Odoi and the Frenchman just fell short. There was another VAR decision when Hudson-Odoi, and Greenwood both handled the ball and depending on which team you support it was either a penalty or not. The referee did go to the screen and he decided it wasn’t a penalty.
Tuchel made a change at half time as Hudson-Odoi came off for Reece James, both due to injury and maybe a tactical switch. The 2nd half did see Chelsea create more and we had a few more chances. Ziyech went close and forced De Gea into a big save while Werner could have scored if Lindelof had not made a tackle at the back post. United were limited to shots from outside the box. Mount also made a brilliant run but his shot was blocked off. The game ended goalless with Chelsea having had a solid 2nd half but missing that final touch once again.
Chelsea Team Review
Mendy got another clean sheet and it was a solid game. Mendy didn’t have much to do over the 90 minutes and it was an easier game than expected.
It was a solid performance by the defence once again. Christensen continues to impress in the centre while Rudiger also had another solid game. Azpilicueta led from the back. Chilwell had a good game in place of Alonso and his pace was good to see compared to Alonso. Hudson-Odoi did well in the 1st half before he was taken off. Reece James was solid and should have had an assist or two.
Kante and Kovacic were very good as a pair in this game. Kante made a game saving tackle late in the 2nd half while Kovacic and him spread the ball well. Mount was his usual self leading by example. With an attack that had Ziyech, and Giroud, Mount was the only outlet for Chelsea that had some pace and pressing ability up front. A good game by him.
Giroud had to solid chances in the 1st half with Shaw just about defending the first one while just missing a header by inches in the 2nd. Ziyech wasn’t great in the 1st half but the 2nd half was quite decent and he was able to dictate play better. The fact is that Ziyech centrally can’t make the same impact that he can make on the left wing. That along with the fact that United actually pressed meant that Ziyech lacked the time. Pulisic and Werner came on in the 2nd half but didn’t really have enough time to make an impact. Werner did go close though and would have scored if not for Lindelof.
Tuchel found it difficult in the 1st half and he made changes in the 2nd tactically which allowed Chelsea to create more. In these sort of games the fine margins matter and we were literally a whisker away from winning the game on 3 occasions. A draw doesn’t change things massively but the Liverpool game becomes a massive once once again.
Chelsea remain 5th in the table a point behind West Ham. Liverpool now sit 6th a point behind Chelsea and that game on Thursday takes another interesting twist. Either way we go again. COME ON CHELSEA!!!