By Kiran Thakare
- 1-1 draw leaves United six points behind City in fourth place
- What are the five things we can learn from this encounter?
Manchester United drop further behind in the race for the top four as they came back home with only one point from Stamford Bridge.
The Red Devils were very good for majority of the game and were rewarded for their hard work with a brilliant goal from Jesse Lingard.
United then switched off for the last 15 minutes of the game,which allowed Chelsea to come back in the game and get the equaliser.
The Old Trafford side now sit 6 points away from the fourth position and the chances of Champions League football looks bleak next year. The following are the five things that were learnt from Stamford Bridge on the stroke of full time whistle.
Darmian starting to pick up form
Matteo Darmian is slowly getting back the form which was seen at the start of the season. The Italian defender has been very good since coming back from the injury he suffered against Southampton.
The right-back was doing his defensive duties perfectly as he kept Oscar at the bay and then dealt with Eden Hazard well on the right flank. The former Torino defender was also potent going forward, whipping in brilliant crosses in to the box. A very promising sign for United.
United should start killing off the game
United were on top at the start of the second half as they had many good chances. Lingard buried one off this chances and United were cruising at the stroke of 60 minutes.
The Red Devils instead of going for the kill ,sat deep and allowed Chelsea to pile pressure. Van Gaal has emphasised on controlling the game when the side is in lead and United have been lacklustre in recent week while protecting the lead.
They dropped the points in the similar way against Newcastle few weeks ago. The Old Trafford side needs to go for the kill once they are on top of the opponents rather than being cautious.
Width is rejuvenating United’s play
The one of the most positive aspect of United’s play in last two three games is the use of width of the pitch.
Anthony Martial used to drift in centrally when he was first used a left winger by Van Gaal, but now the Frenchman continues to stick to his position and stretches the defences by creating chances from left flank.
The full-backs have also been more adventurous and the crosses have been brilliant from both of them. The width is surely helping in revival of attacking play for Manchester United.
Substitute decisions by Van Gaal continues to be bizarre
Van Gaal was praised for his substitutes at World Cup last year, but since arriving at Old Trafford the Dutchman has been making bizzare decisions from bench.
The substitution of Memphis Depay for Jesse Lingard was very poor considering the defensive aspect Lingard provides while tracking back. Marouane Fellaini was having a decent game but then he was substituted for Morgan Schneiderlin.
If Van Gaal was looking to see out the game then probably it should have been Schneiderlin for an attacking player as Fellaini,Carrick and Schneiderlin would have shielded better. Van Gaal needs to rethink about his decisions about substitutes and improve in the coming weeks.
Memphis needs to improve his decision making drastically
There has been criticism for Memphis Depay for giving the ball away at final third in extra time which could have probably double United’s lead.
The Dutch winger has been enduring a tough debut season at United. He will surely improve with time and the first thing he needs to work on his decision making on the pitch.
The winger often tries to be impressive on the pitch rather than keeping things simple. He surely needs to work on his defensive work and concentration but decision making is the first thing Memphis needs to sot out if he wants to make it big at United.
Manchester United: De Gea, Darmian, Smalling, Blind, Borthwick-Jackson, Fellaini (Schneiderlin 78), Carrick, Lingard (Memphis 86), Mata (Herrera 90+4), Martial, Rooney Substitutes Not Used: Romero, McNair, Varela, Pereira