Manchester United came away from Stamford Bridge without any points but can be proud of their performance against the would be Champions. United went into the game with several injuries in key positions, Jones and Rojo were unavailable at the centre of the defence. Carrick was not fit after leaving the field early against City last week, Blind who has recently been playing at left-back but able to deputise for Carrick in the centre of the United midfield was also unavailable due to an injury picked up after the challenge from Vincent Kompany in the Manchester Derby. Luke Shaw returned at left-back for his first appearance since going off at half-time in the Fa Cup quarter-final against Arsenal at the beginning of March. Paddy McNair came into the centre of the defence to partner Chris Smalling. Wayne Rooney dropped back into the midfield and Falcao made a rare start up front.
Manchester United started the game the better and dominated the whole game with Chelsea sitting back and attempting to hit United on the break. This is disappointing to see from a team that is supposed to the best team in the Premier League. If this was United playing at home against Chelsea with United on the verge of winning the league title. I would want to see them just concentrate on their own attacking abilities rather than changing the team to try to nullify the opposition. As Chelsea did by bringing Zouma into their midfield because they were worried about Fellaini. Chelsea had just started to have a few decent breaks on United and got the only goal of the game through Hazard on 38 minutes. This goal and several other of the Chelsea breaks on United highlighted how much United missed Carrick in this game. Ander Herrera is a very good midfielder but the defensive side of his game is not the best, he lost the run of Hazard for the goal and several other Chelsea players were able to make a run on him during in the game.
I feel one of the main positives from this game was the performance of Luke Shaw on his return to the first-team. Shaw has suffered several injuries in his first season at United and the previous times he has returned from these injuries has looked very unfit. Today was different, Shaw has played for just over a month but I get the feeling that Van Gaal wanted to make he was fit before returning to the team. He may have had to settle for a place on the bench today if wasn’t for the injuries to Carrick and Blind. From the first minute of this game, he was looking to support Young and Fellaini down the left hand side and several of United’s best chances in this game came from Shaw attacking Ivanovic. Outpacing the Chelsea full-back several times and causing him to receive a booking in the second half. Shaw was withdrawn on 80 minutes, I feel this was a decision that was made before the game, he probably played longer than had initially been decided because of his good performance.
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