Full time:Manchester United 2-1 Chelsea

Peeeeeep! Off we go!

Full time:Manchester United 2-1 Chelsea

Peeeeeep! Off we go!

25 February 2018 Sunday 16:08
Full time:Manchester United 2-1 Chelsea

Peeeeeep! We have a second half

90+2: BLOCK! Chelsea work the ball foward and into Giroud. He smacks one low but Smalling gets tight to block it away. 


87: YELLOW! Smalling beats Morata to the ball and drives foward....Morata sprints back and tackles Smalling from behind right in front of the referee. Clear booking. 



85: GOAL...NO, DISALLOWED! Where's VAR when you need it? I jest. Fabregas flicks a ball over the top of the United back five and Morata sweeps it home on the half-volley from a tight-angle, although the referee had already blown. The ball flies into the bottom corner and replays actually show Morata was being kept on by Smalling. 

86 min: The pair do combine and it gives rise to some Chelseapressure, which ends with Morata seizing upon a Fabregas chip and beating De Gea ... only to be flagged *just* offside. That was very tight.

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1m ago15:48

85 min: What have Chelsea got left? Will Fabregas be able to dink one up to Giroud? He may get a chance to now as Matic takes a yellow for hauling Willian back in the middle.

82 min: Pedro puts a pass out of play, needlessly, and Conte has daggers for eyes. Forget the air of calm – he would hate to lose this. We get some on-pitch handbags in the meantime, Matic taking exception to a Rudiger challenge on Lingard.

81 min: Sanchez makes way for Bailly, now, in a move intended to hold onto what Mourinho has got. Disappointing afternoon for Sanchez really, but United won’t care if they grab the win. Drinkwater is replaced by Fabregas for Chelsea at the same time.79 min: Willian tries to beat De Gea again at his near post but this time the goalkeeper dives to save. Then Lindelof’s clearance is charged down by Morata and for a moment Pedro is in, but Smalling is in to bail his colleague out! It’s a corner, and on comes Oivier Giroud for Moses. That comes to nothing but perhaps Chelsea will shift things up a gear now, because I think they’ve been punished for taking it down a notch or two.

Goal! Manchester United 2-1 Chelsea (Lingard 75)

The substitute turns it right around! There isn’t a lot of obvious threat when Lukaku takes possession out on the right, far from goal and with defenders back. But Rudiger and Pedro don’t offer much challenge as he turns inside, improving his angle for a cross, and his left-foot ball in is perfect for Lingard – ahead of Sanchez – to meet with a flashing header past Courtois! Now Old Trafford is making some noise!

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2m ago15:38

75 min: A clumsy Alonso challenge by the corner flag gives Young the chance to make something. He shows Sanchez and Lingard how it is done, but Christensen gets to the cross just ahead of Pogba.

72 min: We haven’t seen or heard much from either manager in this half. We are shaping up for a pretty tame outcome in all departments.

69 min: Chelsea respond and Valencia is booked for a foul in a threatening position on the left. Can they put something together now? Willian flashes in a low delivery ... and De Gea does lose sight of it for a second, needing two attempts to gather.

67 min: Brilliant from both Lukaku and Courtois! Oh, that’s so much better. Lukaku twists in the air to take a chipped cross from the left and volleys towards goal with excellent technique – only for the goalkeeper to fingertip it over superbly!

66 min: United win a corner and this is a particularly dull spell so maybe ... no, Lingard’s delivery is even worse than the earlier one by Sanchez. There has, let’s be clear, been very little quality shown out there today.

ere is Lingard. He replaces the fairly decent Martial. I think Sanchez is lucky not to be the one hooked.

62 min: Half-hearted appeals for a United handball as Martial knocks it against – I think – Azpilicueta but that was never on. All told it’s been a slow start to the half with a couple of bursts of mild excitement. I think we’ll see Jesse Lingard soon, can he add something?

62: SHOT! Sanchez finds space about 30 yards out. He gets his head up but tries to skid a low effort towards the far corner - very poor. Well wide. Must do better.

59: SHOT! Willian cuts in off the left wing, beating Matic to the ball. He lets fly from 22 yards....but it skies into the crowd behind the goal. 


57: FUMBLE! Drinkwater bursts forward and thinks 'why not?' He takes a dig from 25 yards which is straight at De Gea - but the ball bounces slightly in front of the goalkeeper, who has the sun in his eyes. The ball squirms out into a dangerous area but Morata doesn't read the mistake. Young scrambles it away. 


54: There does seem more intensity and a more willingness to attack this half from United - although it's still with the handbrake firmly applied. 

Martial whips a corner into the mixer but Morata clears at the near post. 


51: WASTE! Chelsea again break. Kante pings a 60-yard ball down the channel for Hazard, who lines up McTominay and has Morata in space to his right. The Spainard is in acres of space but Hazard's pass is cut out by Smalling. 


49: CHANCE! United enjoy some territory but are then cut open on the break. Willian feeds Morata in behind, who nicks it past Smalling and is away down the left. He doesn't have the pace to get away from the defenders and has to cut back. It's still a good opportunity but his effort is blocked by Smalling fr

47 min: Pogba is pulled up for a foul – at least showing more fight there than in the buildup to Willian’s goal, when he completely failed to challenge for the ball before Chelsea countered
United start it. What dramas await?

Lukaku’s nicely-worked equaliser came at an important time for United, who have been the less impressive of these two teams. Willian scored a fine opener of his own, while Morata has hit the post and – at the other end – Sanchez missed a good chance. The managers have even had a bit of a chuckle together! Should be plenty more to enjoy in around 15 minutes, then.

44min: I should underline that United’s goal came from a very sharp interplay around the box. Perhaps this attacking shape can work after all! Now for a Willian free-kick, though, that is clipped towards Morata but ends up with De Gea.

41 min: Ooooh, Hazard almost gets a clear sight of goal after a quickly-taken free-kick but eventually enough defenders get back and the ball ends up with Alonso, who misses the target. This one has hotted up!

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4m ago14:45

Goal! Manchester United 1-1 Chelsea (Lukaku 39)

And that is, ahem, a response. Lukaku had not started this game well at all but is alive when Martial, receiving a sharp slide-rule Sanchez ball into the box, lays it off to him. He takes a touch and slides comfortably past Courtois from eight yards. I must admit I did not see that coming.

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6m ago14:43

38 min: United have ... errr ... mounted no response whatsoever yet and if anything Chelsea seem more exuberant. “Your city is blue ... just like London, your city is blue,” chant the Chelsea fans.

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9m ago14:40

35 min: Alonso takes a cute ball from Hazard and for a second you think it calls for a crack of that sweet left peg, but he clearly doesn’t like the angle and works it onto his less sweet right, curling well wide.

29: CHANCE! United are now in full flow. Martial is again the man with a plan down the left. His low cross drops to Sanchez about 15 yards out...he could take it first time but kills the ball into his path. This is a big chance...but he scuffs a low effort straight at Courtois. 



27: CHANCE! First sniff for Lukaku. United keep the pressure on down the left. His deep cross deflects to Lukaku about 10 yards out. He's got his back to goal but tries to swivvel...good block by Christensen. 



26: DANGER! Kante squanders possession and United counter with Pogba after a slip by Azpilicueta. He glides forward and finds Martial on the left wing, but his cross is cleared by Christensen. 



25: United find space after a thunderous tackle by Matic - the play moves out to Pogba on the left, who looks to curl one in for Lukaku but it's too close to Courtois. Easy take. 



23: FREE-KICK! Foul on right wing by Young. Willian comes across to whip one in, which he does with pace. Heads go up...but Matic wins that one. He's won every battle so far. 



20: Tempo has dropped here. Chelsea still bossing possession but can't quite find a killer ball. Morata gets in behind but Smalling is with him and prods the ball back to De Gea. 

18 min: A slower spell, with Chelsea dominating the ball. Willian wins a free-kick from Matic and ... wait for it ... Mourinho and Conte appear to share a joke in the technical area! I saw smiles! There’s your back page – certainly at this rate, because the set piece is cleared easily

14 min: Moses, busy early on and getting some joy, tries to bundle through on the right but Young does well. He gets a yard on Young moments later and Lindelof stabs the fizzed low centre away.

12 min: Lukaku lays off smartly for Sanchez after some good work from Valencia. It comes to nothing but United seem to have settled after being caught cold in those early minutes.

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3m ago09:15

10 min: Morata upends Pogba just beyond the left corner of the box and United have their first dangerous-looking situation. Sanchez will deliver ... but it’s easy for Courtois. Disappointing.

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5m ago14:13

8 min: Now Christensen takes the opportunity to run the ball forwards from defence but ends up losing possession. Chelsea are playing with freedom here though.

7 min: Now United put a few passes together and, as a minimum, they need that because Chelsea started like a train and ought to be a goal up.

5 min: Morata clatters the bar ... then De Gea saves! A delightful crossfield ball from Hazard to Alonso is equally delightfully volleyed across goal first-time by the wing-back – and Morata steams onto it, jabbing the ball plum against the crossbar at full tilt from close range! Hazard gathers the rebound as it bounces up, and his deflected effort is tipped over at full stretch by De Gea. The corner comes to nothing, but what a chance that was for Morata. He should score, if you look at the slow-motion, but in real time that was tough because Alonso drilled the ball across at such speed.

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3m ago14:08

4 min: Rudiger goes on a huge run from back to front, which takes him into a good crossing position inside the area, but he scuffs it a bit. Chelsea keep up the early pressure. United haven’t got on the ball yet.

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4m ago14:06

2 min: And that early Chelsea positivity wins them a corner. It’s pulled back low, quite cleverly, but Matic spirits it away from the primed Morata.

Chelsea get straight onto the front foot.

Jose Mourinho has decided to start with Paul Pogba in a midfield three along with Nemanja Matic and Scott McTominay. Victor Lindelof also starts alongside Chris Smalling.

Alvaro Morata is given the nod up top as the focal point of a front three for Chelsea with Eden Hazard and Willian. In behind those, Danny Drinkwater starts ahead of Cesc Fabregas. 


Team to play Man Utd: Courtois, Rudiger, Azpilicueta, Christensen, Moses, Alonso, Drinkwater, Kante, Willian, Hazard, Morata.

Subs: Caballero, Fabregas, Pedro, Giroud, Zappacosta, Cahill, Emerson.



Team to play Chelsea: De Gea, Valencia, Lindelof, Smalling, Young, Pogba, Matic, McTominay, Martial, Alexis, Lukaku.

Subs: Pereira, Bailly, Mata, Lingard, Carrick, Rashford, Shaw. 

Updated: 25.02.2018 19:31
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