Chelsea’s defeat to Manchester United has raised headlines within the press for various reasons as (Jose) Mourinho engaged Antonio Conte in a tactical battle. This match was crucial irrespective of that fact that both sides are not in contention to win the League title though this (the League) have not been confirmed mathematically for now.
Both sides played for pride and its individual (peculiar) relevance especially for Chelsea that needs to secure Champions League football next season. This was the case as Chelsea faced United in the weekend Super Sunday clash
However, with the outcome of the match, we take a look at three questions regarding the contest at Old Trafford.
Was Morata goal wrongly disallowed?
The Spanish forward endured a cagey outing against Manchester United as both sides (United and Chelsea) locked horns at Old Trafford. The likes of Chris Smalling and Victor Lindelof limited the player’s influences coupled with lack of creativity at some point in the vital areas for Chelsea.
In the second period Morata received a pass and finishing coolly beyond United’s goal but this was adjured offside despite the replay showing that Morata was slightly (arguably) onside when he received the ball.
This would have changed the complexity of the game and possible the overall match drama as Chelsea trailed 2-1 in the course of the contest even when a 2-2 scoreline could have been attainable following (Alvaro) Morata’s strike which clipped the post into the bottom corner of the net.
Has Lukaku proved doubter wrong?
This might be a step in the night direction as the Belgian forward made a massive contribution to the match. Lukaku has been accused of scoring only against the teams outside the top six as he failed to find the net against Liverpool, City and Tottenham Hotspur.
He was unceremoniously anonymous in the 3-1 away win over Arsenal at the Emirates despite contributing to United’s first goal of the match.
With his display against Chelsea, the forward will have his head held high as Mourinho urged the fans to cheer in support of the Red Devils after a bumping run by the big forward down the Chelsea defence in the closing stage.
Where did Conte get it wrong?
The Italian got his tactics right initially as Chelsea seized control of the contest, especially in the first 45 minutes.
Chelsea’s major problem began when United change the complexity of the match from a tactical point of view. This saw host crawling themselves back into the game after the intermission.
At that time, Cesc Fabregas should have been brought into to hasten play for the Blues but the manager held to that substitution for too long.
Substituting Eden Hazard for Pedro was really an aberration as Chelsea lost their attacking threat going forward. Giroud should have been sent out for faltering Alvaro Morata but Conte stuck with his plan which seems not to be working.
The end justified the means as Chelsea lost 2-1 away from home in a match which they could have easily won after taking the lead in the first 45 minutes through impressive star Willian.