Manchester United 1-1 Chelsea
A performance of fight, passion and spirit as United earn a very well deserved point in the last minute of added time against league leaders Chelsea
Before this game most people had written United off saying there is no chance United will get anything from this game. However one thing the doubters didn’t count on was Louis van Gaal. The way the manager set out his team was simply perfect the midfield set up of Fellani, Mata and Blind completely dominated Chelsea’s world class midfield with Cesc Fabregas being non existent his passing was poor and every time he looked up Marouane Fellani was all over his making him rush his passes. Phil Jones picked up yet another injury in training on Saturday so Chris Smalling came into the side alongside Marcos Rojo. Considering the two had never played with each other before in the centre of defence they were absolutely fantastic and handled Didier Drogba very well and didn’t let Chelsea bully them at all. For a player no one had really heard of before the World Cup its fair to say Marcos Rojo has been one of our most consistent performers so far this season and has really adapted well to the league. Before the game everyone said the game would be won in the midfield and they were right and its not unfair to say that United won the midfield battle all game and Van Gaal proved why he is famous for his tactical brilliance because he outfoxed Mourinho in this game and United were unlucky not to take all three points and were unfortunate to fall behind in the first place.
When the game kicked off it was clear to see that United had set up with a 4-3-3 system obviously with the intention of dominating the midfield battle. United got off to a good start despite Chelsea forcing two corners within the first three minutes United managed to get into their passing game with a very nice rhythm which we are starting to see consistently now. United caused Chelsea a lot of problems with Robin van Persie forcing the Chelsea keeper Courtois into a good save. From the selection of Marouane Fellani it was clear to United wanted to use his arial ability both offensively and defensively. Fellani was getting a lot of joy in the inside left channel with Chelsea failing to pick him up all over the pitch. He was extremely clever with his movement and was everywhere putting in a really good shift as well as that his passing was calm and precise. The first half ended 0-0 despite the brilliance of United. Chelsea came out with a different approach and were putting United under a lot more pressure forcing the defenders to miss place passes which didn’t happen in the first half. Chelsea forced an early corner following a quite spectacular save from David De Gea after Eden Hazard was one on one with our Spanish keeper. Cesc Fabregas swung in the corner which Didier Drogba headed past the despairing De Dea to make it 1-0 to Chelsea. For some reason Rafael was marking Drogba which is complete mismatch and was an obvious thing to avoid.The goal didn’t dent United’s passion or attitude they kept believing in the game plan set to them by the manager and threw absolutely everything at Chelsea as well as staying strong and smart in midfield and defence. It started to look like Chelsea were going to do one of their famous Mourinho smash and grabs as United couldn’t break down the stubborn Chelsea defence. A major turning point as Ivanovic was sent off for a second yellow. United had a free kick on the edge of the box which Di Maria put in towards the excellent Fellani who headed at Courtois who could only parry into the path of the captain Robin van Persie who was not going to miss and managed to give United a dramatic late equaliser. The passion from van Persie was simply amazing the whole team was ecstatic to get the very late equaliser and it was really well deserved and a credit to the managers tactics for this game.
The manor of this draw can be a major turning point for the team. If the team can adapt the same attitude against Man City next Sunday then there is every chance we can get another positive result at the Ethiad. Every player on the pitch gave everything and as fans that’s all we want from our players and Louis van Gaal has brought the passion and the never give up attitude back to United which disappeared last season. This is defiantly a point gained because of the fantastic performance of every player on the pitch and because they ever gave up.
My Man Of The Match: Marouane Fellani