Monday night was a huge night in the battle for top four supremacy in the premier league as Chelsea and Manchester United engaged in a slug fest to determine who’ll come out tops in the battle for top four and United ran out deserved winners beating Chelsea 2-0 at Stamford Bridge.
Goals from Anthony Martial at the cusp of half time and another goal from captain Maguire was all that was needed to give Man United it’s third win over Chelsea this season.
Chelsea started with Caballero; James, Christensen, Rudiger, Azpilicueta; Kante, Jorginho, Kovacic; Pedro, Batshuayi, Willian while players Kepa, Tomori, Zouma, Alonso, Barkley, Mount, Giroud made the bench.
Ole Gunnar Solksjaer’s line up had De Gea, Bailly, Maguire, Shaw. Wan Bissaka, Matic, Fred, Bruno, Williams; James, Martial in an orthodox 3-4-21 formation with new boy Odion Ighalo making the bench alongside Romero, Jones, Dalot, Mata, Pereira and Greenwood.
In the first ten minutes Willian had two chances to open the scoring for Chelsea but fluffed his lines, then in the 12th minute, defensive midfielder Kante went down off the ball and couldn’t carry on, forcing Chelsea to make an early change.
A decisive moment occurred just before the half hour mark, when Batshuayi shoved Maguire off the ball.
The United defender on reaching the floor lifted his boot into the air and hit Batshuayi in the groin area, the referee upon consultation with VAR didn’t red card Maguire, a decision that would have greatly changed the game’s dynamic if the card was issued.
Both teams continued canceling each other out as half time approached then just at the cusp of half-time, bang!! GOAL!
From an unexpected move, Martial scores for United after Wan-Bissaka twisted and turned down the right and passed a delightful cross for Martial who nodded inside the far post.
Both teams made no changes for the start of the second half and in it’s first ten minutes Chelsea bossed possession while United were happy to press with a high back-line.
At the 56th minute, Chelsea had a goal ruled out by Video Assistant Referee technology after Chelsea thought they had leveled up through Zouma’s volley from a corner. But VAR showed Azpilicueta pushed Brandon Williams during the corner kick ruling the goal out.
The game turned for worse to Chelsea’s disadvantage in the 67th minute as United skipper Harry Maguire jumped up during a corner to hit a header past goalkeeper Caballero to double the visitors’ lead.
Chelsea later introduced Mason Mount and Giroud but it was all too late even though Giroud had a goal ruled out for offside. In the last 4 minutes, Man United introduced January signing Odion Ighalo to a raucous applause from the away fans end in the stadium.
Nigeria’s Odion Ighalo whom made history on Monday night as he came on for new club Manchester United in the 2-0 win over Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, replacing Anthony Martial in the 90th minute.
Ighalo wearing the number 25 jersey, broke two records on Monday night – He is now the fist Nigerian player to play for United since the creation of the club 142 years ago and the 200th player to make appearance for Manchester United in the Premier League.
The Nigeria ex-international and a former Premier League star with Watford, came back to the premier league having joined the Red Devils from Shanghai Shenhua on a six-month deal in January.
A song by The Countdown Kids says ‘London Bridge is falling down’, but after Monday night’s match between Chelsea and Man United, it is safe to sing – Stamford Bridge is falling down.