United were able to pull off a huge away win in a must-win game at Stamford Bridge this evening. With a solid defensive performance and a little help from VAR, United were able to jump to 38 points and step into striking distance of the top…5.
Manager: Ole Gunnar Solskjaer – 7
Looking like a 3-4-1-2 from the start, I thought Ole named the strongest possible starting XI today. Matic in midfield after an extended break looked fresh, Fred was strong in midfield and the defense was a brick wall blocking 10 of 17 Chelsea shots. We looked sloppy at times in possession and it was by no means a great performance, but it was positive.
GK: David De Gea – 6
Had very little to do due to a rock solid defensive performance. United’s third clean sheet in five games.
RCB: Eric Bailly – 7
Got off to a shaky start in his first game since April 2019. Gave the ball away to Pedro early on that ultimately led to nothing. Can’t blame the guy for starting with a bit of rust. Once he shook it off though we saw what we love about Eric Bailly; pure athleticism and putting his body on the line. Won all of his aerial duels and produced a goal saving tackle late in the game that reminded us all of Vidic.
CB: Harry Maguire – 8
Great game for the captain other than the Rudiger “incident”. Made several interceptions on the defensive end and pinged the ball around. Finally got his first premier league goal for United on a pint point whipped corner by Bruno. Btw, not buying his story about not wanting Batshuayi to fall on him; that was a clear red card – lucky to have not seen read and Chelsea will feel hard done by his goal.
LCB: Luke Shaw – 8
Actually looked very solid in defense today. Read the game well enough to play CB and ventured into the attack frequently with Brandon Williams
RM: Aaron Wan-Bissaka – 7
Relatively quiet night for AWB but when he popped up, it was explosive. Twisted Willian and left him in the dust for his gorgeous cross in for Martial’s opener, and rose some tensions after taking exception to the high press of Azpilicueta. Defended well and moved the ball otherwise.
CM: Fred – 7
Did a little bit of everything tonight as he has done for a few months now. Made 14 defensive recoveries while also being an option for teammates and completing 82% of his passes. Fred has really settled into a nice groove of consistency.
CM: Nemanja Matic – 8
Very disciplined – classic – Nemanja Matic performance. One that his old boss, Jose, would be proud of. Shielded the back 3/5 while moving the ball forward with safety and consistency. What a difference rest makes late in your career…
CAM: Bruno – 8
What an exciting performance. Not just because of all of what was on display, but knowing this was only Bruno’s second game for United. His on-field presence and leadership dictates the tempo and the confidence of the squad. He leads with quality and quickens our tempo on the ball which undoubtedly makes any team better.
A very pleasant surprise is his ability from the dead-ball; inches from a worldie of a free-kick from a tight angle and a whipped corner in for Maguire’s header. We’ve watched our corner takers hit the front post defender for 3-4 years now. No more! Exciting time. Looking forward to seeing Bruno improve as he settles in more and more.
ST: Daniel James – 5
Has looked very Lingard-like the last three months or so. No need to panic though as he is still very young but performances nowadays consist of hard work, missed shots and misfired crosses, unfortunately. Easy to see why United is linked to Jadon Sancho as a RW starter. Would probably be good for Daniel’s development.
ST: Anthony Martial – 7
A pretty average performance until the goal. Was getting bodied the entire half and looked like he had drifted out of another game. The goal was a great header from United’s best cross of the season.
SUB: Andreas Pereira – 5
Ran around hard
SUB: Odion Ighalo – 5
Was in on goal for a dream debut goal but shot into the keeper
SUB: Diogo Dalot – 5
Defended and saw out the game