5 Things We Learned From Manchester United 2-0 Chelsea: Red Devils Hand Spurs Title Lifeline

The Blues are now just four points clear of Tottenham at the top of the table after goals from Marcus Rashford and Ander Herrera

Manchester United handed Tottenham a huge lifeline in the Premier League title race by recording a 2-0 victory over Chelsea at Old Trafford.
The defeat leaves Antonio Conte’s side four points clear of Spurs at the top of the table.
Marcus Rashford fired United ahead in the first half, latching on to Ander Herrera’s inch-perfect lobbed through ball to slot past Asmir Begovic in the Chelsea goal.
And Herrera turned scorer after the break, his deflected effort wrong-footing the Bosnian to double the Red Devils’ advantage.
Here are five things we learned…

1. United lucky with handball decision

Herrera appeared to handle in the build-up to the opener (Photo: Action Images via Reuters)
Ander Herrera’s pass around the Chelsea defence for Marcus Rashford to plunder United’s opener after seven minutes was majestic, but the midfielder got away with handball moments before providing the assist.
Chelsea’s players were rightly aggrieved with ref Robert Madley for spotting that Herrera had used his hand to stop the flight of Nemanja Matic’s pass.

2. Hazard man-marked out of game

Hazard failed to have an impact on proceedings (Photo: Action Images via Reuters)
In the modern game, man-marking is often seen as an out-dated, old-fashioned tactic, but Ander Herrera’s stalking of Eden Hazard, following the Chelsea forward wherever he went on the pitch, worked for United.
 
Hazard was unable to exert his usual influence on the game and Chelsea’s most potent attacking player was rendered impotent. The same could be said of Pedro, who suffered a similar fate at the hands of Matteo Darmian.

3. Rashford takes his chance

Rashford celebrates his opener (Photo: PA)
With Zlatan Ibrahimovic left out of United’s starting line-up in the Premier League for the first time, Marcus Rashford was handed the chance to show he can lead the line and play effectively through the middle.
The 19-year-old was up to the challenge, scoring United’s opener, getting in behind Chelsea’s defence and terrorising them with his pace and clever movement off the ball.
He had further opportunities to score, but confirmed here he can thrive as an out-and-out striker.

4. Herrera gets revenge on Chelsea

Herrera celebrates his goal with teammates (Photo: PA)
Ander Herrera was cast as the villain of the piece at Chelsea last month, when two fouls on quick succession saw him earn two cautions and a subsequent red as United lost 1-0 in the FA Cup.
Herrera felt hard done by on that occasion, and played like a man intent on atoning here, setting up Rashford for United’s opener and scoring their second with a deflected strike.

5. Chelsea suffer with late change

Alonso limped off after the warm-up (Photo: Getty Images)
When Marcos Alonso was injured in the warm-up, Chelsea boss Antonio Conte was forced into a late reshuffle, bringing Kurt Zouma into his defence, an enforced move that undermined the visitors at the back.
There was no communication or understanding between Zouma and David Luiz, with United taking full advantage of their uncertainty at the back.


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