Saturday, 18 April 2015

Match report: Chelsea 1-0 United

A solitary first half strike from Eden Hazard proved the difference as despite a truly immense showing an injury hit Reds side slipped to an unlucky 1-0 defeat at champions elect Chelsea.

There was no question that the Reds deserved a point, but we were edged out by Hazard's moment of individual brilliance seven minutes before the break. 

United went into the game already up against it with four players missing through injury and the loss of Michael Carrick in particular was a massive blow.

We still controlled the early stages though and went close through Wayne Rooney, whom, playing in midfield, bent an effort narrowly wide from 18 yards following good work from Luke Shaw, who was impressive upon his recall.

Thibaut Courtois saved well from Paddy McNair's strike from distance but United's good work was undone when the home side took the lead through their only shot on target in the entire game. 

There was no disputing the quality of Hazard's finish, as Oscar's brilliantly disguised back-heel picked out the Belgian to slot in a composed finish under David de Gea.

The goal should not have stood, however, after a clear foul by Nemanja Matic on Radamel Falcao in the build-up. 

The same pattern of play continued after the break, as Courtois blocked a McNair effort from 20 yards and then Rooney's well-hit drive was deflected inches wide by Oscar. 

Falcao had worked hard and his endeavour almost paid off when he twice came within inches of an equaliser.
First, he was denied by a superb point blank block from Gary Cahill  and then, having escaped Kurt Zouma on the angle, rifled an effort against the post. 


Chelsea could have doubled their lead when Didier Drogba's shot was deflected over De Gea and fell to Hazard (my pick for Player of the Year), but he could only turn the loose ball against the upright. 

The Reds bravely continued to press but ultimately fell victim to Chelsea's resilience and defensive strength that their success this season has been built on.

United had a strong appeal for a penalty waved away in the dying seconds when Ander Herrera went down under a challenge from Cahill.

So United's six game winning streak has come to an end against a physical and well-organised Chelsea side who are now only two wins from the title, but we should be very proud of a depleted team who showed how far they have come under Louis van Gaal.

This side is growing and that can only be bad news for our rivals.

United Faithful Man of the Match: Luke Shaw
Overall team performance: 8.5/10












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