Monday 24 October 2016

Chelsea 4-0 United: Where it went wrong at the Bridge

While Conte's Chelsea seem to have found a formation and system to suit them, Mourinho's United are still searching for ours.

It looked like we might have found it on Monday at Anfield when we were solid, aggressive, hard to beat and a threat going forward.

We still had chances at Chelsea but everything else was a shambles from start to finish.

We were opened up too easily, lacked basis defensive nous and did not have the same attitude and discipline.

The Liverpool goalless draw was a fantastic performance, where we looked like we were happy to dig in and defend but against Chelsea we did neither.

Conceding after 30 seconds killed the game plan and forced Plan B, but trying to chase the game made things worse. 

Instead of staying compact and being hard to beat, we tried to play out of trouble and fell right into Chelsea's hands.

The hosts were not bothered about allowing United more possession because the more we had of the ball, the more wide open play would become and that enabled Chelsea to hit on the counter.

The longer the game went on we took too many chances at the back and looked extremely vulnerable, with catastrophic results.

Ragged, shambolic and disorganised - something you would never associate with a Mourinho team - we lost concentration and the third and fourth goals epitomised our defensive display.

Yes they were good finishes from Hazard and Kante but the ease with which they raced through the defence was embarrassing.

Chris Smalling had arguably the worst game of his career in a United shirt. 

At fault for the first goal, he failed to pick up Cahill for the second and gave Hazard all the time and space in the world to pick his spot and score the third. 

Daley Blind was also off the pace and, to compound things further, Eric Bailly picked up a nasty looking knee injury.

Defeat at the Bridge was no great surprise but the manner of it certainly was and it leaves Mourinho with a lot of work to do.

You can't legislate for going 1-0 down inside a minute but the good news is that we have realistically winnable fixtures coming up.

In the next weeks we host Burnley and Arsenal and travel to Swansea and I think it's going to be one of the seasons where there is not going to be a runaway winner so we just need to stay in touch.

Every team has a blip and a bad result once in a while and you don't win the league in October so the next few weeks are important as we're only six points behind and things can change very quickly in this league. 

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