Chelsea 2 (Mata, Ramires) Manchester United 3 (Luiz OG, van Persie, Hernandez)
1. What goes around comes around. We’ve finally ended the ten year duck of no victories at Stamford Bridge but no doubt it is going to be completely forgotten as controversy gripped the weekend once again.
Chelsea fans are going to feel hard done by but it’s about time that they got a taste of their own medicine. They’ve had their fair share of decisions against us in the last few years. David Luiz somehow staying on the pitch in last year’s 2-1 victory and Drogba’s offside winner that all but won them the league in 2010 stand out, so I have no sympathy for them.
The officials have robbed us before and now it is their turn to be the victims of some poor decisions. Although, I hope there is real ground to the claims made against Clattenburg and that it isn’t just sour grapes,
2. Manchester United’s best 30 minutes of football this season. We’ve been terribly slow out of the blocks in most of our games this season but it couldn’t have been any different yesterday – and what a game to choose to show up in.
We cut them to shreds and were two goals up with 20 minutes. Chelsea didn’t know what to do. Tactically, we crushed them against a brick wall and gave them little to no space on the ball at all. The defensive work of Valencia, Young and Rooney gave us the extra bodies in the midfield that made it impossible for the trio of Hazard, Mata and Oscar to work their trickery.
For all the plaudits that the diamond formation has earned this season, yesterday was the perfect example of how United can bring the best out of a traditional 4-4-2. Rooney dropping deep and leaving van Persie up top on his own gave us a massive presence in the midfield and Chelsea simply didn’t have any answer for the first 30 minutes.
After that, they were cutting right through us and the half time whistle couldn’t of come any sooner but those first 30 minutes showed us that tactical variety is going to be a necessity this season.
3. Great saves, Dave.
David de Gea was outstanding yesterday and if it wasn’t for his saves, we would have lost the game – simple. He’s had a torrid time since his move from Athletico last summer but with a game winning performance like that at a ground we haven’t won at for ten years, few could argue who Manchester United’s number one is right now.
4. The importance of Robin van Persie. He hit the post for the first goal that went in off of David Luiz, scored the second and his shot led to Javier Hernandez’s winner.
The last time Manchester United won at Stamford Bridge was in 2002 when fellow Dutchman Ruud van Nistelrooy netted in a 3-0 victory – and the Dutch influence was obvious for all to see again yesterday.
He’s been brilliant since joining from Arsenal, absolutely brilliant. If not for the post and a wonderful save from Cech, he would have had a thoroughly deserved hat-trick.
We set up with an extremely deep lying formation and he had to work his socks off to give us a presence up top and he didn’t disappoint.
I don’t think Arsenal fans will be looking forward to next weeks trip to Old Trafford very much.
5. Javier Hernandez is back to his best. He does love scoring against Chelsea doesn’t he? His first in a United shirt came when he booted the ball against his own face in the Community Shield, he scored the equaliser last year in the 3-3 draw and two years ago scored within a minute in the title decider at Old Trafford.
After his brace against Braga midweek, he deserved to play and characteristically popped up at the right time to net the winner once again. He’s a goalscoring sensation and despite the prominence of van Persie now as our go to guy for a goal, every team needs a poacher.
He looks much improved this year with his first touch and general passing much better than they were before and it is adding a lot to his all round game. He’s got the ability now to be more involved with the build up play as well as simply finishing and with United involved in four competitions this season, Hernandez is no doubt going to play a big part of it again this season.