Ander Herrera has stressed that it will take a team effort to nullify the threat of Eden Hazard during the FA Cup final on Sunday.
Jose Mourinho‘s side have made a habit of targeting Hazard in games against Chelsea, with Herrera overdoing it back in March of last season with two challenges which saw him receive his marching orders before half time.
A month later, however, he executed the job perfectly as United strolled to a dominant 2-0 win over the then Champions-elect.
But Herrera, speaking in an interview this week, has made it clear that it would take more than just him to keep Hazard quiet.
“If we want to stop him we need it from all of us, like we did at Old Trafford,” he said.
“But if Jesse and Marcus, and Felli and Paul, who were in front of me, hadn’t done the job they did, Hazard would have received the ball. They were playing with three defenders and Jesse and Marcus did not let those defenders come with the ball easy and then play to Hazard or to Willian.
“I know I was on the front page the next day, but credit for Marcus, Jesse, Paul and for Fellaini, they were in front of me stopping that easy ball to Hazard.”
Herrera was the beating heart of Man United’s 2-1 win over Tottenham Hotspur in the semi-final, bringing a tempo to the game which allowed the likes of Paul Pogba and Alexis Sanchez to flourish.
And therein lies the key to winning any big game, really – not how many times Herrera can chop down Hazard but rather the speed at which United as a collective play. They played with confidence and power against Antonio Conte’s side in February and Hazard, without having a designated marker, was nullified as a result.
Mourinho will need to make sure his players do the same on Saturday.