Manchester United fell to a 1-0 defeat to defending champions Chelsea in the Premier League, as Alvaro Morata’s header secured all three points for Antonio Conte’s men at Stamford Bridge.
Here are the major Talking Points from the match:
Attacking Football Backfires
Jose Mourinho has always been criticised for deploying defensive tactics in the big games. The most recent examples of this were the 0-0 draw at Liverpool and last weekend’s 1-0 win over Tottenham. However, much to the pressure of the fans who want to see their team always on the top, and also because he wanted to avenge Conte’s previous wins, Mourinho opted for an attacking mindset today. However, the plan backfired, and Chelsea ran out the winners.
Well, maybe a dull 3 points are better than an exciting 0 points.
Poor Record at Stamford Bridge Continues
Manchester United obviously don’t love playing at Stamford Bridge. After all, why would they? Since the stadium opened in 2002-03, they’ve played 21 games there, losing 13 (!), drawing 6 and winning just 2 (!!) games. And they haven’t won at the Bridge since 2012, and that too was under Sir Alex Ferguson. With United trying to come back to the giants they’ve been in the recent past, isn’t it a big thing for them to keep losing at their rivals’ backyard?
So Does Mourinho’s against the Top 6
Jose Mourinho hasn’t had the best of starts to his United career. Well, if any evidence is needed for that, here it is- In the last 11 league games away to the Top 6, United have lost 6 games and have drawn five, failing to register a single game. With Mourinho trying to do big things with United and aiming for the league title, isn’t it necessary for him to address the elephant in the room and try and start winning away games rather than just parking the bus (didn’t do that here, but still!).
City go eight clear
City began Sunday on a high, defeating Arsenal 3-1 at the Etihad stadium. That made United’s game a must win already, and even a draw was bound to hurt, let alone a loss! Guardiola’s side are now eight points clear at the top of the table, and show no signs of slowing down. Well, maybe bookies slashing the odds on City lifting the title in March itself isn’t far-stretched.
Fellaini and Rojo return
This match marked the return of Marouane Fellaini, who hadn’t played since the last international break. And even though he looked off the pace at times, his return would certainly be a big fillip to Jose Mourinho’s side, which was evident from their dominance in the final third after the Belgian’s introduction. Another reason for the fans to cheer was the return of Marcos Rojo, who didn’t play any part in the game, but travelled with the squad anyhow. He’s been out with an ACL injury since May, and it’d be interesting to see if he’s the good Rojo, who we saw last season, or the poor Rojo, who we saw the season before.
Pogba and Ibra to return after the Break?
Both Paul Pogba and Zlatan Ibrahimovic have stepped up their efforts in training, and there were rumours that both would be surprise inclusions in the away squad. However, that didn’t happen, and according to fresh reports, both are expected to start against Newcastle United on November 18.