Four lessons learned from Manchester United's 2-0 win over Chelsea
Manchester United are back to winning ways after beating Chelsea 2-0 at Stamford Bridge.
Ander Herrera and Paul Pogba scored goals to set up a FA Cup quarter-final with Wolves.
Here are four things we learned from United’s win…
Ole moves a step closer to sealing job
This was a statement from Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. There were inevitable and legitimate questions after the PSG defeat as to how United would respond.
This game was key to show United can bounce back, and there was no ‘bubble’ which had been popped.
United passed the test. The players showed fight, and looked determined to prove a point.
Solskjaer is the lead contender to earn the United job full time, and last night’s win was a pivotal game.
A victory over Liverpool at the weekend would surely seal it, but suddenly it doesn’t feel as though Solskjaer’s job depends on it.
This was United’s first win at Stamford Bridge since Sir Alex Ferguson was in charge, another notch on Solskjaer’s belt.
3 man midfield is the perfect combination
United’s defence, attack, and goalkeeper all saw changes for the tie, but the three man midfield remained the same.
Paul Pogba and Ander Herrera were both outstanding, scoring goals to go along with their tenacious performances.
Nemanja Matic got a bit fortunate not to be given a second yellow card. Despite this he was outstanding, and looked a class apart from Chelsea’s lost defensive midfielder Jorginho.
Solskjaer changed the midfield against Burnley and it backfired. It looks like his favoured trio are the formula to success and he is rightly reluctant to change it.
Pogba’s suspension against PSG will mean an enforced change, and it’s intriguing to see which way he will go.
Both Andreas Pereira and Scott McTominay came off the bench, with Fred left on the sidelines.
Credit where it’s due to Chris Smalling
This was only Chris Smalling’s second game of 2019 and he was outstanding.
Like Phil Jones, he has improved his game under Solskjaer and he looked solid alongside Victor Lindelof.
Smalling, Bailly, and even Jones are all battling for the centre-back spot alongside Lindelöf and at present it appears pretty even.
United are likely to sign a new centre-back in the summer and all three are playing like they don’t want to be forced out.
It’s just not happening for Romelu Lukaku
It’s just as well Pogba and Herrera got forward to score United’s goals because Romelu Lukaku was ineffective once again.
He flashed an early volley into row Z and offered little else. There was a chance in the second half when Marcus Rashford broke clear, but Pogba could not get onto the end of his cross.
United want to see a powerful and dominant performance from the Belgian. Instead he looks a yard short of pace and his touch remains suspect.
In a game where 10 United starters were outstanding, Lukaku was strictly average.