Jose Mourinho's much-talked about return to the Stamford Bridge turned sour as Manchester United were thrashed by his former club Chelsea 4-0 in an incredible display of football. Here is a look at the heroes and zeroes from this game.
Thibaut Courtois - 8/10
Two of the best goalkeepers in the world faced off today and both ended up having contrasting 90 minutes on the pitch. The Chelsea No.1 made a crucial double save in the first half, where he kept out Herrera’s long-range shot before denying Lingard on the rebound. Kept out Ibrahimovic, Lingard, and Rojo in the second half. A fairly solid outing for the Belgian.
Cesar Azpilicueta - 7/10
Azpilicueta version 2.0, who is a center back now, is turning out a brilliant new acquisition for Chelsea. It was another satisfying performance at the back for the defender who kept things simple. Close spaces. Clear danger. Repeat.
Marcos Alonso - 8.5/10
When the left back launched the ball forward on the halfway line in the 8th minute, it looked nothing more than a speculative clip into space. However, Pedro’s pace and hard work turned it into an assist. The Spaniard was one of the best players on the pitch tonight. He dominated the left wing and pinged Valencia back for most of the game. He was solid defensively as well and did well against Lingard and Mata after he came on.
David Luiz - 6.5/10
One of Luiz’s better performances. With him, you are never really sure of which version of Luiz will turn up on the pitch, and luckily for Conte, the one controlled by a 10-year-old on a joystick decided to stay at home. He was lucky to remain on the pitch, though. His crunching challenge on Fellaini’s knee with the studs pointing upwards deserved a red card. Tonight, he got only a yellow.
Gary Cahill - 8.5/10
He wore the armband today, and he led from the front. The Englishman has not been at his best this season, and he has come under a lot of criticism recently. However tonight, he scored the 2nd goal from the corner and then guided his team to a clean sheet. In the absence of John Terry, Chelsea needed someone to step up, and finally, Cahill came to the party.
Nemanja Matic - 7/10
Matic, like Cahill, has not been at his best recently but tonight he was solid defensively. His presence also allowed Kante to roam forward with a considerable amount of freedom. To top it off, the pass to find Hazard inside the United box in the second half, which led to the third goal, was astute.
Eden Hazard - 8/10
Chelsea’s talisman is back to his best. He kept running at the United’s defense throughout the night. His pace and directness were too much for the visitors to handle at times and in the second half, he was the outlet for Chelsea on the counter attacks. A treat to watch when on song.
N'Golo Kante - 8/10
The midfielder received a lot of criticism for his showing against Arsenal or lack of it rather. However tonight, he has perhaps produced his best performance since signing for the London club. To add to his dominating display in the middle, that drop of the shoulder before scoring the fourth goal was a thing of beauty.
Victor Moses - 8/10
From being an outcast, Victor Moses is quickly becoming a vital part of this Chelsea team. Conte’s new system has opened up a place for him in the side, and Moses is utilizing it the fullest. For an attacking player, he was fairly solid defensively, and he created a lot of chances with his marauding runs down the right wing.
Pedro - 9/10
The Spaniard has not been able to reproduce his form from his Barcelona days since moving to London. But if today’s performance is anything to go by, we could see the best of him yet. His hunger and desire created the first goal. He also added an assist in the second half, when his cute little back hill put Kante through.
Diego Costa - 7/10
He did nearly everything other than finding the back of the net. The striker hassled the United defenders and pulled them all over the place with his movement. He attracted a lot of fouls and created a lot of space for Hazard and Pedro with the United defenders busy handling him.
David de Gea 4/10
Made some crucial saves in the first half. If not for him, Chelsea could have wrapped up the game and not come back for a second half to complete the annihilation. But he made an erroneous move forward instead of staying back when Pedro came charging for the first goal.
Antonio Valencia 4/10
Played too far up the pitch in the lead-up to the first goal. But, made good tackles in the first half. Sent some very good crosses from down the right flank, but was let down by the forwards.
Eric Bailly 4/10
Made some good tackles later, but was caught in no man’s land for that crucial first goal.
Chris Smalling 1/10
Smalling utterly failed to stop Pedro in the first, and was completely unaware of Cahill leaving the Chelsea captain to score an easy open goal. Failed to commit to Kante on the fourth goal as well.
Daley Blind 3/10
Was equally culpable for the first goal as Smalling. Failed to beat the man in multiple passes and cross from out wide.
Marouane Fellaini 3/10
Was slow and thus ineffective in stopping the Chelsea runs through the midfield. Looked lost once he was bypassed and could not track back.
Ander Herrera 4/10
Tried to move the ball around, but was closed down too often for lack of support. Was better once Mata came on in the second half, but still could not make a bigger impact.
Marcus Rashford 3/10
Showed his lack of experience and was kept on a leash by the brilliant Cesar Azpilicueta all through. Tried to make a few forward moves, but nothing materialized out of them.
Paul Pogba 3/10
Failed to press Matic when he came up with the assist for the third goal. Let Kante have a free run and remained a close ‘observer’ all through that Kante goal.
Jesse Lingard 5/10
Was the best United player on the field. Made some great runs down the wings and had one shot at goal as well.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic 2/10
Mostly ineffective in the first half except for that one shot on goal. Missed an easy header early on that could have equalized the match. Missed a horde of consolation chances all the way until the 91st minute.
Juan Mata 3/10
Stepped up to take Hazard but completely forgot his man in the run-up to the third goal.
Sterling or Aguero? Who will score a goal?
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