Manchester United failed to score in another high profile Premier League match away from home, after losing 1-0 to Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Sunday afternoon. Alvaro Morata scored the only goal in early stages of the second half with a beautiful header after an inch-perfect cross from Cesar Azpilicueta.
No Imagination From Manchester United
Manchester United showed similar problems from the match against Liverpool some three weeks ago. They were prepared to earn a point away from Old Trafford. What they were not prepared was to cause more trouble to Chelsea’s recently vulnerable defence.
The Blues controlled the game for its most part, as visitors only slightly threatened in the final quarter of an hour of the game. Ander Herrera and Henrikh Mkhitaryan did not inject much needed creativity to a team lacking it severely. Chelsea fans did not have to fear like they did against Roma in two Champions League matches. United’s inability to create great chances, let alone score a goal, showed the same weaknesses is in some of the previous matches.
No Plan ‘B’
This has been a bit of problem recently and this time it was fully apparent. Simply, Manchester United do not have a plan ‘B’. Jose Mourinho sent his team in a 3-4-2-1 formation, to match Chelsea with man-to-man. However, that did not work out well. N’Golo Kante and Tiemoue Bakayoko as a duo were much more dynamic in the middle of the park than Nemanja Matic and Ander Herrera.
On the other hand, United’s attacking players were almost invisible at times, Marcus Rashford included. Still, Man United did not know how to adjust. Changing things around when it is not going well is a strength of big teams and Mourinho and his players have not shown that yet.
Several Poor Displays… Again
There were several players most of Manchester United fans will be criticizing. Romelu Lukaku was not a threat to Chelsea goal. That could be a case of both himself not offering enough to the team and his team-mates not giving him enough support and feeding him with good service.
— The Sportsman (@TheSportsman) November 5, 2017
Mkhitaryan disappeared a month and a half ago and we do not know if he has any intention of returning. As well, Juan Mata has not been doing great either. All of this only tells you how poor Manchester United have been going forwards.
Morata Offers Something Lukaku Does Not
This was a match with one of many subplots. Chelsea’s 4-0 drubbing of Man United last season, or their poor recent performances. But it was also about teams’ main strikers. Lukaku was almost a new Chelsea player last summer, yet in the end he opted for the Reds. Alvaro Morata came to London from Real Madrid. In this match particularly, he showed why the Blues will not miss Belgian striker.
Morata offers something different to Lukaku. His work-rate is much better, he operates in huge areas of the pitch, moving from left to right flank. Morata’s industriousness is very valuable to how Chelsea play, but the goal he scored showed why he is different, as well. As Azpilicueta made a cross from deep, Morata buried a header from around 14 yards out with such force that David De Gea was nowhere near saving it.
The Spaniard is able to score goals when you maybe are not expecting them. Lukaku, on the other hand, looks like a striker that simply needs a lot more chances (and better chances) to score regularly. And Manchester United players are not creating them right now.