Chelsea won 1-0 in the FA Cup final, beating Manchester United on a Saturday afternoon with Eden Hazard scoring the only goal from the penalty spot. The Blues managed to win the trophy they failed to get in the final of last season, while Man United finish the season without a trophy.
Manchester United Have Not Improved Enough
Manchester United have improved in 2017-18 when compared to 2016-17. Manchester United have not improved enough, as they fail to win any of the four possible trophies. Manchester City spent plenty and had one of the best seasons in a single Premier League campaign. Liverpool are 90 (or 120) minutes away from winning the Champions League even after selling Coutinho, while Chelsea have won the FA Cup.
That is not good enough for a club that has Jose Mourinho as the manager in the past two seasons and that has spent incredible sums of money. No one is disputing that United are better than they were last term, but the team is still playing a brand of football that looks unsustainable for the seasons ahead. There will be a lot to do this summer.
In-Form Eden Hazard Is Unstoppable
This was one of those games when Eden Hazard is eager to play football. He was unstoppable throughout the match and only his poor decisions in some situations did not bring more fruition to his team. Hazard scored from the spot after Phil Jones brought him down and then continued to torment United’s back four. He made another two shots, while dribbling past the players in red shirts.
On couple of occasions, the Belgian was brought down in central areas of the pitch where it was obvious how much United struggled with keeping up with him.
Marcus Rashford Is Lacking Confidence
The FA Cup final of 2018 is the match Marcus Rashford will want to forget as soon as possible. The young Englishman lasted 73 minutes in this final, but there was next to nothing he did well. He missed one big chance while also failing to create anything for his teammates. It is obvious that he is lacking confidence.
Mourinho has often talked well of him, but Rashford started only 17 of his 35 Premier League matches this season. It is highly possible that Rashford is type of a player that needs more of arms around him to fully prosper, but on Saturday it was easy to ask the question why Anthony Martial did not start instead of him.
Jones And Smalling Make Southgate Think Again
Couple of days ago, Gareth Southgate announced his England team for the World Cup, with Phil Jones included and Chris Smalling not part of the 23-man list.
However, this match will give him some food for thought, as Jones had a very poor game, especially because of the penalty he made in first half, while Smalling looked like a proper rock at centre-back. Smalling did everything well, stopping attacks on the right side, helping Antonio Valencia out wide. His tackling and intercepting were really good. It will be interesting to see how things will work out for England this summer.