Manchester United won the match of the weekend, beating Chelsea 2-1 at Old Trafford on Sunday afternoon. Romelu Lukaku opened the scoring after half hour for the Devils, before Willian equalized six minutes later. It was Jesse Lingard that scored the winner in second half, after coming on as a substitute.
With this crucial win, Manchester United returned to the second place in the Premier League standings, while Chelsea now slipped outside of the top four, sitting in fifth and trailing Tottenham Hotspur two points. It will be a big race for that Champions League place.
Lukaku Finally Shows What Manchester United Need From Him
This is the most important thing we learned from this match. Romelu Lukaku showed a Man of the Match display against a Big 6 team, providing a goal and an assist. Prior to this match, he only had one assist in six matches against the biggest sides in the league and this was him proving what he can do.
It was also him showing what Manchester United need from him when they play sides like Chelsea – a commanding performance, as Lukaku took his chances and showed he is not all about the physical presence. The way he set up Lingard’s winning goal was more resembling a winger than a towering number 9.
Lingard Loves Big Occasions
And what about the Englishman? He simply loves these matches. It was a long time since Lingard last time produced either a goal or assist, but now he was golden substitute for Jose Mourinho. Just minutes after coming onto the pitch, Lingard showed his great movement to run in front of Andreas Christensen and connect a header after Lukaku’s measured cross to put United back in the lead.
This will be crucial for him, to regain his confidence that was sky high six weeks ago. However, it is also important for Lingard to make Mourinho tinker a bit more and try and integrate him into the side. In a 4-3-3, which United played from the start, it is harder seeing him play, but cameos like these are there to make Mourinho think.
The Unmistakable Nemanja Matic
What a classy performance from Nemanja Matic this was. Just as the voices started getting louder, talking about the Serbian’s drop in form recently, the defensive midfielder provided an almost unmistakable display.
How do you boss midfield? You do it like Nemanja Matic does it.
He had most touches, most successful passes, most possessions gained, most aerial duels won and covered the most distance.
— Stretford End (@stretford_end) February 25, 2018
It was expected of him to have a little dip in form as he played every match in the league and Champions League. Manchester United do not really have a substitute for him to give him deserved rest, but against his former team he looked like he did not need it either.
Willian Continues Sparkling Form
Against Barcelona he was Chelsea’s best player and against Manchester United he provided another goal. It was some week for Willian as he shined at the Champions League stage, hitting both Barcelona’s posts before scoring from outside of the box.
On Sunday, it was a bit different, as Willian together with Eden Hazard made the most out of Manchester United’s mistakes in central midfield to punish the Devils and level the match. Fortunately for the hosts, that result did not stay until the end of the match.