United Score Four Again And City Beat Chelsea At The Bridge

Posted: September 30, 2017 in Arsenal, Chelsea, European Football, Football, Manchester City, Manchester United, Opinion, Premier League
Tags: , , , ,

Manchester United turned up at Old Trafford prepared for a stroll in the rain. There was a crowd of more than 75,000 and an air of expectancy that this was a game United could use to reduce the goal difference amassed by Manchester City when they played Palace last week.

After five minutes it looked like they would get their wish as Juan Mata put them in front but in actual fact, the scoreline of 4-0 was a touch flattering and better teams than Palace would certainly have scored a couple of goals against this United side.

There were long periods of the game where Crystal Palace had far more possession than United and, had some of their decisions and passing been better, they may have left Old Trafford having scored their first goals of the season.

As it turned out they weren’t good enough to capitalise on their possession and United scored three more goals through Fellaini (2) and Lukaku.

In an interview before the game José Mourinho was asked about his team’s unbeaten start to the season to which he replied, somewhat sarcastically, that a Sky reporter had said that United “had not played any good teams yet“, so that must be the reason for it.

Whilst it is fairly obvious that Mourinho doesn’t agree with that analysis, it actually isn’t that far from the truth.

Some of the four goal wins have been decisive and ruthless, whilst others have been much harder fought than the scoreline suggests. Everton were unfortunate to lose by that scoreline, as were Crystal Palace so it will be interesting when United play Liverpool away in their first game after the international yawn.

Afterwards games against Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester City will tell us a lot more about this team but, one thing is for sure, they couldn’t have done more in their start to the season.

They have now collected 19 points from a possible 21 in the Premier League, (just the aberration at Stoke, where they conceded their only goals of the season, prevented their record being perfect), and 6 out of 6 in the Champion’s League.

Oh, and they beat Burton Albion in the Carabao Cup, scoring another 4.

Manchester City travelled down to London to face Chelsea without Benjamin Mendy and Sergio Agüero. Vincent Kompany did make the trip but only as a spectator.

Kompany and Mendy were injured whilst fighting for the cause, Agüero was injured when the taxi taking him to Schiphol airport was involved in a collision with a lamp post and the Argentinian ended up with a fractured rib.

There have been many quick to criticise Agüero’s trip to Holland to watch a concert but, in fairness, it was a day off and he could have been injured in his own living room so, more than anything, it is rank bad luck, although whether or not Pep Guardiola privately shares that opinion is debatable.

So to the game. A cagey first half was largely controlled by Manchester City without creating any clear-cut chances. In fact, at one stage after about twenty minutes, City had played 161 passes to Chelsea’s 44 and the Londoners were struggling to find any lengthy or meaningful possession.

When Morata went off after around half an hour there seemed a kind of poetic justice to it because of the absence of Agüero. The fact that Conte replaced him with Willian rather than Batshuayi pointed to him wanting a different approach by his team.

In fact, nothing really changed and at half-time it was 0-0.

The second half saw more of the same. Chelsea continued to labour and couldn’t get any space or time on the ball and in the 66th minute Kevin De Bruyne scored the goal that City had deserved all game.

By the way, is it just us or is Raheem Sterling to City what Jesse Lingard is to United? He is a headless chicken runner who loses or gives away the ball a lot. The fact that he scores the occasional goal should not give him a place in the team ahead of some of the better players.

Anyway, Chelsea brought on Pedro and Batshuayi to no avail and City, who had brought on Bernardo Silva and Ilkay Gündogan, saw the game out to win 0-1

So Manchester, yet again, had shown a couple of London teams how it should be done.

  1. RedMe says:

    I agree with J.M., teams in the lower part of the table fight hard when they play Manchester United. Too often in the past have we underestimated those and lost. We just will prove when time comes that we fight hard against any opposition.

    Liked by 1 person

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