5 things we learned from Chelsea vs. Manchester United

Manchester United fell to Chelsea yesterday.     (Image from The Guardian)

Summary:

Howlers from De Gea and a defensive slip up from the captain were some of the darkest spots for Manchester United as they suffered a humiliating defeat to Chelsea at Wembley. A late Bruno Fernandes goal was not enough to spur the boys to a comeback. 

Here are 5 things we learned from our game at the Wembley Stadium:

1. De Howler

I think that this will be on the minds of many irate and frustrated fans for the rest of the season. The mistakes De Gea made in this game were shocking, yes. What should have been routine saves for a keeper of his class turned into goals. Had they not occurred we may have even won the game, who knows. All it takes is one mistake and regardless of how well one's season could have been going, all the work could be undone. Many fans will be calling for Dean Henderson to replace our number 1 and I don't quite agree with it. I think that Dean Henderson should either go out on loan again or stay at United. That competition will force De Gea to rise to the occasion. People quickly forgotten that this season he has 12 clean sheets out of 36 games. Only five goalkeepers have bettered this record. The reason we could attribute to these kind of mistakes he is making maybe as a result of an improvement in the backline. Before when our defence was porous he would often be called to action and would be focused most of the time. Now with the addition of Wan-Bissaka and Luke Shaw returning to form he has much more idle time where he often loses concentration. But this will improve as he adapts to the better defence. So while yes he had a poor game against Chelsea, he can still perform when he is needed. 

2. Development of Squad Depth is vital

With Tottenham demolishing Leicester over the weekend, chances for United making it into Champions League next season have been raised. In order to secure fourth position on the log Leicester will need to beat us, provided we beat West Ham. Having said that our squad is not good enough to fight on all fronts next season. If we want to compete to win all major honors next season we will need to add some quality to our side. An injury to Bruno and our attack suffers. An injury to Lindelof and our defence will be exposed. An injury to Pogba and all of a sudden our flowing football may not be as effective. What I am trying to illustrate is that although our best squad could turn up against most teams, playing them all the time with no rest is not a good idea. 

3. Maguire-estic


For £80 million one would expect to be getting one of the world's best defenders in this day and age. Obviously it may be unfair to compare the price tag to that of Van Dijk's due to inflation and how fees paid for players have grown over the years. But, it is disappointing to see how Maguire has turned out. In the air he is a beast no doubt. Able to bully defenders and strikers alike, he has earned a penchant for his aerial ability. Which we were lacking in with Lindelof or Bailly. But on the ground he has a slow turn of pace and pacey players can take him on in a 1 on 1. While mistakes do happen, I feel that Maguire does not get as much stick as the other defenders do when they commit errors. Perhaps next season he will change my opinion of him for the better. 

4. Focus is on the Champions League

The starting line-up did not look like our best squad. Ole might have decided to rest players due to them having played every game and injuries, but one could also say that he doesn't want his best players to get injured what with Tottenham recording a victory over Leicester. The concentration may have been elsewhere with the focus being on West Ham. While certainly no team wants to go out and lose a semi-final, it looked like Ole's selection was not the strongest that could have been picked.

5. Lampard's got his tactics right. 

Lampard had his tactics on point. Even though the side had scored soft goals, they still had more chances and stifled us out of most of the ball. They had more possession and just wanted it more simply. 

Conclusion:

Howlers aside, the match against Chelsea showed that we were fatigued and outplayed. With Leciester losing out to Tottenham, Manchester United will be looking towards gaining a Champions League spot next season. Having said that losing out on going to the final in such a manner was humiliating. The only bright spark was Bruno Fernandes in what looked like a jaded side. Hopefully they will bounce back sharply against West Ham this week. 
                                                     

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