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Manchester United v Chelsea 1-3: FA Cup semi final

Both Manchester United and Chelsea came into this game in reasonably good form, but the 4 changes and the tactical switch from Solskjaer did United no favours at all. From the first whistle Chelsea were in complete control and United were all at sea. Even though Chelsea were on top they’d barely worked De Gea. The only real threat to his goal was a long-range effort from Reece James which he dealt with comfortably.

It was like a training game for Chelsea they were knocking the ball around with ease. United couldn’t get near them. As the pressure started to build there was a nasty collision of heads which left Eric Bailly in a bad way. From the minute he went down you could see he wasn’t going to carry on. This forced Solskjaer into a change. He brought on Martial and went back to a more familiar formation.

No sooner had Eric Bailly left the pitch, United found themselves 1-0 down. Azpilicueta raced down the right-hand side, put a low ball into the box which found Giroud, who then steered the ball past David De Gea. The goalkeeper will feel he should of done better! The half time whistle went and United couldn’t complain about being a goal down.

The second half started as the first began and United found themselves 2-0 down. A long-range effort from Mason Mount somehow found its way past David De Gea in the Manchester United goal. Really poor goalkeeping and he must have been hoping the ground would of swallowed him up. Shortly after Solskjaer made two changes. Paul Pogba came on for Fred, and Mason Greenwood replaced Daniel James. Unfortunately for United, nothing changed.

Chelsea were in so much control it was frightening. You just felt another goal was inevitable for Lampard’s men, and on the 74th minute it arrived. De Gea, seconds before had made a smart save from a Reece James header, but United didn’t clear their lines. The ball found its way to Mason Mount who then found Alonso on the left-hand side. He drove the ball into the box and Rudiger forced Maguire to turn the ball into his own goal. United were 3-0 down and it was no more than Chelsea deserved. The game was up for United and had been for a long time. They did get a goal back on the 85th minute. Martial got tripped in the box and Mike Dean pointed to the spot. Fernandes stepped up and sent Caballero the wrong way but it was to little to late for United.

To many changes and the change in formation didn’t help either. So many players looked leggy and the passing reflected that. United can have no complaints though, they were second best all day. Chelsea rightly through to the final.

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Andrew Belcher
34. Sports Coach. Manchester United season ticket holder ⚽

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