I’m sorry this blog post came late, almost 7 hours after the match. I was frustrated but that’s football. Manchester United drew 1-1 against Chelsea in an entertaining encounter at Stamford Bridge on Sunday. Though United played better but one point could easily have been three for United on Sunday.
Jesse Lingard scored the biggest goal of his footballing career with a superb swinging effort at goal with the ball that flew past Thibaut Courtois, but a potential victory was cruelly taken away by Diego Costa’s 91st-minute leveler. The result leaves United still 5th in the Barclays Premier League and 6 points behind 4th-placed noisy neighbors, Manchester City, yet the spirit that underpinned this United performance suggests progress can be made.
Its not yet Uhuru but Louis Van Gaal (photo: center) is not going anywhere. There are already rumors of Manchester United having talks with Jose Mourinho – but that’s what it is – rumors!
The Costa equalizer I must admit, shows United what they’re missing – a strong defense capable of defending goals from opponents like Chelsea, especially if you’re leading after great efforts. We should have defended that lone goal by Lingard – but we didn’t – and that’s sad, very sad.
The clincher was that Louis van Gaal had never before made a substitution that made a fundamental improvement to the level that Manchester United have played at. He might have chucked on the scorer, or the man to provide an assist, but never has he raised the game in a sustained way.
Jesse Lingard: Goal Won Him Man Of The Match! | Chelsea 1-1 Manchester United | Watch FANCAM below:
This was a chance for Van Gaal to show why United is one of the greatest teams, the Red Devils. Instead, United went 1-0 up at a perennial blues rival and was unable to defend the lead.
I was sad but that’s football for you.
MATCH STATS AT HALF-TIME
POSSESSION: Chelsea 39% United 61%
SHOTS: Chelsea 6 United 8
SHOTS ON TARGET: Chelsea 1 United 3
CORNERS: Chelsea 3 United 10
United Team: De Gea, Darmian, Smalling, Blind, Borthwick-Jackson, Fellaini (Schneiderlin 78′), Carrick, Lingard (Memphis 86′), Mata (Herrera 94′), Martial, Rooney.
Subs not used: Romero, McNair, Varela, Pereira.
Booked: Blind, Smalling
Van Gaal: “I think we played a superb game until the last quarter. We did not keep the ball and we did not play the attack in the way I think we have to do. We were unlucky that we got the goal against us, it was unbelievable. We did not reward ourselves.”
Mata: “We played very good football. Coming here to Chelsea isn’t easy, but particularly in the first 30 minutes and in the second half we played well – we had it so close. But Chelsea were always pushing and they scored a late goal and we didn’t have any time to get another goal. It’s frustrating.”
Lingard: “We played the majority of the game well, and to concede so late feels like a defeat. We’ve got to move onto the next game now. The goal was just instinct to turn and hit it. I was glad that it went in but it was the three points that we wanted.”
VAN GAAL’S VIEW ON CHELSEA DRAW
Louis van Gaal was admittedly disappointed by Manchester United’s 1-1 draw at Chelsea, after seeing his side lead for half-an-hour before conceding a Diego Costa goal in added time, yet the manager was encouraged by his team’s performance at Stamford Bridge on Sunday.
Here are the main points from the manager’s post-match interview with Sky Sports
On United’s performance and the result: “I think we played a superb game until the last quarter. We did not keep the ball and we did not play the attack in the way I think we have to do. We were unlucky that we got the goal against us, it was unbelievable. We did not reward ourselves.”
On the reasons behind Costa’s late goal: “It is because of Chelsea pushing with long balls and more aggression, but nevertheless you have to keep the ball and we have to be composed when we defend. We have to make sure we are not kicking the ball away without any meaning. There were a lot of times when I think we could have controlled the ball and played the ball. Also, we could have scored after the first goal, I think, but we do not reward ourselves. When you play such a game against a fantastic team like Chelsea, you have to reward yourself.”
On his own mood after the result: “It is deep frustration for me because we were the better team. Again, we did not win and we had the chances but we did not win.”
On the things United could have done better: “The defensive organisation, you have to be composed. When you can control the ball, you have to control the ball and then you can play it out, not just kicking the ball away and then the next attack of Chelsea is there. I don’t think that all the fouls were free-kicks but this referee gave them a lot of free-kicks at the end of the game. The time was also already over the six minutes and he let the corner kick play on. Then we had a free pitch for us, a lot of space, and then he whistled. He did that in the first half as well, maybe you remember that, so I think you cannot do that. I don’t think that was fair to two teams.”
On United’s aims and ambitions this season: “When your aim is to be third, second or first then you need to win because the gap is already big and the gap is now bigger than before and that is not good. I know that we have to play a very nasty away duel and match against Chelsea. Of course, I shall say to my players that it was a fantastic performance until the last quarter, I have said that
already, but we have to reward ourselves because it is not the first time this has overcome us.”
Jesse Lingard made my day, but they didn’t defend it . . .
Watch Jesse Lingard Goal – Chelsea 1 vs 1 Manchester United . 07.02.2016 –
Up Man U!