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Manchester United v Chelsea Live Commentary, 28/04/2019

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Mata (11)
Marcos Alonso (43)
Old Trafford


This concludes our commentary of the Premier League fixture between Manchester United and Chelsea. We hope you enjoyed the game!
Manchester United are back in action next Sunday when they face already relegated Huddersfield Town. Chelsea have a Europa League semi-final tie against Eintracht Frankfurt on Thursday before a return to Stamford Bridge on Sunday when they host Watford in the Premier League.
90 minutes were not enough to separate the two sides as Manchester United and Chelsea finish at Old Trafford square at 1-1. The hosts opened the match the brighter of the two sides, scoring after 11 minutes and showing real attacking intent, but they were pegged back just before half-time through Alonso’s close-range finish after De Gea made a mess of Rudiger’s long-distance strike. Manchester United pushed forward in the second half, looking to take the three points which would see them go level with their opponents in the table, but not even seven additional minutes were enough to help the Red Devils in their quest for a 20th league win of the season. Chelsea were seemingly happy to settle for a tie after a match in which their attacking trident never quite found its rhythm, but the result is ultimately positive, as it keeps the Blues fourth, two ahead of Arsenal, and three ahead of Manchester United with two games left.
90' + 7' Higuain stays onside as he’s played into the Manchester United six-yard box, but De Gea makes himself big and blocks the close-range effort, which surely would have been the winner had it gone in!
90' + 5' Pedro plays a loose pass into midfield, which Kante was unable to get on the end of. A late sliding tackle from Shaw allows Chelsea to retain possession via a free-kick in their own half, however, saving the Blues' blushes.
90' + 3' Sanchez finds Rojo with a wonderful corner-kick, but Pedro is on-hand to make the goal-line clearance which keeps the score at 1-1 after 93 minutes played and four remaining!
90' + 1' The fourth official indicates an additional seven minutes at the end of the match for stoppages - of which there were quite a few.
A. Young
Yellow Card
Manchester United
89' Young takes Pedro down right in front of the managers’ technical area, and receives a yellow card for the foul.
88' Hazard finds Kepa with a pass as Chelsea look to take time off the clock. Though a single point wouldn’t be the best of results, it certainly wouldn’t hurt as it will still extend the Blues’ lead over Arsenal who are fifth.
86' A lofted cross from the left falls to the head of Pogba on the edge of the penalty area, and the France international looks to slip it through for the run of Lukaku – who could not hold his line as the referee whistles for offside.
84' Willian has been limping since he was tackled by Rojo – and Sarri will heed the warnings and replace him. Pedro is on for the final six minutes.
83' Chelsea look to switch play from right to left but a high, hanging pass allows Pogba to nip in first and turn defence to attack. The ball is immediately sprayed forward looking for the run of a striker, but Kepa quickly fills the space and lays claim to the pass.
S. McTominay
Manchester United
81' McTominay is Manchester United’s final substitute – with Mata making way.
M. Rojo
Yellow Card
Manchester United
80' A yellow card is shown to Rojo for a tackle made on Willian with his studs showing. It’s dangerous play from the centre-back, who was only introduced nine minutes ago; he should feel slightly lucky it wasn’t red.
78' A misplaced pass from substitute Loftus-Cheek ends a spell of Chelsea pressure and allows Young to restart play from a throw-in. It’s a wasteful touch from the newly introduced midfielder.
R. Loftus-Cheek
M. Kovačić
76' Kovacic is replaced by Loftus-Cheek in a move Sarri wanted to make prior to Rudiger’s injury.
73' The pace of the match has slowed considerably after a number of injuries in quick succession – which forced both Solskjaer and Sarri into substitutions. With 15 minutes left – and a draw not likely to help either side, will one side be bold and push for a winner?
M. Rojo
E. Bailly
Manchester United
71' It’s Rojo – not Darmian – who replaces Bailly in defence as the centre-back is unable to continue following that knock.
69' Chelsea haven’t gone three Premier League games without a win since September 2016. Following that previous run, the Blues went on a 13-game winning streak in the competition.
67' Play is stopped as Herrera takes Kovacic down with a slide tackle – sending the Chelsea midfielder into Bailly who comes off worse. Darmian is up and going through his paces as it looks that his introduction is imminent.
A. Sánchez
M. Rashford
Manchester United
65' Rashford is called off as Sanchez is his chosen replacement with 25 minutes remaining.
A. Christensen
A. Rüdiger
65' Christensen replaces the injured Rudiger in the first switch of the match.
63' As Chelsea are set to make a switch, Sarri is forced to deal with another issue as Rudiger goes down away from play, seemingly holding onto his knee. The initial switch looked to be in midfield, but the centre-back does not look able to continue as Christensen rises from the bench to go through his warm-ups.
61' Hazard does brilliantly to dribble past both Young and Rashford, but his disguised pass for Higuain to start a counter-attack goes unread by the striker on-loan from Juventus. The two exchange heated words as the opportunity dissipates – allowing Manchester United to keep the Blues pent in their own half.
59' The game slows in pace as we approach the hour mark, with the two sides still level. Manchester United are holding onto possession around the centre circle after being forced back from Chelsea’s 18-yard box.
57' Higuain has his head in his hands after Hazard shifts the ball to Willian on the edge of the penalty area on the right. The Brazil international looks up and tries to find the striker at the far post, but De Gea comes off his line to make the save.
55' Hazard wins a corner-kick after cutting inside and looking to curl a ball into the far corner, before Lindelof comes across to steer it away from goal.
M. Kovačić
Yellow Card
54' Kovacic is shown Chelsea’s second yellow in as many minutes as he is booked for kicking the ball away after the referee chose to award Manchester United a free-kick for foul play. It’s a silly booking for the Real Madrid loanee to pick up.
Yellow Card
52' Willian is in disbelief after receiving a yellow card for a slide tackle on Matic in midfield. Replays do suggest that the winger won the ball before making contact with his former Chelsea team-mate, but the referee remains unmoved.
50' Rashford takes a free-kick – located just outside the penalty area – towards goal, sending his bouncing effort towards the far corner, but Kepa gets across well and manages to make the save without bobbling.
48' Kepa’s miskick allows Manchester United to attack from a throw-in, but Herrera has the ball poked away from him – forcing Pogba to pass it back into his defence.
46' Chelsea get the second half underway from the kick-off!
Despite the goal, Chelsea’s laborious attack leaves little to be positive about, as every forward thrust was seemingly dictated by the capabilities of Hazard. There has been precious little link-up play between Higuain and the two playing just off of him – with perhaps the introduction of Giroud the solution. For Manchester United, they have probably done enough to end the half ahead, but they could have been more than 1-0 up before Chelsea’s reply, had they been more clinical. The result hangs in the balance with the second half upcoming, though a draw doesn’t really help either club.
Manchester United were rewarded for their early endeavour through Mata’s goal, but a late Alonso equaliser means the two enter the interval level at 1-1. It was a first half in which the hosts looked quite comfortable early, having more shots on target as well as a larger share of possession. Chelsea came into the game as the half progressed and eventually found a goal out of nowhere when Rudiger’s blast from distance exposed De Gea’s difficulties in saving long shots – which allowed Alonso to storm in and finish with a follow-up effort. Chelsea’s attack has generally been slow and ponderous – much the opposite of United’s pace – but there is nothing to separate the two sides after 45 minutes.
45' The fourth official indicates two additional minutes for stoppages.
Marcos Alonso
43' CHELSEA ARE LEVEL THROUGH ALONSO! 1-1! It’s another poor attempt at a save from De Gea, who bobbles Rudiger’s long-range shot. The goalkeeper is unable to keep the bouncing ball under his grasp as Alonso storms in and taps the rebound past the Spain international!
Ander Herrera
Yellow Card
Manchester United
43' The first yellow card of the game is shown to Herrera for a sliding tackle just inside his own half on Alonso.
41' Pogba is taken down by Azpilicueta near the left touchline. Chelsea look to be struggling to get to half-time, but the set-piece comes to nothing as Young is unable to find Bailly at the far post. Kepa can breathe a sigh of relief as four minutes of the first half remain.
39' Pogba looks to cut inside with a rapid turn of pace and direction – fooling Jorginho into fouling him. Young’s free-kick is taken short to the aforementioned France international – but Chelsea do just enough to smuggle it behind for a corner.
37' Manchester Utd have won their last two Premier League home games against Chelsea – they’ve not beaten the Blues in three top-flight games in a row at Old Trafford since January 1957 under manager Matt Busby.
35' Azpilicueta is down holding his face after apparently taking the arm of Matic to the nose, but the referee completely ignores the collision and urges play on – much to the frustration of the home support. It looked to be a clear foul – but there will be no punishment from referee Martin Atkinson.
33' Hazard seemingly runs out of options around the penalty area as he just tries to find a team-mate with a low cross towards the far post, but the Red Devils swarm the loose ball and turn defence into attack quickly.
31' Alonso slips as he sends a cross into the penalty area from the left, but even a well-delivered cross would require some luck, as Manchester United have as many as six defenders within their 18-yard box. It falls to the back post for Kante, but Shaw once again lays claim.
29' JUST WIDE OF THE GOAL! Bailly gets the better of Alonso as he rises to meet the corner, but his accuracy is just off as he misses the bottom-right corner.
28' Shaw and Pogba get pinned near the Chelsea corner flag but some intelligent work from the left-back wins Manchester United a corner-kick.
26' Azpilicueta has stayed high up the pitch and swings a cross into the area – but once again for Chelsea the service is poor as its thwacked away, again by Lindelof.
25' Azpilicueta gets into the penalty area but Willian’s searching pass for the right-back is intercepted immediately by Lindelof who hammers it away.
23' Chelsea once again have possession in Manchester United’s half, but the build-up play is slow and ponderous. There is a distinct lack of movement in the attacking third for Sarri’s side, who look desperate to find Hazard during every foray forward.
21' Willian’s attempts to get into the penalty area are thwarted by Shaw – who has had a fantastic start to the match in both defence and attack. The Brazil international is forced to pass it backwards, slowing down the attack and allowing Manchester United’s defenders to reorganise.
19' Willian’s outswinging corner is met by the defensive head of Lukaku. It eventually comes to Jorginho outside the penalty area, but his long-range effort misses the target entirely.
17' The free-kick is dead-centre, just above the semi-circle on the edge of the penalty area and it’s Alonso who hits it with venom – but the full-back skies his effort.
16' Hazard is scythed down by Herrera just outside the penalty area. The referee doesn't produce a card – but he does give Chelsea a chance to hit the target for the first time today from the set-piece.
15' Mata’s side-footed finish is Manchester United’s first goal from open play in just over 527 minutes – since McTominay’s opener in a 2-1 loss to Wolves on April 2.
13' Chelsea have looked lethargic as they seem thoroughly unable to get a foothold in the match. The hosts have been the more enterprising of the two clubs and have been rightfully rewarded for their endeavour. The Blues will really need to start dictating the tempo – or they will get overrun.
Manchester United
11' MATA SCORES FOR MANCHESTER UNITED! 1-0! Lukaku scoops a sensational pass over the top of Chelsea’s defence for Shaw, who gets his square pass right on this occasion – searching for Mata. The ball takes Kepa completely out of the play, allowing the former Chelsea midfielder to tap it home!
L. Shaw
Manchester United
11' The finish may have been Mata’s, but the goal is credit to Shaw for his intelligent run, and his wonderful assist.
9' Lukaku plays a pass to the left for Shaw with his back to goal, but the cross from the left-back intended for Pogba is immediately intercepted by David Luiz, who reads the play well.
7' Kante goes on a bursting run through midfield to try and get Chelsea out of their own half – but the ball rolls a little too far ahead of the midfielder as he is unable to pick out a pass for Willian to keep the move going.
5' Rashford does fantastically well to turn Alonso using some nifty footwork and get into the penalty area, but the one-two pass with Mata is slightly uncoordinated – leaving the striker little other option than to move the ball on quickly, which Chelsea capitalise on to get it away.
4' LUKAKU THWARTED BY KEPA! The striker makes a brilliant run to get on the end of Shaw’s long pass and get himself into the penalty area – but he’s unable to take his shot early, twisting and turning before his eventual effort is smothered by the Chelsea goalkeeper.
3' Manchester United have started the match on the front foot, knocking it around slowly before pushing it down the right via Young. They’ve tried it twice in the opening two minutes, but Rudiger and Kante have snuffed out the danger on both occasions.
1' Manchester United get the match underway!
Chelsea make four changes to the XI that drew 2-2 with Burnley last Monday. Rudiger replaces Christensen in the heart of defence, while Emerson drops to the bench – allowing Alonso to play left-back. In midfield, Kovacic starts over Loftus-Cheek and an enforced switch sees Callum Hudson-Odoi unable to play due to an Achilles rupture sustained against Burnley. Willian is the man chosen to fill the void.
Manchester United make five changes to the side that lost 2-0 to Manchester City midweek. Bailly replaces Smalling at centre-back, while the return of Herrera and Matic drop Fred and Darmian to the bench. In attack, Pereira gives way to Mata, who plays behind Rashford and Lukaku – the latter replacing Lingard in the starting line-up.
CHELSEA SUBS: Willy Caballero, Pedro, Ross Barkley, Andreas Christensen, Davide Zappacosta, Olivier Giroud, Ruben Loftus-Cheek.
CHELSEA XI (4-3-3): Kepa Arrizabalaga; Cesar Azpilicueta, Antonio Rudiger, David Luiz, Marcos Alonso; N’Golo Kante, Jorginho, Mateo Kovacic; Willian, Gonzalo Higuain, Eden Hazard.
MANCHESTER UNITED SUBS: Sergio Romero, Matteo Darmian, Alexis Sanchez, Marcos Rojo, Anthony Martial, Andreas Pereira, Scott McTominay.
MANCHESTER UNITED XI (4-3-1-2): David De Gea; Luke Shaw, Victor Lindelof, Eric Bailly, Ashley Young; Paul Pogba, Nemanja Matic, Ander Herrera; Juan Mata; Marcus Rashford, Romelu Lukaku.
With 15 minutes remaining before kick-off, the team news has been confirmed! Let's start with the hosts!
Chelsea are still able to qualify for the Champions League via the Europa League – but with their future in their own hands in the league, and a third-placed finish still a real possibility, Maurizio Sarri should not be giving up the hunt domestically. A win would put the Blues tied with Spurs for third, while more-or-less ending Manchester United’s hopes for a finish in the top four.
Recent form has been absolutely woeful for Manchester United, losing 2-0 in the derby with Manchester City, after sustaining a 4-0 hammering at Everton and a 3-0 defeat to Barcelona - which ended the club’s stay in the Champions League. Despite their poor showings of late, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side can take solace in the knowledge that with three matches remaining – they are not yet out of the race.
Just three points separate Manchester United in sixth from Chelsea – and more importantly a Champions League spot – in fourth. The Red Devils’ climb up the table was aided earlier when Arsenal’s 3-0 loss to Leicester City both denied the Gunners a chance to jump the Blues into fourth place, as well as allowed the Red Devils the potential to finish the weekend fifth, above Arsenal and tied with Chelsea.
Hello and welcome to our LIVE Premier League commentary of the fixture between Manchester United and Chelsea!