Not even the bookies had given United much of a chance. In fact those of us who put 10 euro on a United win came out smiling with 43 euro. Maybe Manchester United were not seen as favorites as this was surprisingly a first-ever double over Chelsea since the start of the Premier League. This through goals in each half from Anthony Martial and Harry Maguire – and two interventions from VAR.
United appear to have made excellent use of the first-ever winter break in English football by training at the Marbella Football Centre since Sunday, utilising the time to work on fitness and tactics and building camaraderie. Still, United fans can’t wait long enough for established players to recover from injuries. Scott McTominay and Axel Tuanzebe both travelled to the Reds’ winter training camp in Marbella. Paul Pogba and Marcus Rashford also remain on the sidelines, while Tim Fosu-Mensah – who is yet to make an appearance this campaign, but was also in Spain – has suffered a minor injury setback, yet hopes to be involved before the end of the month.
My United Man of the Match has to be skipper Harry Maguire. He was a commanding figure in both boxes. And we all saw what it meant to him to get that terrific insurance goal, his first in the league for the Red Devils. I disagree with those who say he was lucky to stay on the pitch after an ‘incident’ with Batshuayi in the first half.
The current drama surrounding Manchester City may well end with fifth place in the Premier League qualifying for the Champions League. Chelsea still occupy fourth place after Monday night’s game, but the race has been blown open now, with Tottenham just a point behind in fifth, Sheffield United a point further back in sixth, and United yet another point behind in seventh. Then come Wolves and Everton (both 36 points) just five behind Chelsea, while Arsenal and Burnley are two points behind them.
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