Chelsea 1 - 0 United
Valencia Smalling Rojo Young(Lingard)
Mhki(Fellaini) Pogba Herrera(s/o)
I wasn't up-to-date with who was injured and who was suspended for this game so you'd understand how surprised I was to see our starting XI for the game. If I'm honest, I never expected us to beat this excellent, fresh, Chelsea side but in football you never know what can happen.
We started the game well. Chelsea were better but they hardly troubled us as Mourinho's tactics were working wonderfully. His aim was to frustrate a superior Chelsea side. However, things went balls up when Herrera committed a very stupid challenge right after Michael Oliver told Smalling he's had enough of our fouling and the ref sent Ander off. The ref could have spared Herrera the second yellow card. Given that Ander had a yellow card already, I think Michael Oliver hurried into booking our Spanish midfielder for the second time as early as the 35th minute. I think it was a very stupid challenge from Herrera but it wasn't a yellow card.
The sending off virtually put us out of the game. Mourinho, understandably, put on Fellaini for the ineffective Mhkitaryan right after the sending off. Rashford was left stranded at the front but the shift our striker put was amazing. He also had a very good chance, our only real chance, to draw level with Chelsea but Curtois made a very good safe.
Chelsea were better. Far better. I am actually pleased with the effort put in by our players tonight. They played most of the game with a player less and they were still running their socks off till the end of the game. Rojo, Young and Valencia were excellent. They all defended gallantly and showed great passion. I am very disappointed with Pogba however. I expect more from the guy, much more. Yes, he might come good next season when he's 100% settled and has a bit of a break but we desperately need him to show up during the upcoming couple of months or so. Just look at Kante. If Pogba manages to become half as effective as Kante then I'd be very happy. What a player that little Frenchman is.
We're out of the FA Cup and given the situation, I can't say I am too bothered. Of course seeing Man Utd get eliminated is always a big disappointment but given the situation I think the boys who played tonight done us proud. This is the first meaningful defeat since the 4-0 trashing at Stamford Bridge on the 24th of October. That was almost 6 months ago!
We now need to focus on Rostov and make sure we win. We're dropping so many points in the Premier League that I think there's a better chance of us winning the Europa League than placing in the top four in the PL. Hopefully the game vs Rostov will not put me to sleep like it did during the first leg. I did not blog about the game because I fell asleep right after our goal and woke up the following morning. Perhaps work duties are taking their toll on me..... oh well! Come on United!