EPL Season 2016/2017
The entire pre-match focus was on Jose and his anticipated welcome on return to Stamford Bridge. He responded to the challenge by making a slew of changes to the side that defeated Fenerbahce in the mid-week while Conte retained the same side from last weekend.
It just took 30 seconds for Chelsea to score when a school boy mistake from Chris Smalling dug a grave for David de Gea and Pedro utilized it to perfection. In the absence of the injured Wayne Rooney, Smalling was leading the side and he started on the wrong foot.
It gets worse for Smalling!
The night got worse for Smalling who was again at mistake for Gary Cahill’s strike. The United fans were by then warming up to the eventuality of a loss but the magnitude of the catastrophe in store was beyond their wildest dreams. Eden Hazard and N’Golo Kante increased the gap for the hosts to round up a 4-0 convincing rout for the Blues.
United were absent in all areas of the field with Zlatan Ibrahimovic conspicuous by his absence. There was nothing to offer from Paul Pogba too who seems to have come crashing down to earth after a superlative performance in the mid-week.
Then of course is the curious case of Marouane Fellaini who did nothing of note other than the discussion on David Luiz’s tackle. It was a frustrating night of football for the Red Devils who were lacking in every department.
Injury to Bailly
As if the loss wasn’t bad enough, Mourinho saw his star defender Eric Bailly suffer an injury which looks serious enough to push him out of action for a while. The Red Devils are stuck mid table at seventh and it would take a miracle of the highest order for them to come into title contention. Practically speaking, Jose would do well to retain the fifth position from last season. The woes for the ‘Special One’ seem to have no end in sight.
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Chelsea team composition:
Chelsea Positions 3-4-3
- 13 T. Courtois
- 24 G. Cahill (c) 21'
- 30 David Luiz 41'
- 28 Azpilicueta
- 3 Marcos Alonso 66'
- 21 N. Matić
- 15 V. Moses
- 10 E. Hazard 62'Substituted 78'
- 7 N. Kanté 70'
- 11 Pedro 1' 71'
- 19 Diego Costa 78'
- Coach: A. Conte
- 22 William Substituted for E Hazard 78'
- 23 M. Batshuayi Substituted for Diego Costa 78'
- 1 A. Begović
- 8 Oscar
- 15 V. Moses
- 26 J. Terry
- 34 O Aina
- 29 N. Chalobah Substituted for Pedro 71'
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