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Tactical master class from Jose Mourinho as Manchester United defeat Chelsea 2-0

Written by: Punit Tripathi

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In probably their best game after Sir Alex Ferguson's retirement, Manchester United outplayed Chelsea at Old Trafford. . . 

Antonio Conte is one of the better tacticians known to the world, and Jose Mourinho is one of the most defensive coaches known to the world. The same world, on Sunday evening at Old Trafford, saw a different story unveiling. Jose Mourinho gave the Italian a tactical watershed, which is bound to be a turning point in the Portuguese’s time at United’s helm.

Mourinho, known to win games with defensive setups, has always gone back after a lead and have seen out games. On Sunday, Mourinho blanked out the league leaders Chelsea. The visitors, with two players nominated for the League player of the year, couldn’t manage a shot on target. On the contrary, United fired everything up front with Marcus Rashford showing his plethora of skills, power and pace to blank David Luiz for the first goal and Lingard proving his impeccable work rate again.

Antonio Conte, with all his belief and confidence, played his typical 3-4-3. In this system, wide forwards Eden Hazard and Pedro are very important for the success of the team. Mourinho ensured man marking was top notch on almost every key player on the pitch. Ander Herrera marked Hazard back to Belgium, Darmian played his best game in a United shirt, covering Pedro for most part of the game and Fellaini could be nominated for the Ballon D’or soon if he covers N’Golo Kante like this.

The 21% of Earth covered by N’Golo Kante was nowhere to be found. Diego Costa was himself, throughout the game, but Marcos Rojo and Eric Bailly, with their physical abilities, were more than a handful for even the erratic Spanish striker. Every ball was chased with equal power, every clearance was made with an equal vigor and talismanic striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic was kept on the bench for the first time since his arrival.

This is the game United fans want to see. This is the United which will win games. Kill out opposition, and score on the opportunities they make. If Europe saw the game, they are sure to know that the whirlpool has ended and the Tsunami is set to flow again under the watchful eyes of Denis Law, Sir Bobby Charlton and George Best. Jose Mourinho is not the most loved man in the world already, but he’s sure to become the most hated after Sir Alex Ferguson if he keeps building on this.



Published: Mon Apr 17, 2017 11:58 AM IST

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