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  • By Alessandro Schiavone

McTominay's double floors lethargic Chelsea in 2-1 defeat

By Alessandro Schiavone at Old Trafford

Man United 2-1 Chelsea (McTominay, Palmer, McTominay)

Scott McTominay scored twice as Manchester United saw off Chelsea 2-1 at Old Trafford tonight.

Brimming with confidence despite recent poor showings, Erik Ten Hag's free-flowing men put their noses to the grindstone from the start and were unlucky not to take a three-goal lead into half-time.

Robert Sanchez, Chelsea's MOTM, saved Bruno Fernandes' penalty. And he also had to be at his best to deny Rasmus Hojlund and Alejandro Garnacho, the Dane with a brilliant left-handed reflex save and the Argentine with his right boot.

Scotsman McTominay then put Man United 1-0 up when Maguire's effort from a Garnacho cutback was blocked by Marc Cucurella and landed to his feet. In the right position at the right time, he made it count on 19 minutes. But the excellent academy graduate should have had a second when he headed straight at Sanchez before also fluffing the follow-up.

Man United's tails were up yet like so often they lacked cutting edge as their missed chance count came back to haunt them right before the break.

Playing with a high defensive line and committing a number of bodies forward, United conceded spaces in behind which the Chelsea of old would have thriven on.

Ukraine flop Mikhailo Mudryk had a pair of missed chances on his conscience, first hitting the post from range before blasting wide from a promising position.

That Nicolas Jackson is no Didier Drogba was also long known and the Senegal international fluffed an excellent square pass from Raheem Sterling, slamming his shot straight at Onana.

Wythenshawe-born Cole Palmer's immaculate finish after leaving Victor Lindelof and the rest of the hosts' rear-guard for dead restored parity before half-time.

Man United Treble winner Jaap Stam, on media duties and observing this highly exhilarating fixture between these two fallen giants from the Old Trafford press box, would probably have defended better on his own at 53.

Yet unlike other occasions in the past when Man United faltered after being hurt in a period of sustained dominance, this time the equalising goal planted no seeds of uncertainty into the players' minds.

And so it proved as Ten Hag's brave men went on to win it thanks to McTominay's bullet header at the far-post on 69 minutes after being teed up by Garnacho.

The latrer could have added at least two goals but for his poor finishing.

But Armando Broja will probably have the biggest regrets tonight as he crashed a header against the crossbar from a few yards out at the death.

For every step forward Chelsea take two back as the Champions League already looks out of sight, with more than half-a-season still to play.


Chelsea: Sanchez, Disasi, Thiago Silva, Colwill, Cucurella, Enzo, Caicedo, Palmer, Sterling (c), Jackson, Mudryk

Subs: Petrovic, James, Maatsen, Badiashile, Gilchrist, Matos, Castledine, Broja, Deivid Washington

Man Utd: Onana, Dalot, Maguire, Lindelof, Shaw, McTominay, Amrabat, Antony, Bruno Fernandes (c), Garnacho, Hojlund

Subs: Bayindir, Wan-Bissaka, Reguilon, Evans, Pellistri, Mainoo, Van de Beek, Rashford, Martial


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