Things we noticed against Chelsea
Manchester United will return to the Champions League after defeating Chelsea 4-1 at Old Trafford.
The Reds secured a place in Europe’s top competition thanks to goals from Casemiro, Anthony Martial, Bruno Fernandes and Marcus Rashford, before Joao Felix’s consolation strike. Erik ten Hag’s men have now moved up to third in the Premier League table, two points ahead of Newcastle United going into the final game of the season, against Fulham.
Antony was forced to come off midway through the first half, after receiving a hard tackle from Trevoh Chalobah, and was carried off on a stretcher with Marcus Rashford making his return as a substitute.
In addition to all the goals, injuries and Rashy's return, there is plenty to talk about, following our victory over Frank Lampard’s side. Read on to find out more...
Not only did we score four times but Bruno Fernandes and Alejandro Garnacho also struck the woodwork, as the Reds threatened to run riot in the second half.
Kepa Arrizabalaga’s goal was under siege at times, and the Opta Analyst Twitter account reported our overall xG of 5.14 was the biggest by any side in a single Premier League game all season.
CASEMIRO ON THE MARK
Is there anything Casemiro cannot do? For the second game running, the Brazilian powerhouse has found the back of the net for the Reds, following his excellent acrobatic effort against Bournemouth last Saturday. This is the first time he has done this since February 2019, when he scored in back-to-back games for Real Madrid against Atletico Madrid and Girona.
Rising up to get on the end of Christian Eriksen’s wonderful free-kick, Casemiro nodded the ball past Kepa to open the scoring and collect his seventh goal of the season. After a lengthy VAR check, the goal was given and the Reds took a major advantage for the remainder of the tie. It was a repeat of his goal he scored against the London side at Stamford Bridge in November, when he also netted a bullet header.
ANTONY OFF ON A STRETCHER
After a bright start to the game, Antony was forced to come off with what looked to be serious injury. Taking on Chalobah, the South American was caught with a strong challenge and stayed down. The stretcher came out and Rashford was forced to come on in his place. Antony would attempt to stand and walk off the pitch, but was unable to do so and was forced to be carried off on the stretcher. He was met with incredible applause from the Red Army but there are concerns that the problem will keep him out of our remaining two games, with Ten Hag admitting the problem looks serious.
TONY MARTIAL SCORES AGAIN
Anthony Martial has been involved in six goals in his last five starts against, Chelsea scoring five goals and providing one assist, despite the fact his last Premier League start against the Blues came back in February 2020 at Stamford Bridge, netting the opener in a 2-0 win for the Reds.
Casemiro's outstanding no-look pass picked out Jadon Sancho on the right and he was able to control the ball well, before slotting across to Martial at the back post to tuck home United’s second of the game. This gives the French forward nine goals in all competitions for the Reds this season, from his 28 appearances.
REDS EXTEND RECORD
United are now unbeaten in our last 11 Premier League games against the Blues, winning four and drawing seven. The Reds had never gone 11 matches without defeat in the league against the Londoners in our league history until today.
According to Opta, since the start of last season, the Blues have won none of their 16 Premier League games against sides starting the day above them in the table (D4 L12), losing each of their last four. They’ve lost 16 Premier League games this term, only losing more in 1993-94 losing 17 in a 42-game season.
BACK AMONG EUROPE'S ELITE
United only needed a point to see off fifth-placed Liverpool and secure a place in the top four and Champions League football next season, but picked up all three after dispatching Chelsea. The Reds have now moved up into third place in the league table, above Newcastle United, who are two points behind United going into the final weekend of the season.
United entertain Fulham, with Newcastle away to Chelsea.
Tten Hag has now become just the third Dutch manager to finish in the top four of the Premier League, with the other two (Guus Hiddink and Louis van Gaal) also doing so in their debut campaigns.
UNITED SPOT ON
Magnifico. Fernandes had been lively all evening for Erik ten Hag’s men, and the skipper was able to step up to score a spot-kick. Dancing past Wesley Fofana, the French defender brought down Fernandes inside the area. The Portuguese no.8 collected the ball, placed it on the spot and beat Kepa in the Chelsea goal to put the game out of sight.
Tonight's work takes Bruno’s tally to seven goals and nine assists in all competitions for the Reds this season as he also set up Rashford for the fourth goal. But this has only been United’s third Premier League penalty this season, with Anthony Martial scoring in our 6-3 loss to Manchester City in October and Fernandes also scoring in our 2-1 win against Crystal Palace in February.
30-UP FOR RASHY
Rashford just cannot stop scoring goals this season. Returning to the United side, he came on to replace the injured Antony midway through the first half and looked a constant threat from then on. With Fernandes latching on to a misplaced pass by Fofana, the midfield man squared his pass in Rashford’s direction, who dribbled past Fofana to strike the ball at Kepa. The Spaniard did managed to make a stop initially, but Rashford would not miss the follow up to tap home from close range. It means he is the first Red since Robin van Persie to break the 30-goal barrier and 20 of those have come at home.