Today marked a crucial victory for Manchester United as Mourinho’s men became the first United side to beat Chelsea since the exit of Sir Alex Ferguson and with the venue being Old Trafford and the aim being top 4, the victory could not have been better timed.
Man to man marking, high pressure defending and accurate finishing ensured the home side emerged 2-0 victors over Conte’s title chasing Chelsea and give the business end of the season a finish all fans would love to see.
Here are the player ratings from the match:
David De Gea – 8
Had no real job at the back today except taking goal kicks and catching balls out of mid air, but it was enough to keep a clean sheet and move to 12 for the season, one behind Thibaut Courtois in the race for the golden glove.
Antonio Valencia – 8
A solid performance at right wing back yet again from the big Ecuadorian who’s pace and strength was handy during the attacks that United launched but also helped him keep Chelsea attackers at bay and not allow the opposition to use the left flank to bring in attacks towards United’s goal.
Eric Bailly – 8
A solid centre back performance from Bailly, just what Mourinho would have asked for. Constantly applying high pressure and being in the back of the attackers within a jiffy, he was successful in major tackles and good in the air when needed.
Marcos Rojo – 9
The Argentinian put in a splendid shift in defence today as he was the winner in a clear one on one constant battle with Costa throughout the match and despite the yellow card, he was one of the main reasons behind United’s clean sheet.
Matteo Darmian – 8
A quiet but successful night in defence for the Italian. Blended in well with Mourinho’s tactics and stuck to his task well.
Ashley Young – 9
The player was given the captain’s arm band for the night and it is fair to say he surely delivered. Young was phenomenal in his efforts as skipper and in left wing back position as he delivered in both sectors of the park, attack and defence.
Paul Pogba – 7
Nothing spectacular from the Frenchman today but being given the responsibility of marking Kante, a player who marks the rest of the world, it is fair to say he delivered and stood up to the task in an excellent and successful manner. Good dribbling in the centre of the park along with a nice range of passing on display, Pogba was good enough to be a part of a winning side.
Ander Herrera – 10
Man of the match without a doubt and the best performer throughout the course of the match without taking even half a step wrong. The Spaniard provided the pass of the night to assist Rashford’s opening goal and then helped himself to bag the second of the game while man marking Hazard through every second of the 90 odd minutes and not letting the Belgian breathe without his presence looming large around him.
Marouane Fellaini – 7
A decent performance with good passes, winning headers and dominance in midfield along side Pogba and Herrera.
Jesse Lingard – 8
The young winger ran his heart out on the pitch and with the absence of Martial, Mata and Mkhitaryan, he stepped up to the plate and was a constant threat for defenders all along.
Marcus Rashford – 9
A goal for a second consecutive match and despite being doubted to replace Ibrahimovic at the top of the line, he came up with the goods and was a constant menace for Chelsea while knocking Conte’s tactics out of the park.
Asmir Begovic – 6
Conceding two goals was never likely to get him a high rating, but not one of the greatest performances of his career and a certain absence of Courtois was felt during the course of the match.
Victor Moses – 6
Despite having a few successful runs down the flank and providing decent attack minded passes to his team mates, he had a horror show in defence against a spirited United side.
Zouma – 6
A last minute inclusion to replace injured and regular starrer Alonso, the defender had trouble against the pace of Lingard and especially Rashford and did not seem in sync with his fellow defenders on the night while also being responsible for the deflection that caused the second goal.
Gary Cahill – 6
The best out of the three Chelsea defenders on the pitch but not good enough to prevent a loss and keep away constant United wave of attacks.
David Luiz – 5
Probably one of his worst performances this season in a Chelsea shirt as Rashford’s pace and skill was too high for the Brazilian to handle and with the attackers being closed down in a hurry, there was no room to bring out his signature long passes either.
Azpilicueta – 6
Almost invisible through out the entire match, the Spaniard was on his heels all day with Lingard attacking his flank with Valencia’s company throughout the match. He was beaten by the Englishman’s pace while defending and could not overcome Valencia’s strength while on the attack.
N’Golo Kante – 7
A rare bad day in the office for the French genius in the middle of the park. Outclassed and overshadowed by Pogba and Fellaini in that area, he still managed to create a few handy passes and complete a number of crucial tackles and interceptions.
Nemanja Matic – 6
A confused player on the pitch surprised by the home side’s pressure and attacking mindset, Matic was neither on the front or back foot throughout the match and indecision along with poor emergency management cost him a few points individually today.
Pedro – 5
Not a performance expected from the player given his potentials and form this season and the wit of the opposition and their determination was too much for Pedro to handle who under the pressure, could not perform or deliver in order to stage a Chelsea comeback.
Eden Hazard – 5
As simply one can put it, The Belgian spent the entire day in Ander Herrera’s pocket.
Diego Costa – 5
The striker was completely out of his zone today and constant battling with Rojo and losing out in them resulted in signs of frustration and discomfort which eventually dragged him away from his usual best.
Apart from the starting 22 out on the pitch, substitutions were made from both benches to get a result their way and out of the lot, Michael Carrick was most impressive for United while Fabregas and Loftus Cheek did not really provide the oomph factor Conte would have wished for while sending them on.
A good day for United, but the title is still Chelsea’s to lose.