In a disappointing result, Chelsea were eliminated from the Carabao Cup after losing 2-1 to Manchester United at home. In what started in a very slow game, both teams were caught in a deadlock and losing the ball easily. Manchester United’s tactics were to man mark each of Chelsea’s players and it worked as the Blues were having trouble building any types of attack. Chelsea weren’t doing themselves any favours cornering themselves out wide, allowing United to swarm them easily and win the ball back. The ball wasn’t moved fast enough either as each pass was predictable and readable for the Red Devils. Each team didn’t really pose a threat as the battle was in the midfield, with losing possession a constant for both sides.
It seemed a mistake was the only way a team were going to score and that’s exactly what happened. In the 24th minute, Daniel James won the ball against Marcos Alonso in midfield who then proceeded to run towards the Chelsea goal. Alonso tried to get back but only managed to make slight hip contact from behind in which Daniel James fell on. The contact was enough for the ref to point to the spot to give United a penalty and Rashford was able to put it past Caballero and was up 1-0 just like that. Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s tactics were working as Chelsea didn’t muster any clear chances that first half and didn’t really trouble the keeper.
In the second half The Blues were starting to play some quick passes and be more direct with Jorginho playing some decent long balls but Michy couldn’t quite handle them. United were coping with Chelsea’s attacks quite comfortably, clearing the ball with every chance they were given. In the 61st minute, an opportunity arose when Michy Batshuayi won a header against Harry Maguire who then ran forward leaving 3 United players in the dust. He managed to score a screamer in the bottom right corner after his brave run from midfield levelling the scoreline. Manchester United then made a change tactically switching to a back four and with the intention of trying to score a winner. Victor Lindelöf came off for Anthony Martial in the 66th minute while Lampard made a couple of changes of his own, substituting Gilmour for Mount and Pulisic off for Pedro.
Another foul lead to a set piece endangering the Blues once again. This time a silly tackle from Pedro led to a Rashford scoring a magnificent free kick to give United the lead once again. With not much surprise, Solskjær reverted to a back 3 to protect his lead by substituting Rashford off for Ashley Young. Lampard’s last change was for Michy with Tammy coming on with hopes of leveling the game. United went on to play the safe route and waste any time possible. Give credit to Ole as he managed to neutralise any Chelsea attack throughout the whole game. Chelsea showed their youthfulness and inexperience tonight but also showed quality of the squad.
Manchester United came into this game in inconsistent form but have been Chelsea’s cryptonite this season once again defeating them for the second time. This defeat has ended Chelsea winning streak but shouldn’t let it affect too much. November and December are two busy months for the Blues and they can’t let this loss deflate their confidence. Their next game is against Watford at Vicarage Road in the Premier League where they will face Quique Sánchez Flores’ side. This won’t be an easy task despite Watford’s current state and will be a test of fortitude for Chelsea who will look to bounce back from this upsetting defeat.