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Chelsea 4-3 Man United: Five things noticed, it’s ultimately Erik ten Hag’s fault



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Five things noticed as Manchester United lost away from home against Chelsea in the Premier League on Thursday evening in dramatic fashion.

Erik ten Hag opted to start Antony over Marcus Rashford as Manchester United lined up to face Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.

The Premier League fixture started very much in Chelsea’s favour, with Connor Gallagher and Cole Palmer putting the London team two goals up after just 20 minutes.

Read More: Player Ratings – Chelsea vs Manchester United (Premier League)

However, a mistake from Caicedo sent Alejandro Garnacho through for United to pull one back before Diogo Dalot’s perfect cross found Bruno Fernandes at the back post to leave the two teams level at half-time.

The second half started light lightning, with both teams sending attacking wave after attacking wave – but it was United who capitalised first, with Garnacho’s cute header nodding United in front with 25 minutes left to play.

It’s astonishing, those final moments. United had the lead with just two minutes of extra time left, and a slip from Dalot and deflection from Scott McTominay handed Chelsea the win. IN THE 90+11TH MINUTE.

#1 – Ten Hag’s conflicting message

Ten Hag claimed that he decided to bench Rashford for rotation reasons. The manager said the move was made to ‘keep Rashford fresh’ for the games ahead, with United facing Liverpool on Sunday.

This, however, is somewhat of a mixed message because the Dutchman also decided to start Garnacho for his club’s 30th fixture in a row.

The decision almost paid off, though, with Garnacho scoring two huge goals and Antony, who started ahead of Rashford, playing a vital part in United’s three goals – although these three were not enough.

#2 – Antony: from dismal to brilliant

Antony’s first 30 minutes in a rare start for the winger was nothing short of a nightmare. He seemed to be slowing down play, failed to get the better of Cucurella, and the one time he did, he completely wasted it.

However, his performance suddenly switched. For Garnacho’s goal, he did very well to pluck the ball out of the air to keep it in play, and for Fernandes’ equaliser, he switched play to Diogo Dalot just moments earlier.

His finest moment of the tie was no doubt his assist for Garnacho’s second of the night. Bombing down the right wing, his trivela pass from the byline found Garnacho in the box, who nodded the ball past Đorđe Petrović with his head.

#3 – Even more casualties

Ahead of the tie, Raphaël Varane was a doubt after he came off at half-time against Brentford, although he was then passed fit to play against Chelsea. However, he was then replaced by Jonny Evans at half-time.

And then, just 20 minutes later, Evans was taken back off with what seems yet another injury, with Willy Kambwala replacing him. It’s just unfair at this point.

#4 – Casemiro’s legs are going

Casemiro did not have a good game in midfield by any stretch of the imagination.

There was too much space in the middle of the park too many times for Ten Hag’s liking, and one particular moment stood out—in the first half, Nicolas Jackson breezed straight past him with little challenge, with Casemiro barely even jogging to keep up with him.

With the transfer window up this summer and both Sir Jim Ratcliffe and Sir Dave Brailsford in attendance, they may be becoming more inclined to cash in on the 32-year-old this summer.

#5 – The ULTIMATE collapse

United’s injury time was probably the most ultimate collapse Manchester United have ever seen – and it’s all down to Erik ten Hag’s failure to instil in-game management in his players.

So often, these players have failed to manage their wins and, as a consequence, have dropped much-needed points – the last two games more than anything, considering how important Champions League qualification is.

Although, yes, the players need to do better, it is up to the coaches to instil that into each of players. It’s a flaw that is SO obvious, yet there has been a complete failure to correct it.

This is Ten Hag’s team – but it doesn’t feel like it.