Romelu Lukaku and Jesse Lingard struck for Manchester United as they beat Chelsea 2-1 at Old Trafford on Sunday in a Premier League heavyweight clash and contributing writer, Nathan Quao, of Citi Sports, noted a few things from the tie.
Lukaku showed his value
When your price tag is 75 million pounds, a lot is expected from you and there is no hiding from the limelight. Romelu Lukaku has been described as being ‘impotent’ against the bigger teams in the division and rightly so. His travails have been well-documented and despite his periodic efforts, he has not shed that description.
However, against Chelsea, he showed a different side. He initially struggled but he quickly got going. He was engaged with Chelsea’s centre-backs and he did his best to hold the ball up and get to work.
He was strong to win the battle with Christensen and he was disciplined to go into the box and wait for his chance to finish off a goal to level things after Willian had out Chelsea ahead.
He kept his good display up and in the second half, he took things up a notch to find a dribble and a good cross past Anthony Rudiger for Jesse Lingard to head home the winner.
The Belgian effectively ran the shop for United today and he deserves commendation. He was not absent in a big game and he made everyone aware of it.
Matic was essential
Whether it was innate motivation to play well against his former team or the manager had a plan for him, Nemanja Matic was brilliant on the day.
He was massive in the middle of the park and he was always around to stick a foot in to take the ball away and break Chelsea’s moves.
He really gave stability to the team especially in the first half as Chelsea looked very lively and capable of causing major damage. He remained crucial in the second half and went on to give the needed base that essentially built Man United’s control of the half.
He had struggled in previous matches but he chose the perfect time to reinvigorate himself and the team by extension.
More of the same, Man United
When the celebrations die down, the major question on the minds will be why such performances like the one against Chelsea are not repeated often.
It is a very legitimate question to ask knowing that there is enough quality in the team to win games against both big and small teams.
The display was effective in order to stabilise the ship and forward-looking when the manager decided to to take the game and win it.
There was hunger and determination from Nemanja Matic, Scott McTominay and Romelu Lukaku.
Paul Pogba looked far better than in previous weeks and Victor Lindelof and Chris Smalling went about their work fairly well.
The team just had a better feel about it on the day so why are fans made to wait for weeks for such good work?
There should be a knock-on effect from the win and the subsequent matches should see the same output from the team.
The RoM Manchester United 2021-22 season preview is now available for just £6. It includes articles from the country's best football writers about our expectations for the season ahead and our brightest talents, as well as proposed transfer business and which youth players to keep an eye out for. All profit goes to Trafford Macmillan so please support this fantastic cause.