It was misery for Mourinho once again at Stamford Bridge, as Chelsea edged Manchester United 1-0. Alvaro Morata’s second half header was enough to give Antonio Conte’s men all three points. United maintain second position in the Premier League despite the loss, though only goal difference separates the reds from Spurs. Here are our player ratings.
David De Gea: 7
The Spaniard could not be faulted for Chelsea’s goal, with Morata guiding his header with precision into the far right corner, leaving De Gea stranded. He kept United in the game on various occasions, saving brilliantly from an Eden Hazard strike in the first half.
Eric Bailly: 6
Bailly was solid defensively throughout the majority of the game, but the poor positioning from the back-three for Chelsea’s goal is unforgivable. Looked rusty at times on the ball.
Chris Smalling: 6
Smalling also must share the burden of criticism for the Chelsea goal. As the center of the back-three his positioning was questionable and he let Morata have too much time and space to direct his header to the back of the net.
Phil Jones: 6.5
Jones almost gave United an early set-back, as his wild swing of a boot connected with the ball and sent it into the top corner of De Gea’s goal. Fortunately, the referee deemed Morata nudged him and the goal was disallowed. For large parts of the first half he led the United backline with assured determination, flinging his body in-front of shots and making some big tackles. However, he was far too high and out of position on Morata’s goal.
Antonio Valencia: 6
Valencia was gifted a more attacking role than his usual right-back defensive responsibilities. His forward-venturing runs were more effective in the first half and more restricted in the second. Valencia was nonetheless reliable as ever, yet could not make a major impact on the game offensively.
Ander Herrera: 5
Herrera was deployed by Mourinho in this game to upset the Chelsea midfield. He lacked discipline in his role though, with his manager often instructing him from the sideline. His lack of discipline was represented by his reckless challenges, summed up by being booked for stamping on Hazards ankle. Not his best game.
Nemanja Matić: 6
Nemanja went somewhat missing on his return to Stamford Bridge. In what could have been a game for him to showcase what a huge mistake it was to let him leave, he was inexistent for large parts of the game. Offered the back three some stability and helped link play, but gave the ball away too often and lacked any attacking threat.
Ashley Young: 6.5
Much like Manchester United’s performance, Young had a tale of two halves. He looked lively in the first half, making his usual ravaging runs down the left-flank. Young could have claimed an assist early on in the game, but his searching cross was not finished by Rashford. Defensively questionable at times.
Henrikh Mkhitaryan: 5
Glimpses of what the Armenian can offer this United side where present early on in the game. However, it was another disappointing performance from Mkhitaryan and he was subbed on the hour mark.
Marcus Rashford: 5.5
Rashford should have given United the lead early in the game, Ashley Young provided an excellent cross that the youngster header just over the bar. He was missing for large parts of the game, but could have pulled United level in the last moments of the game when his shot whistled past the post.
Romelu Lukaku: 4.5
Arguably his worst performance in a United shirt. He was unable to perform on the big stage – a criticism that he has had frequently in his career. Lukaku seems miles away from the player that we saw explode at the start of the season. He had one shot in the game early on but did little else throughout the encounter.
Anthony Martial (Sub, 62’): 5
Came on for Henrik Mkhitaryan on the hour mark. Couldn’t give United the creative incentive that they needed in the game.
Marouane Fellaini (Sub, 62’): 6
Fellaini gave United a lift when he came on in the second half. The big Belgian offered the reds a different dimension in the game.
Jesse Lingard (Sub, 78’): 5
Came on with little over ten minutes left in the game. Didn’t contribute enough to warrant a higher score.
José Mourinho: 5.5
The start of the first half provided the fans with promise that Mourinho had detracted from his usual defensive tactics against the top teams in the league. United came out with energy and looked dangerous at times going forward. However, as the game progressed, it became apparent that Conte had the better of his rival, with United unable to break down the Chelsea stern backline.