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Dublin: 1 °C Saturday 18 January, 2020


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Liverpool, Man City and Tottenham have all started with wins, so both Chelsea and Man United will be eager to follow suit today.

It’s a match with two relatively inexperienced coaches at this level — Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Frank Lampard have yet to really prove themselves as top-level managers, but a win for either today would certainly do no harm to their reputations.

It’s a tough one to call. Chelsea finished three places above United last year, though lost their best player in Eden Hazard during the summer.

The Red Devils have home advantage and made a couple of big-name signings during the transfer window, and so will be determined to start with a win as they aim to improve on last year’s disappointing campaign.

Who do you think will win?

Poll Results:

Man United (334)
Draw (103)
Chelsea (78)

We’re under way…


Good start for Wan-Bissaka.

He wins the ball off Emerson and calmly plays the ball out of danger.


Chelsea go very close!

The ball breaks kindly for Abraham on the edge of the area, and the striker’s powerful shot comes back off the post.


Chance for United!

Zouma plays a careless ball across the 18-yard box.

It falls to Martial, but his first-time shot is tame enough, and Kepa saves with relative ease.


Manchester United v Chelsea - Premier League - Old Trafford A plane flies over the ground with a banner reading #Glazersout. Source: Martin Rickett


Azpilicueta receives the ball in plenty of space down the right.

The full-back plays a dangerous low cross, but Abraham isn’t quite quick enough to latch on to it.



Penalty to United!

Zouma clumsily took down Rashford.


Rashford confidently sticks the penalty into the top left-hand corner.

United lead, slightly against the run of play.


United have grown into this game.

They look much stronger and confident since the goal.




Chelsea have enjoyed plenty of possession, but United have been quite good off the ball in terms of pressing.

The Blues consequently haven’t been able to create much.

As I type, Martial curls a shot from the edge of the area a few yards over.


McTominay makes a hash of trying to intercept Barkley’s pass.

Mount then gets the ball in a promising position on the right-hand side of the box, but he seems to completely mis-hit an attempted cross, and kills the attack in the process.


Decent attempt from Barkley.

His shot from about 30 yards out goes narrowly wide.


Zouma gets booked for clattering into Pereira.

It hasn’t been the best of starts for the defender, who also gave away the penalty.


Rashford gives the ball away cheaply.

Chelsea break and Barkley gets the ball inside the area, with his shot saved via the legs of De Gea.

Moments later, a cross falls to Emerson at the far post, and he smashes the ball against the post.


Manchester United v Chelsea - Premier League - Old Trafford Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer speaks to Victor Lindelof. Source: Martin Rickett


Following a fairly frantic opening half hour, the game has calmed down a little bit.

It’s been a bit scrappy, with both sides conceding possession needlessly at times.


Manchester United v Chelsea - Premier League - Old Trafford Manchester United's Anthony Martial (centre) and Chelsea's Andreas Christensen (right) battle for the ball. Source: Nick Potts


The second half has begun…


Barkley plays it to Pedro, whose left-footed shot from the edge of the area is deflected wide.

It’s been a positive start to the second half by Chelsea.


Azpilicueta’s cross falls to Emerson at the far post.

De Gea needs to parry away the full-back’s driven shot.


Chelsea make a change, and it’s a Premier League debut for Pulisic.

The US international replaces Barkley.


Manchester United v Chelsea - Premier League - Old Trafford Jose Mourinho, Graeme Souness and David Jones (left-right) in the Sky Sports studio. Source: Martin Rickett


Chelsea have looked vulnerable defending United’s counter-attack today, and they’ve been exposed twice in quick concession.

Initially, after Harry Maguire wins the ball on the edge of the United box, Pereira ultimately picks out Martial with a cross, and the French attacker produces a lovely first-time finish on the volley.

Then, 17 seconds after the re-start, United score again.

Pogba picks out Rashford with a glorious long pass, and the England international, who finds himself through on goal, finishes clinically.

It was poor play from Azpilicueta, who completely fell asleep and failed to track the striker’s run.


United make a change.

Pereira, who produced an impressive assist for the second goal, is off.

Coming on is the £18 million summer signing from Swansea, Daniel James.



Rashford charges forward in search of a hat-trick, but Kante does well to get back and make an interception.

Chelsea must be careful this doesn’t become embarrassing.


Chelsea just can’t deal with United’s counter-attack.

Pogba does really well, charging forward, and playing a one-two with Martial before playing through James.

The new signing’s shot finds the net, deflecting in off Emerson.

It’s the perfect start to the season for the Red Devils.


De Gea gets down well to save Mount’s powerful low shot.

United have looked solid in every department today.

With the result safe, the hosts make a double change, as Mata and Greenwood come on in place of Rashford and Lingard.


There will be four minutes of stoppage time.

Chelsea are just waiting for the final whistle now.



Emerson has yet another attempt on goal, but De Gea parries his powerful strike over the bar for a corner.


Manchester United v Chelsea - Premier League - Old Trafford Manchester United's Daniel James celebrates scoring his side's fourth goal of the game. Source: Martin Rickett

So after Chelsea started brightly, United took control and ultimately were worthy winners.

The Blues passed the ball about nicely and had one or two decent chances in the first half, but were ultimately ruthlessly exposed by an impressively clinical United counter-attack.

The Red Devils’ defence was another positive for Solskjaer, with man-of-the-match Maguire and Wan-Bissaka impressing on their debuts.

Lampard put out an experimental starting XI that included a couple of inexperienced youngsters, with the likes of Giroud, Kante and Pulisic on the bench, and that decision ultimately failed to pay dividends.

Right, that’s all from me. Thanks for reading and commenting.

You can read our match report here.

We’ll have more reaction to follow.

About the author:

Paul Fennessy


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