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Dublin: 6 °C Thursday 13 December, 2018

Super sub Lingard scores decisive winner as Man United put champions to the sword

Jose Mourinho’s side scored two goals without reply to move six points clear of Chelsea in the Premier League.

Jesse Lingard celebrates scoring his side's second goal on Saturday.
Jesse Lingard celebrates scoring his side's second goal on Saturday.
Image: Martin Rickett

A GOAL AND an assist from Romelu Lukaku proved decisive as Manchester United put Chelsea to the sword 2-1 at Old Trafford on Saturday afternoon.

The victory, courtesy of a Jesse Lingard winner with 15 minutes to go, raises Jose Mourinho’s side back into second place, once again two points above Liverpool but still 13 points adrift of table-toppers Manchester City.

Chelsea took the lead when Willian capped off a brilliant individual run inside his own half with an outstanding strike which slipped through David De Gea just past the half hour mark.

Antonio Conte’s side have improved greatly in recent weeks, following consecutive defeats to Bournemouth and Watford, with back-to-back wins against West Brom and Hull City.

Indeed the performance which saw them impressively draw 1-1 with Barcelona in the Champions League midweek was in full display in this game, with Willian’s excellent opener the just rewards of a first-half the blues dominated.

However the visitors faltered just before the break when striker Lukaku took advantage of a clever Anthony Martial pass inside the box to jink the ball past Thibaut Courtois to draw the sides level.

Manchester United v Chelsea - Premier League - Old Trafford Source: Martin Rickett

The Belgian forward has been criticised for not performing against top six opposition, but remained composed and deadly to slot a cool finish beyond his international team-mate between the posts.

In a cagey second half which looked like meandering towards a draw, second half introduction Lingard proved the difference between the sides with a well-taken winner.

Goalkeepers De Gea and Courtois stood out as two of the best goalkeepers in the world, with the latter denying Lukaku what would have proved a sublime scissor-kick as the game entered its latter stages.

Despite his missed opportunity, Lukaku followed up his goal with a decisive assist after 75 minutes.

He curled a dangerous cross into the danger zone which Lingard –  on the field of play just ten minutes after replacing Martial — headed emphatically past Courtois to snatch all three points.

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Aaron Gallagher

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