Eden Hazard’s composed first-half finish was enough to move Chelsea 10 points clear at the top of the Barclays Premier League. The result ended Manchester United’s six-game winning streak and extended Louis Van Gaal’s wait for a first competitive win over a Jose Mourinho side. Although the visitors dominated the possession, their inability to take their chances cost them as they lost an opportunity to move ahead of Arsenal into second place.
Wayne Rooney misplaced an early effort into the side netting and Radamel Falcao hit the post in the second half, but the Red Devils couldn’t find a way past a resolute Chelsea defense. Instead, it was the Belgian who scored from a back heel from Oscar’s pass late in the first half to extend the Blues’ unbeaten home record in the league this season.
Here are the major talking points from the game.
Plenty of positives for United
Manchester United’s winning run might be over, but there were still plenty of things for them to be pleased about. Injuries to four key players ahead of a crucial clash would have dented the otherwise sky high spirits, but United’s performance, especially that of those who came in represents a good day in the office for the Red Devils. Even without their two holding midfielders and three first-choice center backs, the fact that they dominated possession and created the bulk of the chances would certainly please the Dutch manager, who has prided himself on performances and not just results.
On Sunday, Luke Shaw gave perhaps his best performance yet, in a United shirt and reminded everyone just why they made him the most expensive teenager. Although he didn’t always pick out the right final ball, his pace got him in behind a resolute Chelsea defense, and he looked like the side’s most potent threat going forward. Another young defender who impressed was Paddy McNair. While many thought he might have a tough time coping with Didier Drogba, the 19-year-old showed remarkable composure on the ball and ended the game as the side’s best player along with Shaw.