19th February, 2019
Just as was expected by many, the FA Cup match between hosts Chelsea and visitors Manchester United played at the Stamford Bridge on Monday evening was a real cracker with the visitors coming out tops with an emphatic 2-0 win to qualify for the quarter-final stages of the competition.
In what turned out to be a very exciting game, it was the visitors that drew the first blood as Ander Herrera headed in Paul Pogba’s excellent cross in the 31st minute of the game.
Pogba himself went on to extend the advantage in the 45th minute as he got above Antonio Rudiger to also nod in the second goal for Manchester United.
Chelsea then gallantly fought back throughout the majority of the second-half but were not able to carve out a route back into the game as the holders were eliminated.
The game had begun at a tremendous pace, with the first real chance coming the way of David Luiz. The Brazilian went close from a free-kick that saw Sergio Romero called into a good save. The United stopper had to remain alert as Pedro volleyed in the rebound but the ball was collected relatively comfortably.
Manchester United were also on the front foot in the opening stages as Herrera thundered a shot in from long range to force a diving save out of countryman Kepa. Gonzalo Higuian was then unlucky to see his header drift wide of the United goal.
Both teams continued to exchange blows throughout the opening half an hour until Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s troops claimed the lead. Pogba was released down the left side, faced up Antonio Rudiger and produced a teasing cross to the back post where Herrera had advanced unnoticed to nod the ball into the bottom corner.
The French midfielder was key once again as the Red Devils doubled their lead on the stroke of half-time. Chelsea failed to deal with a loose ball that was collected by Pogba. He then released Rashford down the right flank and was able to charge into the box to get on the end of the forward’s cross and power a low header past Kepa for his 14th goal of the season.
Chelsea enjoyed most of the play in the second-half and really should have halved the deficit mid-way through the second-half as Eden Hazard danced into the penalty area but a fantastic block from Victor Lindelöf denied the Belgian.
United’s defence stood firm throughout the second-period and denied the hosts any sort of space in their half. Consequently, United were able to see out the rest of the game and book their place in the FA Cup quarter-finals.
The visitors were fantastic in both respects of the game at Stamford Bridge. They were at their brilliant attacking best in the opening half as once again Paul Pogba wrote his name all over the match.
They were made to work in the second period as FA Cup holders Chelsea tried their hardest to find a foothold. Nonetheless, Solskjaer’s men were stubborn defensively and now deservedly set up a quarter-final tie with Wolverhampton Wanderers.
Chelsea: Kepa (6); Alonso (5), Luiz (5), Rudiger (6), Azpilicueta (7) (Zappacosta (N/A), 82′); Kovacic (6) (Barkley (5), 71′), Jorginho (6), Kante (6); Hazard (6), Higuain (6), Pedro (6) (Willian (6), 58′).
Manchester United: Romero (7); Shaw (7), Lindelöf (7), Smalling (6), Young (6); Matic (6), Pogba (8), Herrera (7), Mata (7) (Pereira (6), 75′); Lukaku (5) (Sanchez (6), 73′) , Rashford (7) (McTominay (N/A), 90+3′).
Goals: Herrera (31′), Pogba (45′)
Referee: Kevin Friend
Yellow Cards: Matic (15′), Young (21′), Rudiger (60′), Kante (65′)