EPL: Manchester United return to Champions League by thumping Chelsea

Erik ten Hag and his boys needed just one point to seal their Champions League spot for the next season, as the Dutch manager led his team to all three points to extend the Red Devils’ home win to 14.

Ten Hag paraded the same squad for the third consecutive EPL game, and they comfortably defeated Chelsea, who failed to pick up a second win in seven games with a 4-1 defeat to United.

Casemiro scored his second headed goal against Chelsea after registering his debut goal in the EPL against Chelsea last year.

The Brazilian midfielder opened the scoring in the sixth minute, followed by a late first-half strike from Anthony Martial. United then scored two more goals in the second half, from Bruno Fernandes’ spot kick and Marcus Rashford’s goal. However, substitute Joao Felix scored a consolation in the 89th minute.

Frank Lampard, whose team lost to Manchester City last weekend, made three changes to the squad as he fielded the youngest squad with an age range of 23 years and 238 days.

Less than a minute into the game, United were already all over their visitors, and Bruno Fernandes’ pass found a well-positioned Jadon Sancho, who was blocked by Cesar Azpilicueta.

Meanwhile, Chelsea, with their usual problem this season, continued to miss golden goal opportunities as two clinical chances were blown away. First, it was Carney Chukwuemeka who blew his shot over before Mykhailo Mudryk weakly attempted to connect on a cross from Lewis Hall.

Christian Eriksen provided the free-kick, which was headed into the net by Casemiro for his sixth goal of the season for the Reds.
Chelsea responded, but by the 15th-minute mark, the misfiring London side with the greater possession had missed three gilt-edged goal-scoring chances.

However, a chance to double the lead for United from Anthony Martial was missed as Azpilcueta made a last-ditch tackle on the Frenchman in the 19th minute.

United lost Antony in the 24th minute, as he was injured after a challenge by Trevoh Chalobah.

Chelsea continued to miss chances for much of the first half, and United doubled the lead in the sixth minute of added time with a good passing move started by Casemiro’s lofted pass over Chalobah to Sancho, who then sent a through ball to Martial, who finished the move with a tap-in.

Two minutes into the second half, Gallagher was subdued by Victor Lindelof, who swiftly passed to Sancho, who laid the ball for a pacy Fernandes, who hit the woodwork.

David de Gea was called to action for the first time in the second half when Mudryk’s shot was parried for a corner in the 50th minute. Meanwhile, Christian Eriksen almost latched on to Tyronne Malacia’s cutback, but Kepa Arrizabalaga made a scrambling save.

At the hour mark, Lewis Hall’s shot was parried by De Gea, and the rebound from Mudryk was deflected for a corner.

In the 73rd minute, Wesley Fofana’s tackle on Fernandes led to a penalty that was converted by the Portuguese midfielder for United’s third goal before Marcus Rashford scored with another Fofana error to record his 30th goal of the season.

However, Joao Felix scored a consolation for the Blues as United conceded only their fifth goal at Old Trafford since September.

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