By Alban Conejero
TOPS/FLOPS – Casemiro guided his team to victory (4-1) against lost Blues, like Wesley Fofana. What to remember after this card from the Red Devils on Thursday evening.
Casemiro, still reigning
The Brazilian was a master in the midfield while being decisive on Thursday, during Manchester United’s victory over Chelsea (4-1). First by opening the scoring very early in the game (6th) with a header on a millimeter free kick from Christian Eriksen. Enough to start his team as it should, but he didn’t stop there, since he unlocked everything on the second goal, a few seconds before the break. It is he who distills a wonderful ball slightly stung in depth for Jadon Sancho eliminating the entire defensive line of Chelsea in the process. Behind, Sancho only had to offer the 2-0 ball to Martial. In the second period, he almost offered himself a double after a triple chance where he grazed the post of Kepa after a curled strike.
Fernandes, Captain Hook
Still decisive, the Portuguese set the tone as a good captain to ensure a victory which already seemed more or less acquired. At 2-0 on the scoreboard, he showed his talent to put an end to any hopes of a favorable result for London. What seemed like a hook at the start turned into a small bridge over Wesley Fofana with a little kick to get the decisive penalty (72nd). In a few moments, he took care of transforming his penalty before recovering a ball in the opposing area on a new error from the former Leicester defender to offer the fourth goal to Marcus Rashford (79th).
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Lewis Hall, the kid above the lot
Sad to think that the young left-back Lewis Hall (18) was the best player in a Chelsea team full of more expensive recruits than the others. But the Englishman was the author of a superb performance. He was responsible for virtually every notable chance for his team. With good crosses, he offered opportunities to his partners then poorly negotiated by Mudryk (4th) and Havertz (32nd), among others. Lewis also decided to take his chance as in the 58th minute, when he placed a nice shot on target from the left, well repelled by the opposing defense.
Fofana holds out the stick to get beaten
Since his arrival at the Blues, Fofana has not yet revealed his best level. Unfortunately for him, he is involved in three of the four Mancunian goals of the evening. On the opener, his lax marking allows Casemiro to open the scoring with a header. In the second half, he was guilty of a foul in the area which offered a penalty to Bruno Fernandes for the 3-0, before losing a ball in his area a few seconds later for the fourth goal, that of Marcus Rashford. Nightmarish evening for the former Stéphanois.
The inefficiency that gives the blues
This is Chelsea’s main problem this season and the XXL winter recruitment hasn’t changed anything. We repeat ourselves but the lack of success and composure in front of the opposing cage is costing Frank Lampard’s men dearly. Yet racing in the game in the first period, the Blues have never been able to conclude, whether by Mudryk, Havertz or Gallagher, who had the best opportunity (45th) but crushed and crossed his shot from the right. This is the problem that explains the 12th place in the Premier League standings Londoners heading into the final day of the season.
The Havertz-Mudryk duo
This duo is a real disappointment at Chelsea and characterizes a clear lack of goals in favor of the Blues. They never knew how to be dangerous, except during the good inspirations of Lewis Hall on his side (see elsewhere). And the few chances they had were harvested. As a reminder, the Ukrainian was recruited 70 M€ when the German cost him 80 to the leaders of Chelsea. The entry of João Félix (82nd) was more conclusive since on only one occasion the player on loan from Atlético scored solo (89th).