Early in the match Chelsea dominated the proceedings in the FA Cup semi-final with their possession, and by constantly placing pressure on the ball and closing the United players down when the Blues didn’t have the ball. In the 10th minute, Reece James for Chelsea had a stinging shot on goal that was easily saved by David De Gea.
Chelsea had continued to put pressure on us and five minutes later Marcos Alonso’s header went over the bar after a fine cross by Cesar Azpilicueta. It wasn’t until two minutes after the half-an-hour mark that United had a shot on goal.
Fred was able to win a free-kick after being fouled outside the box. Bruno Fernandes then stepped up and took the free-kick that forced a save from Wilfredo Caballero in goal. Later in the half Kurt Zouma for Chelsea had a header that went over the bar.
Then Eric Bailly and Harry Maguire collided in the air after challenging for a ball. After being down for several minutes, Maguire was able to continue, but Bailly had sustained an injury with cut on his head that he received treatment for. The defender had to be placed on a stretcher off the field on the sidelines and had to be taken away by the medical team for more treatment. Bailly was replaced by Martial as United tried to get themselves back into the game.
There was eleven plus minutes of injury-time added on and Chelsea got the breakthrough goal when Azpilicueta got the ball, and he ran down the right flank and crossed in an excellent ball that found Olivier Giroud in the box and he was able to make contact to put the ball past De Gea. It was 1-0 to Chelsea and United was in trouble.
It was a poor technique by the Spanish keeper and he should of saved that one. Victor Lindelof didn’t get his positioning right either. It was subpar defending by the Swedish defender. Then shortly after that the referee blew the whistle for half-time.
In the second period, it was all Chelsea as they continued to play with the same tactics that they used in the first-half. Chelsea struck again in the first minute of second period when on a breakaway with Mason Mount leading the charge the midfielder rifled a low shot into the right-bottom corner.
This was another attempt that De Gea should of saved and he just didn’t get down behind the ball enough with a strong hand to save it. The shot didn’t have much placement on it either and the Spanish keeper really let himself and the team down.
Marcus Rashford and Harry Maguire all had chances to score but missed them. Then things went from bad to worse and Chelsea added a third when the ball was crossed into the box and Maguire got a touch and the ball was deflected past the United keeper.
However in the 85th minute, United would get a goal back when Callum Hudson-Odoi fouled Anthony Martial in the box. Bruno Fernandes would then convert the penalty easily to make it 3-1. United looked tired, out of rhythm, and lacked urgency and energy. Ole shouldn’t of changed his formation and line-up before the game with no Martial, Greenwood and Pogba to the start the match.
We looked lost out there without these three players starting and we lost our rhythm because I believe that great chemistry with those three players in the starting line-up, I am sure would have made a difference. Solskjaer has played basically the same line-up that taken us on our long unbeaten run.
He also changed the tactics in playing the ball out of the defence. He didn’t start Romero in goal which he had started all along in this competition and look at how De Gea performed. Ole destroyed the team’s chemistry and rhythm by the surprising changes that he made and that caused us to lose the game in my opinion.
What did you think of this match? Was Ole wrong in changing the formation, tactics and line-up of the team?
Here are the highlights and goals of the game: