8 min: The aim stands! In the meantime right here’s Jeff Sax: “That unbelievable Chelsea counter-attack that ended with a spectacular miss, it sums up Todd Boehly.”
7 min: VAR are checking this for offside. To the bare eye, the aim appears positive. However let’s see. We’ve been fallacious earlier than.
GOAL! Manchester United 1-0 Chelsea (Casemiro 6)
A free kick for United out on the left touchline. Shaw and Eriksen stand over it as their team-mates queue up on the sting of the field. Eriksen curls it in. Casemiro rises highest, six yards out, and crops a header into the highest left. Kepa rooted to the spot. Champions League ahoy for United!
4 min: Chelsea ought to be main. Corridor is shipped scampering into house down the left by Gallagher’s intelligent ball across the nook. Corridor rolls into the centre for Mudryk, who’s free, six yards out. Mudryk opens his physique and wafts a depressing effort extensive proper. He had to attain. He’s not precisely prolific, to be honest, besides.
3 min: Madueke makes good down the appropriate and cuts again for Chukwuemeka, who makes an attempt a roller over De Gea and in the direction of the top-left nook. It’s at all times flying over the bar.
2 min: Inside 20 seconds, Chalobah presents the ball to Antony, who almost releases Fernandes into the Chelsea field with a go down the inside-right channel. That’s intercepted, however United come once more, Casemiro successful possession and beginning a transfer that sees Fernandes almost discover Sancho free, 12 yards out. Chelsea concede the primary nook of the match and cope with it, however it is a robust begin by the house aspect.
Chelsea get the ball rolling. They’ll be kicking in the direction of the Stretford Finish on this first half.
The groups are out! Manchester United put on their storied crimson, Chelsea their royal blue. Outdated Trafford is buzzing forward of its penultimate recreation of the season. Pleasure Division, the Stone Roses, reworkings of John Denver songs, there’s one thing for everybody. In the meantime seems Peter Oh (7.41pm) isn’t the one one wishing United by some means make a monumental balls of their Champions League bid. “The complexity of being a soccer supporter when the 2 groups you dislike most are taking part in one another,” begins Richard Hirst. “As a Fulham supporter do I hope United get some extent, in order that they discipline a weakened workforce in opposition to us and we get some revenge, albeit hole, for the FA Cup defeat? Or on condition that Chelsea can’t end above us, do I subordinate my lifelong antipathy in the direction of them and hope they win, in order that on Sunday we will get actual revenge and kick United out of the Champions League (at all times assuming Liverpool win)? It needs to be the latter, so come on Chelsea (how a lot I hate saying that!).” We’ll be off in a minute.
A reminder of simply how shut Manchester United are to securing Champions League soccer. We’ll assume Chelsea followers gained’t need reminding of the place their lads are within the desk.
Pre-match postbag o’patter. “I discover it unbelievable that Garnacho doesn’t begin forward of Sancho and even Antony” – Paul Howarth
“Ought to Lampard postpone any additional Premier League desires and comply with his golden technology mate Wayne Rooney and get hold of a MLS supervisor place and work a bit at his craft earlier than returning down the road?” – Mary Waltz (who already is aware of the reply)
“I hate what trendy soccer does to me. It’s virtually definitely an excessive amount of to anticipate Chelsea and Fulham to beat United and hold Liverpool’s top-four hopes alive, however hey, so long as the possibility has not been mathematically extinguished: Come on you Boehly-ball Blues!!! Lamps you Legend, Do it for Stevie G!!! Sigh. It positive is difficult to keep up one’s dignity within the period of recent soccer” – Peter Oh
Lampard exits, and Erik ten Hag instantly takes over the mic. “You don’t get some extent, you must deserve some extent … however for me that may by no means be an method for a recreation, you must win a recreation … we need to play in our fashion, proactive and dynamic … we’re in a extremely good place however we’ve got to get the job carried out … we’ve got to give attention to this recreation … we’ve got to indicate a successful perspective and go for it … Chelsea have excessive potential, as a bunch of gamers they’re excellent … but it surely’s not about them, it’s about us, and we’ve got to make it our recreation … it needs to be excessive ranges as a result of they’ve good gamers … there’s a actually constructive vibe at Carrington … a prime tradition … we’ve got to set larger requirements and get higher.”
Frank Lampard talks to Sky. “We’re taking part in for delight, taking part in for Chelsea … alternative for every particular person … the season could also be over by way of what we will obtain and what Chelsea are used to reaching, however individually there’s a cause within the dressing room for everybody … there’s plenty of delight at stake … [the large squad size] has been difficult … it’s been a troublesome stability this yr and I’ve clearly are available on the again finish of that … the squad measurement is one thing the membership will handle … there are plenty of requirements and fundamentals which have dropped down a stage … the fundamental stage earlier than you get to ways must step up once more.”
As for the Mason Mount state of affairs? “I don’t know what the answer goes to be … it’s a membership and Mason concern … I don’t know the place Mason is at personally … I do know he’s held in excessive regard on the membership and do what they will to make him keep … I might by no means speak within the modern-day about what a participant ought to do … gamers transfer on … it’s a disgrace we’ve obtained into this example the place it’s possibly occurring.”
Manchester United are on a two-game successful tear-up, so if it ain’t broke, and many others., and so forth, and so forth. Erik ten Hag names an unchanged beginning XI after the 1-0 win at Bournemouth final weekend. Marcus Rashford returns from damage and takes a spot on the bench.
Chelsea make three modifications to the aspect that began the 1-0 defeat at Manchester Metropolis on Sunday. Carney Chukwuemeka, Mykhailo Mudryk and Noni Madueke change Thiago Silva and Ruben Loftus-Cheek, who drop to the bench, and Raheem Sterling, who misses out altogether.
Manchester United: De Gea, Wan-Bissaka, Varane, Lindelof, Shaw, Casemiro, Eriksen, Antony, Fernandes, Sancho, Martial.
Subs: Butland, Dalot, Maguire, Malacia, Fred, McTominay, Garnacho, Rashford, Weghorst.
Chelsea: Kepa, W Fofana, Chalobah, Azpilicueta, Fernandez, Chukwuemeka, Madueke, Corridor, Gallagher, Havertz, Mudryk.
Subs: Mendy, Silva, Pulisic, Felix, Loftus-Cheek, Ziyech, Koulibaly, D Fofana, Gilchrist.
Manchester United can sense it, scent it, almost style and contact it. Sure, the return of Champions League soccer to Outdated Trafford, after one lengthy season roaming the barren plains of Europa, is merely a single solitary level away. You’d anticipate them to get it tonight, not least as a result of the final 5 conferences between these two giants have led to a draw. There’s additionally the small matter of United having not misplaced a Premier League match at residence because the opening day of the season … whereas Chelsea have misplaced seven of their final 9 matches in all competitions, and Frank Lampard has tasted defeat 18 instances in his final 23 managerial outings.
Chelsea have solely delight left to play for. They’re already condemned to their first bottom-half end since 1996; they’re already assured to complete decrease than each Brentford and Fulham for the primary time in historical past. So they might do with a lift. Will it spur them on to shock the upwardly cell Crimson Devils? Or will Erik ten Hag’s workforce safe Champions League soccer tonight and render the ultimate day go to of Fulham a stress-free expertise? Kick off is at 8pm BST. It’s on!