Casemiro saves a United without Cristiano

“We will miss Cristiano,” said Erik ten Hag, and he was right. With the ‘7’ set aside as a disciplinary measure after his snub at Old Trafford, Manchester United came out to dominate against Chelsea, and did so in the opening minutes, but Potter’s lack of ambition and magic changed the stage in London . Jorginho made it 1-0 with a penalty five minutes from the end, and when everything seemed lost for the ‘red devils’, Casemiro appeared with a great header that left ‘the duel of blackboards’ between Ten Hag and Potter.

The Premier is on fire, like Stamford Bridge, which received the two teams between flares and a lot of noise. “Come on Chelsea!” roared the stands of the stadium in west London and Potter seemed to take advantage of the tremendous staging to baffle Ten Hag with a very alternative eleven: Cucurella played central, along with youth squad Chalobah and Thiago Silva, doubling up with Chilwell on the left, while Loftus-Cheek and Jorginho tried to bring order to the midfield. But the experiment turned against Chelsea (with a 1-3-5-2), which suffered with the ball due to the high pressure of the Mancunian team.

United were backed by their most classic eleven this campaign (with Sancho, Antony and Rashford as trident) and the good associative capacity of Casemiro, Eriksen and Bruno Fernandez, who collapsed Potter’s plan in just over half an hour. Long enough for Kepa to have intervened brilliantly on four occasions and for Potter to be convinced that the Cucurella and Chilwell thing wasn’t working, largely because of the magic of Antony, who before the break had the 0-1 in his boots but he stuffed himself with the ball and did not take a goal. By then, and without waiting for halftime, Kovacic had gone out to reinforce the midfield with a third man, to the detriment of a downcast Cucurella.

Potter wasn’t squeamish about it and went back to goading Ten Hag in what had become an obvious blackboard duel. And the Dutch coach entered the rag. That’s why in the second half he retired Sancho, the least important of his forwards, and brought in Fred. More wood for the middle of the field and for a party of which Varane had to leave injured and in tears (with the World Cup just around the corner). The two teams had gone down to the mud, the game, more disjointed, lost its owner for a few minutes and that seemed to suit Chelsea better, which settled in De Gea’s area, freer. This is how Chalobah’s header hit the crossbar, when it was hardest to see an occasion at the Bridge.

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It was the last quarter of the game, and at that moment, United began to miss Cristiano. Without the Portuguese, separated by Ten Hag for refusing to play against Tottenham and for leaving Old Trafford early in that same match, the ‘red devils’ lacked a fang above. And not even Elanga’s entry alleviated the lack of ambition of a United that, little by little, saw how the game was slipping away in favor of the ‘blues’. Therefore, with five minutes to go before the conclusion, Jorginho confirmed it with a penalty and scored the 1-0, which seemed definitive, but Casemiro and the Bernabéu epic were missing. Enough arguments to tie at the edge of the end, despite Kepa’s stretch.


M. Kovacic (35′, M. Cucurella), Fred (51′, J. Sancho), V. Lindelof (59′, R. Varane), C. Pulisic (73′, P. Aubameyang), A. Broja (78′, R.Sterling), C. Chukwuemeka (78′, R. Loftus-Cheek), S. Mctominay (79′, C. Eriksen), A. Elanga (80′, M. Rashford)


1-0, 86′: Jorginho 1-1, 93′: Casemiro


Referee: Stuart Attwell
VAR Referee: Michael Oliver, Richard West
Anthony (31′, Yellow) Fred (85′, Yellow) Shaw (89′, Yellow) Jorginho (91′, Yellow) Lisandro Martinez (94′, Yellow)

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