It was a sloppy Manchester United display, with a goalkeeping horror show from David de Gea handing Chelsea a 3-1 win in the FA Cup semi-final.
Manchester United were favourites going into the FA Cup semi-final against Chelsea at the Wembley Stadium, despite having 48 hours less to rest and prepare for the fixture. But, several surprising changes from Ole Gunnar Solskjaer saw United start slow and hand Chelsea a fair period of dominance.
Manchester United looked outpaced and all over the place, with the difference in rest evident on the pitch. Marcus Rashford and Daniel James grafted, but received little to no service upfront and were left chasing the ball most of the times.
At the back, Olivier Giroud seemed to be too much for the likes of Harry Maguire and Victor Lindelof to handle. A coming together between Maguire and Bailly saw the latter go off injured and Chelsea scored from a Giroud header after the restart deep into stoppage time in the first-half.
Ole did ring in the changes, but even the ones coming in looked jaded from the off. Chelsea dominated the entire game and made it three, thanks to two suspect goalkeeping attempts from David de Gea. Anthony Martial did win a penalty off of Callum Hudson-Odoi late on in the game.
But, Bruno Fernandes’s conversion from the spot was nothing more than a consolation goal as it finished 3-1, with a London derby between Arsenal and Chelsea due in the FA Cup final. We now look at how the individuals at Manchester United fared.
David de Gea – 3
As far as horror showings go, David de Gea had somewhat returned to normalcy in recent days. But, the semi-final brought out the worst in the Spaniard, who, it seems, is not just going through a bad phase anymore and needs more looking into than thought.
On a normal day, you would expect de Gea to save all three Chelsea goals. But, the Spaniard just seems bereft of confidence and as a neutral, every time someone takes a shot at his goal, it feels like there is a good chance of it going in; something that was never associated with his play earlier.
Perhaps, some time on the bench might do wonders for his ‘form’. But, at this rate, Manchester United should really look into replacing the Spaniard as the undisputed first-choice at Old Trafford.
Eric Bailly – 6.5
The Ivorian was the best Manchester United defender on the day, which can be summarised by the fact that they conceded immediately after he went off injured. Bailly dealt with the threat of Willian and Giroud well while being ever so expansive in passing. A delight to know he is now out of hospital and that the injury wasn’t as serious.
Harry Maguire – 4.5
Maguire has not been himself for a few games now. There seems to be at least a couple of mistakes in him every game and on Sunday, Giroud seemed to have his number. Maguire resorted to fouls to stop Giroud, be it committing them or drawing them on himself. Missed an open gaping goal from the corner as well as Willy Caballero missed the ball while coming out to handle the corner.
Victor Lindelof – 4
Lindelof and de Gea terrible leading up to that goal
1) Lindelof allowed Giroud to get goal side
2) de Gea should have saved it
— Aidan Walsh ? (@AidanWalshMUFC) July 19, 2020
Lindelof has to take all the blame for the first goal as he let Giroud get across him to head the ball home. Lindelof has a tendency to switch off in the box at times and was outmuscled by Giroud a few times on Sunday. Manchester United should really look into signing a new partner for Maguire.
Aaron Wan-Bissaka – 5.5
Nothing special from Wan-Bissaka, who did venture forward a bit, but his defensive output was affected by his average position on the pitch. Often caught out of position and unable to defend as vigorously as he could have been at right-back, this game showed clearly why Wan-Bissaka is considered a better defender and not a complete modern right-back.
Fred – 6.5
One of the few positives on Sunday, Fred looked like his old self. Even though he was also guilty of surrendering possession cheaply, the Brazilian continued to shine in his ability to come out of tricky situations with the ball still at his feet. Should get a run of games amid this congested schedule.
Nemanja Matic – 6
Despite Manchester United conceding 3 goals, Matic held his own in midfield and cut off a lot of build-ups in the midfield. The Serb has really come into his own since the restart and it’s no wonder why he was given a new contract recently, especially with the alternatives Solskjaer currently has within the squad.
Brandon Williams – 4.5
The black eyed boy started out strongly and was one of the brightest sparks in the first half including the Chelsea team. But, he gifted Mount the ball and Chelsea, the second goal with his misplaced ball in his own half early on in the second half. A two-goal cushion all but sealed Manchester United’s fate. Must do better under pressure.
Bruno Fernandes – 5
Easily one of his worst performances in a Manchester United shirt. Bruno was stifled by Chelsea in midfield and while he did all he could to find space, either the ball did not find him or he just couldn’t find enough space to take the ball cleanly and control it. Did convert the penalty late on in the game, making it 16 in a row for him from the spot.
Daniel James – 6
— Man United in Pidgin (@ManUtdInPidgin) July 19, 2020
Ran his heart out, the Welsh boy in what was a rare start since the restart. Did not receive enough balls to run onto but was as driven as Ole could ask for from a player. Continues to divide the fanbase, however, with some not seeing his quality nowadays.
Marcus Rashford – 6
Perhaps, Ole expected too much of ‘Dr.’ Marcus Rashford. Far from clinical in his display, Rashford misplaced passes and failed to control the ball a few times, which just goes to show how he needed rest. It is his willingness to push his limits for Manchester United, however, that makes him a fan and manager favourite.
Anthony Martial – 5
Not good enough with his overall performance, especially given the form he has been in. The forward should have done better on a couple of occasions, but couldn’t get the ball out from under his feet as the defenders rushed in.
Paul Pogba – 5.5
Was to shoulder the responsibility of the turnaround with his passes but failed to do so. Chelsea put just the right amount of pressure to overthrow Pogba and Bruno and minimise their effectiveness on the pitch.
Mason Greenwood – 5
Like Martial, not good enough given his form. Greenwood was almost invisible for most of the time he was on the pitch.
Odion Ighalo – N/A
Almost got played on by Bruno Fernandes, only for the ball to have a bit too much weight than it should have had.
Timothy Fosu-Mensah – N/A
Too little a time to have an impact on the game. Will be glad to get more first-team minutes under his belt after a long hiatus.