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Full-time: Manchester United 2-0 Chelsea

  • Chelsea's advantage over second-place Tottenham remains at four points with six matches left to play after rare defeat at Old Trafford
  • Marcus Rashford fires hosts into an early lead after being teed up by a brilliant pass from Ander Herrera, who appeared to handle the ball in the build-up
  • Herrera doubles the advantage after his powerful shot takes a massive deflection off Kurt Zouma
  • Visitors fail to muster a single shot on target during worst display since they switched to Antonio Conte's preferred 3-4-3 system in October
  • Red Devils end a run of 12 matches without a win against Chelsea that stretched back to 2012
  • Jose Mourinho, with one eye on Thursday's Europa League quarter-final second leg against Anderlecht, initially creates controversy by leaving Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Henrikh Mkhitaryan on the bench and naming Ashley Young as captain
  • Thibaut Courtois misses the game due to an ankle problem and Chelsea also lose Marcos Alonso to an injury sustained during the warm-up
  • Fifth-place United are now four points behind Manchester City with a game in hand
  • Recap: West Brom 0-1 Liverpool
Ander Herrera

That is all for now, thanks for joining me. IBTimes UK will be back tomorrow night to bring you live coverage of an Easter Monday clash between Middlesbrough and Arsenal at the Riverside Stadium.

Until then, goodnight.

Chelsea, who have been top of the pile since November, remain clear title favourites with six games left to play. However, there will be no shortage of concern regarding their 10-point lead being whittled down to four.

As per Opta Stats, today was the first time that they have failed to muster a single shot on target in a Premier League match since a goalless draw at Manchester United back in 2007.

Tottenham are in imperious form right now and go head-to-head with their London rivals in an FA Cup semi-final clash at Wembley next weekend. After that, Conte's men round off the season against Southampton (H), Everton (A), Middlesbrough (H), West Brom (A), Watford (H) and Sunderland (H).

On paper, Spurs have a much tougher run-in. The challengers still have to play Crystal Palace (A), Arsenal (H), West Ham (A), Manchester United (H), Leicester (A) and Hull (A).

A tactical masterclass from Mourinho hands Tottenham real incentive in the title race and puts United, who boast a game in hand over their local rivals, four points adrift of fourth-place Manchester City. Such a triumph ends an ugly 12-match winless run against Chelsea that dated back to 2012.

United are now unbeaten in 22 league matches and will head into Thursday's Europa League quarter-final decider against Anderlecht full of confidence. Mourinho will be delighted to have got one over on his former side after back-to-back defeats.


Manchester United 2-0 Chelsea

Ibrahimovic collects a late yellow. With less than two minutes of added time remaining, Timothy Fosu-Mensah replaces Young.

The 31-year-old has provided a fine riposte to those who scoffed at his inclusion as captain.

Four minutes of added time signalled by the fourth official. Chelsea are heading for a very rare defeat.

Fabregas launches into a clumsy tackle on Carrick that probably looked worse than it was. Yellow card.

Nothing doing for Loftus-Cheek. Mourinho cuts an animated figure on the touchline as his name is sung around the stadium.

Is he never satisfied?

Bailly does superbly well to snuff out the threat of Hazard. The offside flag was up anyway.

A reminder that Chelsea have still yet to produce a single shot on target. There are less than four minutes left to play.

Conte makes his final substitution. Loftus-Cheek jogs on in place of Zouma.


A standing ovation for Rashford as he goes off to be replaced by the evergreen Swede.

A fine display from the teenager, who has now scored in back-to-back league games for the first time since September.

Luiz and Pedro keep Young and Antonio Valencia at bay. The United skipper then miscues a shot as Ibrahimovic prepares to take the field.

Rojo gets too physical with nemesis Costa and a spot of obvious holding earns him a booking.

Pedro gets the better of Herrera once more but his inaccurate cutback is cleared by Pogba.

The hugely impressive Rashford then motors past Kante and tries to win a corner off Luiz. The referee's assistant flags for a goal kick.

Herrera trips Hazard and picks up a yellow card. He just will not give him an inch.

Pedro gets the better of Herrera and fires a low cross into the six-yard box. De Gea gratefully intercepts.

Conte's second change sees Willian replace the ineffective Matic. The Brazilian gives the ball away while trying to initiate an attack and United break forward with real pace.

Rashford battles hard against Luiz and eventually forces a smart low stop from Begovic at his near post.

A bit of argy-bargy between Herrera and Costa as Chelsea prepare to take their second corner in quick succession.

Excellent defending from Herrera after the ball bobbles around rather awkwardly on the edge of the six-yard box. Without his timely intervention, Costa likely would have reduced the deficit.

64 minutes on the clock and Chelsea finally earn their first corner after Bailly fends off Costa.

Rojo clears before Pedro's latest effort is deflected behind.

Yet more uncharacteristic sloppiness from Chelsea as Matic concedes possession cheaply in midfield. Fellaini quickly finds Rashford, who rifles a shot into the side netting.

Half the ground thought that was in.

A diagonal cross from Azpilicueta floats over the head of Matteo Darmian. Pedro tries to reach it on the slide but is unable to prevent the ball from going behind for a goal kick.

Carrick replaces Lingard. This will be the 35-year-old's 450th appearance in a United shirt.

Fabregas and Costa fail to fashion a shooting chance and United are back on the attack. Carrick is preparing to enter the fray.


Pedro lets fly with a speculative drive that was never likely to worry De Gea.

Conte has seen enough and turns to his bench for the first time. Moses makes way for Cesc Fabregas.

Chelsea are all at sea here as Lingard combines with Rashford and whistles a shot narrowly over the crossbar.

Rashford's free-kick from the right wing is too deep, but Pogba keeps the attack alive.

Young's initial ball is turned away by Luiz, but the stand-in skipper refuses to give up. He pulls the ball back for Herrera, whose powerful shot takes a huge deflection off Zouma and completely wrong-foots Begovic.

An early goal in each half has United cruising.

Ander Herrera

Goal: Manchester United 2-0 Chelsea (Ander Herrera)

Fellaini stays down in some discomfort after being caught with a high boot from Cahill. The Chelsea captain joins Costa in having his name taken.

No changes from either manager just yet. The second half is off and running.

A reminder that if this result stays the same, the gap between Chelsea and second-place Tottenham will remain at four points with six matches left to play.

Will Conte consider a change at the break?

Herrera picking up where he left off in March. Hazard simply must find a way to break clear of his shackles.


Chelsea have mustered just a single wayward shot and look completely disjointed. Arguably their worst half under Conte, certainly since he switched to his favoured 3-4-3 formation back in October.

A terrific half from United, who have outworked, outhustled and outfought the leaders so far. A sometimes docile crowd have responded to their intensity and Mourinho's controversial team selection is being fully vindicated at the moment.


Manchester United 1-0 Chelsea

Young crashes a shot well over from the edge of the box. That should be the last action of this opening period.

Two minutes of added time will be played at the end of this first half. A frustrated Costa blasts wide as Chelsea continue to search for their first shot on target.

Mocking cheers from an excited home crowd as Azpilicueta slips over when preparing to deliver a cross.

Young also looks to have copped an accidental elbow to the face from Moses.


Cahill heads Rashford's cross narrowly over his own crossbar after silky one touch build-up play from United.

The youngster's corner is cleared by Kante.

Now Rashford goes down off the ball. So much to keep your eye on here as the clock ticks down towards the end of a frantic opening half.

What did I say about Rojo vs Costa?

The duo engage in a theatrical spat after an aerial duel. Accusations fly and Madley has a job to restore order.

Marcos Rojo and Diego Costa

Hazard floats a free-kick into the United area after being fouled by man-marker Herrera.

However, the referee spots an infringement and the attack comes to a halt.

Costa catches Pogba late and Madley has no hesitation in producing the first yellow card of the game.

It's been a typically fiery start from the Spaniard. He has to be on his best behaviour now.

Rashford dances his way to the byline and somehow keeps the ball in play before pulling it back for Pogba.

The world's most-expensive footballer then tees up Young, who has to adjust his body position to collect a slow pass. His subsequent shot fails to trouble Begovic.

A wing-back switch from Conte. Moses is now playing on the left, with Azpilicueta on the right.

I'm not sure United have played better than this all season. Their intensity is on another level to what we've seen during so many frustrating and listless draws.

Begovic throws out a strong hand to prevent Lingard from connecting with Rashford's cross.

The goalscorer is continuing to prove a real thorn in Chelsea's side.

Zouma stoops low to head clear a Lingard free-kick intended for Fellaini. Chelsea counter swiftly, but Costa is stopped in his tracks by a brilliantly-timed tackle from Paul Pogba.

Yes, you read that correctly.

As it was during that FA Cup quarter-final tie, Marcos Rojo vs Costa is a heated battle to watch.

Young flashes a low diagonal ball through the legs of Moses and across the six-yard box.

Unfortunately for United, Rashford is unable to reach it in time for a close-range tap-in.

Diego Costa petulantly shoves Eric Bailly to the floor after De Gea claims a cross from Moses. No card.

It's been a hectic opening at Old Trafford. Cracking atmosphere.

More than a hint of controversy about that goal as Chelsea players protest that Herrera blocked Matic's pass with his hand.

Madley waves away their protests. The goal will stand.

For all the pre-match bellyaching about Mourinho's team selection, United take the lead inside seven minutes.

Herrera blocks a pass from Nemanja Matic and releases Rashford with a gorgeous through ball. The academy graduate, played onside by Luiz, dinks over Begovic in confident fashion.

What a start.

Marcus Rashford

Goal: Manchester United 1-0 Chelsea (Marcus Rashford)

David Luiz is caught in possession by Jesse Lingard and Marcus Rashford hurriedly drags a low shot well wide.

United are matching up against Chelsea with a back three. Herrera sticking to Hazard like glue during the opening few minutes.

Referee Robert Madley gets the biggest game of the weekend underway.

Confirmation of that last-minute Chelsea change:


Chelsea's impressive title pursuit this term has been immeasurably boosted by a persistently clean bill of health.

However, that luck might just be turning now as Marcos Alonso withdraws from the starting XI with an injury suffered during the warm-up.

Kurt Zouma comes into the starting XI, a change that will presumably see Cesar Azpilicueta pushed back out to wing-back. Nathan Ake is promoted to the bench.

In addition to explaining Ibrahimovic's surprising absence, Mourinho also confirms that Rooney is still out injured.


Speaking to Sky Sports, Conte confirms Courtois' ankle injury and says that he hopes the Belgian only misses one game.

Asked if it is true that he sustained the problem while playing basketball during a commercial shoot, he says: "I think it's not important now to understand the way that he got this injury... Now it's important to work to recover very soon."

The Italian also claims to "trust a lot" in Begovic and says he is sure that he will play well today.

Begovic for the injured Courtois is Chelsea's only change from an entertaining win on the south coast.

Eduardo serves as his deputy and Nathaniel Chalobah's spot on the bench is taken by Ruben Loftus-Cheek.


It's fair to say that United team has caused no shortage of consternation across social media. With the second leg against Anderlecht to come on Thursday, Mourinho has opted to name Zlatan Ibrahimovic as a substitute.

There are four changes in total from Belgium, with David De Gea, Marouane Fellaini, and Ander Herrera replacing Sergio Romero, Michael Carrick and Henrikh Mkhitaryan.

Taking Ibrahimovic's place, the fit-again Young is also handed the captain's armband. Rooney does not make the bench and Anthony Martial is omitted from the matchday squad entirely.



Confirmed lineups from both camps should reach us within the next five minutes. Stay tuned.

It is better goalkeeping news for United, who will name David De Gea in their starting XI after he missed the 3-0 win at Sunderland with a minor hip issue and reverted back to his usual spot on the bench against Anderlecht in Brussels.

Sergio Romero and David De Gea

Ashley Young and Wayne Rooney could also return after training in advance of that fixture at Constant Vanden Stock Stadium, although Chris Smalling and Phil Jones are not expected back until mid-May.

Juan Mata is set to miss the rest of the season as he recovers from groin surgery.

The big news that has been circulating across social media today concerns Chelsea goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois. The towering Belgian will reportedly miss this afternoon's game due to an ankle issue suffered in training.

Asmir Begovic is expected to deputise instead. Eduardo will feature on the bench and 17-year-old Jamie Cumming has travelled north as a third option between the posts.


That should be Conte's only injury concern, with Victor Moses returning from a toe problem during last weekend's 3-1 win at Bournemouth.

"No concerns. One or two situations to check, but no injuries," the manager said on Thursday. "The situations are good, but I think we have another day to make the best decision for the team. I want to wait to tell you if it is alright."

"When they have somebody who wins four Premier Leagues for them, I'll be No2. For this moment, 'Judas' is No1."

That was former Chelsea favourite Jose Mourinho's reaction to being labelled a traitor by certain sections of the home crowd during a 1-0 FA Cup quarter-final defeat at Stamford Bridge last month, a fiery affair settled by a rare goal from N'Golo Kante that was also notable for a spot of heated touchline verbals between the two managers, Ander Herrera's controversial red card and a rather bruising game of hack-a-Hazard.

Despite that row and a humiliating 4-0 pasting suffered on his first return to west London in October, the self-proclaimed 'Special One', who bemoaned his side's persistent profligacy following a last-gasp Europa League draw against Anderlecht on Thursday evening, insists this third meeting against his former charges is no different than any other game.

Manchester United vs Chelsea

However, surely he would love to oversee a win that would halt sixth-place Manchester United's wretched recent run against Chelsea, extend their slightly misleading unbeaten sequence to 22 matches, keep them firmly in the mix for a top-four spot and provoke fears of an extraordinary late title gazumping by in-form Tottenham Hotspur. Mauricio Pochettino's side are back to within four points of the leaders following yesterday's drubbing of Bournemouth.

The Red Devils are not accustomed to losing at Old Trafford, although a run of five draws in six home matches in 2017 - a run that includes three ties on the spin - has provoked much frustration. They are likely to find the going tough against a Blues side that have lost only one of their last 11 league games and have not been defeated by today's opponents since 2012.