Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho had his tactics right in the first half
1) Paul Pogba
Paul Pogba looked pumped for this game and played with the aggression and intent we expected him to bring when he joined Manchester United from Juventus last summer.
The France international hit out at critics in midweek, claiming he does as much work for his team as N’Golo Kante does for Chelsea. Pogba matched Kante today.
2) Mourinho’s Zlatan tactics
Was Zlatan Ibrahimovic really as tired as Jose Mourinho suggested? The Manchester United striker was benched in place of Marcus Rashford today, supposedly because he was jaded after the Anderlecht game on Monday.
But maybe Mourinho was being tactical. Chelsea have had all week to prepare their defence for Ibrahimovic. But with Rashford up front, United were far more dangerous in attack and caught the Blues out for the England striker’s eighth-minute goal.
Jose Mourinho baffles fans with new Manchester United captain Sun, April 16, 2017
Click through the gallery to reveal the Manchester United captain to face Chelsea
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Click to reveal the Manchester United captain to face Chelsea
3) Ashley Young
Among Mourinho’s surprise team selection as Ashley Young being named captain for this game. Young still seems to me like an up-and-coming talent – the next Joe Cole or Shaun Wright Phillips.
Of course Young, now 31, is an old head in the dressing room and his experience is well respected among the United players.
Today he put in a mature, steady performance. He’s far from a flash player but is dutiful in carrying out his orders. A bit like James Milner or Gareth Barry. Not the most flattering likening, maybe, but Young proved crucial to shutting down Chelsea today.
Diego Costa struggled to make an impact at Old Trafford
4) Top four and Europa glory
Manchester United have two avenues into the Champions League: Finish in the top four or win the Europa League.
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Three of Mourinho’s four changes today suggested he is gunning for Europa League glory.
But this tactical masterclass means United are firmly in the race for a top-four finish. Manchester City and Arsenal will have been watching nervously.
5) Diego Costa
Marcos Rojo and Eric Bailly kept Diego Costa quiet all afternoon – and the centre-half pairing deserve credit for that. Costa’s supply lines were expertly shut down as Antonio Valencia and Matteo Darmian kept Chelsea’s playmakers quiet. It mean Bailly and Rojo could take it in turns to drop deep with Costa and get rid of the danger.