Martial, Maguire and VAR give United third win over Chelsea
Manchester United beat Chelsea for the third time this season after a 0-2 win in an eventful game at Stamford Bridge. Martial gave the visitors the lead just before half-time with the first shot on the target in the entire match after heading home a Wan-Bissaka cross. Then, Harry Maguire, who could have been sent off in the first half, made it two when he headed home Bruno Fernandes' corner in the 66th minute. However, that was just half the story.
In the 56th minute, Chelsea thought they had made it 1-1 when Zouma scored from a corner, but the VAR, Chris Kavanagh, saw a push by Azpilicueta on Williams which allowed Zouma to score. 12 minutes from time, Giroud thought he had made it 1-2 when he headed in Mason Mount's cross, but the Frenchman was offside and the VAR disallowed that goal as well.
Before all of that, Harry Maguire could have been giving his marching orders when he raised his boot to catch Michy Batshuayi in a delicate area after he had slid to clear the ball away. Although he did not make much contact with the Chelsea man, it was a needless thing to do and he could have easily been sent off. Neither Anthony Taylor on the field nor Chris Kavanagh in Stockley Park saw it as a sending off offence. The fact both officials are from Manchester was mentioned by many on social media. On the field, it was an exciting game.
Chelsea edged the first half, which was played at a fast tempo, but neither team were able to hit the target. Reece James and Willian fired wide inside the opening ten minutes, but then they lost N'Golo Kante to injury. Man Utd had a chance while Chelsea were waiting for Mount to come on which saw Fred combine with Bruno Fernandes before seeing his shot get deflected behind by Rudiger. That was an anomaly though.
Michy Batshuayi nearly flicked home Willian's deflected pass and then in the 26th minute, Mount laid the ball off to Batshuayi who inexplicably hit wide with his first time shot. Bruno Fernandes and Martial responded for the visitors, but when everyone thought it was going to be 0-0, Martial scored. Wan-Bissaka played a one-two with Fred, then turned past Willian before sending a fantastic cross for Martial to give Solskjaer's men the lead at the break.
In the second period, Chelsea started the better and very nearly scored when Pedro created a chance out of nothing, but Wan-Bissaka made a vital block. Chelsea had a goal disallowed by VAR from the resulting corner and then the away side took charge.
Bruno Fernandes struck the upright in the 64th minute from a free-kick which Fred won and then two minutes later, the former Sporting man delivered the corner which saw Maguire double United's lead. After that, United were comfortable until Giroud played a lovely backheel for Kovacic. Just as he was about to pull the trigger, Bailly on his Man Utd return made a great block. Four minutes later, Giroud scored, but the VAR disallowed the goal and that killed off any chance of a Chelsea fightback.
The game ended with Mason Mount striking a post from a free-kick, Ighalo coming on for his Man Utd debut and then the Nigerian being denied his dream debut by a great Caballero save in stoppage time. Chelsea edged the first half, but Man Utd were the better team in the second and deserved the three points in what was a highly entertaining match. Chelsea remain fourth while United now go seventh, just two points off fifth, a potential Champions League spot.