Romelu Lukaku scored and assisted a goal apiece as Manchester United completed a comeback against Chelsea to win 2-1 at Old Trafford on Sunday.
Jose Mourinho’s men did not start all that well and found themselves trailing just after the half-hour mark, when Willian rounded off a brilliant counter attack he started, by firing the ball past David De Gea to make it 1-0 for the visitors.
Manchester United though, pulled the goal back only seven minutes later when Alexis Sanchez, Anthony Martial and Romelu Lukaku combined well for the Belgian striker to slot past Thibaut Courtois from inside the box.
The former Chelsea striker proved to be the difference once again in the second half, playing in a delectable cross for substitute Jesse Lingard to head home in the second period. Alvaro Morata had a late goal chalked off by a dodgy offside call and United held on for three crucial points at home.
— Sky Sports Statto (@SkySportsStatto) February 25, 2018
The result meant the Red Devils moved back into the second place on the Premier League table and here’s how we rated the performances of the Manchester United players.
David De Gea: 5/10
After producing a scintillating display in the midweek draw against Sevilla, the Spaniard was beaten at his near post by Willian’s powerful hit in the first-half. Looked shaky and jittery after the break as well, playing with the sun in his face.
Antonio Valencia: 5.5/10
The Manchester United captain did not have the most memorable of the games at right-back on Sunday. Given a difficult time by Eden Hazard and the onrushing Marcos Alonso, Valencia came out of the test fairly unscathed, with one moment when he bailed out De Gea being quite vital. But his crossing when he got forward was quite disappointing. Booked for a foul on Hazard.
Victor Lindelof: 5/10
Surprisingly, got another start after his poor display against Sevilla in the midweek. Was woefully dragged way out of position for the opening goal by Hazard and almost gifted Pedro with a chance in the second period, only to be saved by his defensive partner. There were a few good moments from him on the field but he still wasn’t convincing enough.
Chris Smalling: 6/10
Was nowhere to be seen in the lead up to Willian’s goal. Apart from that, the Englishman fared quite well at the back, making some crucial blocks. Showed great alertness to bail Lindelof out after a clumsy mistake from the Swede almost allowed Chelsea a chance on goal.
Ashley Young: 6/10
The veteran was picked by Mourinho ahead of Luke Shaw for the game and he too, was one of the guilty parties in the lead up to Chelsea’s goal. However, he did manage to stifle the threat of Victor Moses from his side, never really allowing the Chelsea wing-back to get into dangerous positions and looked decent each time he went forward.
Scott McTominay: 7/10
Tasked with man-marking Hazard, the academy graduate began shakily and allowed Willian to run past him easily, leading to the opener. Improved very much from thereon though, and performed admirably, keeping the Belgian wing wizard under check for long phases of the game.
Brilliant pass to find Lukaku in the build up to the second. The youngster continues to repay the immense faith the manager has placed in him.
Nemanja Matic: 7/10
Nemanja Matic’s match by numbers:
• Most touches on the ball (95)
• Most passes (78)
• Most possession gained (15)
• Most aerial duels won (100%)
• Most distance covered (11.71km)
Matic’s midfield masterclass. 👏🏼
— The Man Utd Way (@TheManUtdWay) February 25, 2018
Having been a little off colour recently, the Serbian powerhouse decided to up his game against his former club and put in a solid display in the middle of the park. Matic broke up play nonchalantly in the centre, made crucial blocks and interceptions throughout. There were a few sloppy passes early in the game, but that too improved with time.
Paul Pogba: 6/10
Having been left out of the starting line-ups for the previous two games, Pogba was reinstated to the team on Sunday. Was outmuscled by Moses which started the move for Chelsea’s goal but improved with time. Was better in attack after the break, as he made driving runs to take his team high up the pitch, there were glimpses of his tricks and skills as well.
Blew hot and cold at times, but it was a step in the right direction for the Frenchman after all the recent negative attention he has been gathering.
Only Paul Pogba (9) has registered more assists than Romelu Lukaku (6) for Man United in the Premier League this season. pic.twitter.com/giLp5XA4Th
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) February 25, 2018
Alexis Sanchez: 6/10
The former Arsenal man wasn’t at his ebullient best on the day, missing an easy chance to give United the lead in the first period. Played an important role in the build-up to Lukaku’s goal and set the Belgian up for another chance after the break, which was saved by Thibaut Courtois.
Anthony Martial: 5.5/10
Played a neat layoff in the box to set Lukaku up for the equalizer. The Frenchman was full of running but couldn’t offer much else to the game apart from the assist and was taken off a little after the hour mark for Lingard.
Romelu Lukaku: 9/10
Finally ended the hoodoo of not scoring against a top-six outfit, slotting home the equalizer expertly, after a lovely first touch. Had a spectacularly struck volley saved before he set Lingard up with a peach of a cross after some sleek footwork on the right side to kill the game.
His marauding sprint in the injury time drew the loudest of the cheers and great appreciation from his manager as well. Considering his record against big teams and the magnitude of Sunday’s game, it wouldn’t be wrong to say that it was Lukaku’s best display in a Manchester United shirt since his summer move.
13 – Jesse Lingard has scored 13 goals in all competitions for Manchester United this season; only Romelu Lukaku (22) has netted more for the club. Handy. pic.twitter.com/uga5YvCJpT
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) February 25, 2018
Jesse Lingard: 7/10
Replaced Martial just a little after the hour mark and brought a renewed energy on to the field, with his contribution being a crunching tackle on the opponent. Continued his amazing goalscoring form this season as he headed home the winner in the 75th minute.
Eric Bailly: N/A
Came on for Sanchez in the last ten minutes as Mourinho looked to counter the threat of Olivier Giroud and Morata operating together for the visitors.