Three things we learned: Chelsea 0-2 Manchester United

Chelsea v Man Utd

Manchester United progressed to the quarter-final stage of the FA Cup after they secured a comfortable 2-0 triumph over Chelsea in the fifth round.

The Red Devils had gone into the game without a victory at Stamford Bridge since the Sir Alex Ferguson era but they managed to overcome this statistic with a top first-half performance.

Ander Herrera opened the scoring after the half an hour mark after getting on the right end of a sublime Paul Pogba cross and the lead was doubled before the break with the latter coming up with a close-range headed goal.

Following the interval, the Blues had the better of the possession statistics once more but they lacked the cutting edge upfront which eventually contributed to a comfortable half for Sergio Romero between the sticks.

Three things we learned:

Paul Pogba sizzles for United once more: The Frenchman has experienced a superb change in fortunes with Ole at the helm and he was once more the standout player in the club’s ranks with a goal and an assist. The World Cup winner did not have the best of beginnings to the game but he made the difference when it mattered with a sublime assist for the opener, before heading in the second goal with a powerful header where he got the better of Antonio Rudiger once more. Pogba has amassed nine goals and six assists since Ole took temporary charge of the club in December.

Maurizio Sarri’s position at risk: Before even the game started, there had been plenty of speculation regarding the Italian’s future and the question marks are likely to raise after another defeat to a top-six team. The Blues struggled to come with any kind of response after going 2-0 down at home and this is likely to raise doubts whether Sarri has the credentials to motivate the current set of players. With the top four still under grasp, the hierarchy may continue to remain patient, although that may not last long, should the results pave the same way.

Manchester United need to tie down Ander Herrera: Herrera has been one of the many standout performers for United under Ole and this has enabled him to command a regular role in the centre of the park. Moreover, he has been given the added freedom to make forward runs with the odd long-range attempt and this was quite visible at the Bridge where he was on the right end of Pogba’s loopy cross in the box. With the consistency displayed, United ought to commit the Spaniard to a new deal at the earliest opportunity, given his existing contract expires in the summer.

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Author: chris darwen