Martial and Maguire down Chelsea amid more VAR debate

What a moment
By Chris O'Brien
February 18 2020

Manchester United boosted their ambitions of qualifying for the 2020/2021 Champions League with a famous win at Chelsea on Monday evening, as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's charges made a strong statement to their critics.

United were returning to action for the first time in more than two weeks, following the Premier League break.

The pressure was on Solskjaer's side to perform, following a mediocre run of form which - despite some Cup victories - had seen the team pick-up only four points from five league games.

United responded with a thoroughly professional and deterimed victory against a Chelsea side who could have pulled a daunting nine points clear of the Red Devils with the opposite result.

A stunning glancing header from Anthony Martial broke the deadlock moments before the interval, after some stunning work and a fine cross from Aaron Wan-Bissaka.

Chelsea, however, will feel a degree of grievance with their ninth league defeat of the campaign. The ever-controversial Video Assistant Referee three times denied the Pensioners.

Maguire was not sent off after an alleged kick to Michy Batshuayi during a touchline tangle in the first-half - before two goals were ruled out by the video technology.

Substitute Kurt Zouma's impressive finish was ruled out after Cesar Azpilicueta was adjudged to have pushed Brandon Williams; before Olivier Giroud's 76th-minute finish - which would have reduced the arrears to one and set-up a tense finale - was chalked off with the Frenchman marginally offside.

This was a crucial win for United. With Manchester City's expulsion from the Champions League opening up the possibility of a fifth-placed finish securing a spot among Europe's elite, United are suddenly within striking distance.

Solskjaer's men have, yet again, claimd a fine scalp against one of English football's fellow top names. Stamford Bridge has been far from a happy hunting ground over the years for United, yet this was a second win of the season at Stamford Bridge, and secured a league double to boot.

United have also twice won at City's Eastlands, are the only team to take a point off the title-bound Scousers this season, and have beaten Spurs. Despite this, results against other clubs have too often let United down - and the Red Devils must build on this latest triumph by beating Club Brugge in the Europa League and Watford on Sunday.

A fantastic evening for Manchester United - and the away end sang for Solskjaer, and of course, the late, great Harry Gregg throughout. The win was a fitting tribute for the Northern Irishman who died this week aged 87; and a three points which could - if built upon - lease new life into this uncertain season.

Ole must stay.

Full Time - Chelsea 0-2 Manchester United
Attendance - 40,504

pqs: qs:
Martial and Maguire down Chelsea amid more VAR debate
Posted by: (IP Logged)
Date: 18/02/2020 13:45

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Re: Martial and Maguire down Chelsea amid more VAR debate
Posted by: Rogero (IP Logged)
Date: 19/02/2020 14:59

Thanks Chris - good report.

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