FA Cup- Chelsea 0-2 Manchester United: 5 key talking points

As Chelsea exit the Cup at the round of 16 stage, I look at the 5 key talking points from this clash yesterday in the FA Cup.

  1. Line up all wrong- Coming into this game, many people were scared to see Sarri’s line up at 6:30pm yesterday. And they weren’t wrong, as the team line up scared many Chelsea fans yesterday.

The main concern for many Chelsea fans was the fact that Alonso started in this match. Many Chelsea fans regard Alonso’s performance this season as abysmal, yet Sarri still picks him to play at left back. Every team when they see Alonso at left back, targets his sides as he is the major weak link in this side.

The other selection which left Chelsea fans rather baffled was the fact that Pedro started this game over Callum Hudson-Odoi. Many Chelsea fans have no idea what’s going on with Hudson-Odoi, but he hasn’t been getting enough game at all, and many Chelsea fans are upset with how Sarri is treating Hudson-Odoi. The fact that he didn’t start in the Malmo game, gave the impression that he would start tonight. However that wasn’t the case…

The bad thing for Chelsea fans is the team that started yesterday, was basically the team that got smashed 6-0 by Manchester City in the Premier League recently.

Except from the fact that Kovacic started over Barkley. That was the only difference from the side that started yesterday, and the side that started in the Manchester City game.

2. Chelsea caught on the counter attack- This is was what many people suspected Manchester United’s plan would be for this cup tie, and it worked so effectively for the Red Devils.

The first goal of the game came completely against the run of play, when Chelsea were on top for that period of the game. But Manchester United used their pace on the brake for both goals and caught Chelsea out twice with both of their goals.

Looking at the first goal, who was at fault? Marcos Alonso. His body positioning was all wrong, and Herrera just sneaked in behind him for a free header to give United a 1-0 lead midway through the first half.

Here’s a look at Alonso’s awful defending for the first goal;

Onto the second goal now, and it was scored in a similar fashion, with another header from Pogba. For the second goal, again the defending was shambolic, but Kepa could have done much better for the second goal.

Azpilicueta and Rüdiger were the big culprits in the backline for the second goal.

Here’s a reminder of how United went 2-0 up yesterday;

3. Sarri’s completely out of his depth- This hasn’t just been shown in today’s game, but this has been building up over a long period of time now.

His line up selection is just shocking at times. Sticking with what he knows, and not trying to change it up enough. He’s very stubborn with everything at this moment in time. He’s more stubborn than managers like
Arsène Wenger.

The way he has treated Hudson-Odoi recently has been a disgrace.

He keeps picking Jorginho who has been so poor for a long time now in the midfield 3. The Italian boss refuses to move Kante back to his normal position due to him favouring Jorginho in the regista roll.- Why doesn’t he just change the formation to 4-2-3-1 to accommodate both midfielders in the favoured positions?

Sarri just keeps doing the same thing over and over again. And Einstein defines that as insanity. So at this moment, Sarri is insane with everything that he is doing at this moment.

And the fact that he admits that he doesn’t want to change or think about a plan B until his plan A works is just a disgrace, considering that plan A isn’t working, and hasn’t been working for a long time.

So there have been multiple things that Sarri needs to do, but he won’t do and this was Chelsea’s fans reactions to what they were seeing on the pitch yesterday;

Obviously, the players have to take a portion of the blame, as it looks like this group of players are on the edge of getting their 3rd manager sacked now. However, there are things that Sarri could do to get fans on his side, but he isn’t!

And now after yesterday’s defeat, there seems to be more and more people wanting Sarri Out. And even his most loyal fans are starting to turn against him;

We all know where this is going now…

However some Chelsea fans also want change at the board level, if/when Sarri is sacked;

National Journalist Henry Winter summed up the problems with Sarri yesterday evening;

Another Journalist also summed up the problems with Sarri;

4. Substitutions all wrong- 2-0 down at half-time and you have the likes of Hudson-Odoi and Giroud on the bench. However neither came on in the second half…

The first sub was Willian for Pedro, and for me that sub turned out to be ineffective, as Willian offered very little when he came on in the second half. Why did Sarri not give Hudson Odoi a chance, rather than relying on two of the oldest wingers in the League to do a job for him?

Onto the second sub now, and it was the typical Ross Barkley for Kovacic sub, which Sarri makes nearly every game!

There were people on social media who were predicting when Sarri would bring Barkley on, and here were a few fan reactions to that substitution;

Onto the third substitution now which was the most baffling. You are 2-0 down, only have one sub left and who do you bring on? Zappacosta…

This sub has summed up Maurizio Sarri’s tactical ineptness. How in this world did the Italian boss think that this sub was a good idea?

The problem with Sarri is that all his subs are like for like substitutions. He doesn’t ever change the system up, when he could for example throw 2 strikers on the pitch for the last quarter or so for the game.

Why doesn’t he also take off a midfielder or defender and throw another attacker on, when Chelsea are losing.

5. Crunch time now for Chelsea’s season- With Chelsea now being knocked out of the FA Cup, realistically all they have to fight for is the Carabao Cup Final on Sunday, the Europa League and the fight for top 4 for the Premier League.

The next 3 games could entirely shape Chelsea’s season. Firstly the Malmo second leg tie on Thursday now turns into a crucial game, as Chelsea probably see the Europa League as their most likely way to enter the Champions League next season.

Their next game after that is the Carabao Cup final on Sunday against Manchester City at Wembley. This will be seen as a chance for Maurizio Sarri (if still the manager) to win his first piece of silverware with Chelsea, and in his whole career.

The third game then comes next wednesday against Tottenham at home in the Premier League. A match which would prove significant in determining what happens in the top 4 race. Chelsea have to win that London derby against their great rivals, to keep pace in the top 4 race.

Loses in any of the 3 games, could prove detrimental in Chelsea’s season and future.

So the Blues now next play on Thursday in the Europa League, in their second leg tie against Malmo at Stamford Bridge. Will Sarri be the manager for the next game. We will find out…

Whereas Manchester United next play on Sunday in a crucial match in the Premier League against their great rivals who are challenging for the title this season with Manchester City- Liverpool.

By Danyal Khan

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