A neat finish from Eden Hazard through the legs of the oncoming David De Gea proved enough as Chelsea took all three points, and another huge step towards the Premier League title.
It could have been so different had Wayne Rooney’s shot that rippled the Chelsea net not tricked the travelling Reds, as it missed the target and ended up hitting the stanchion behind the goal and onto the back of the goal netting.
For over thirty five minutes the away side dominated possession leaving the hosts somewhat confused as to what tactics they were going to deploy to stop Red wave. Impressive furthermore when you consider that United were without the midfield fulcrum in Michael Carrick, also out due to injury were Daley Blind, Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo, meaning there were starts for Paddy McNair, Luke Shaw, and Radamel Falcao leading the line up front. Wayne Rooney was dropped back into midfield, as the reshuffle didn’t really hamper United in the first half.
On thirty eight minutes, John Terry appeared to foul Falcao, who maybe could have shielded the ball better. As Chelsea broke it was Oscar’s clever back heel into the path of Hazard that carved open United, as Hazard’s smart finish put the Blues one nil up.
The second half continued with United dominating possession as Chelsea threatened to break on the counter. Luke Shaw impressed showing energy and drive to get forward, whilst the centre back pairing of Smalling and McNair also impressed as they limited goal scoring chances for Chelsea, as well as showing confidence in bringing the ball out of defence to set up attacks.
Louis van Gaal made substitutions late on in the game, replacing Luke Shaw, Ashley Young and Juan Mata with Tyler Blackett, Angel Di Maria and Adnan Januzaj, but they were unable to change the course of the game.
Falcao did have one excellent opportunity to change the opinion of many United fans, but hit his left footed shot past Courtois only to see it hit the angle of the post and crossbar.
In injury time Ander Herrera left a trailing leg in Gary Cahill’s path, hoping for a penalty, but was instead booked for a dive just to rub salt into the wounds.
United were unlucky to come away from Stamford Bridge without at least a point, and have now had their magnificent run of victories halted by the side that is within two victories away from winning the title. Next up for United is a tricky away trip to Goodison Park, Everton, where they will be hoping that their midfield lynchpin Carrick will return, freeing Rooney to lead the attack.