Highlights & Match Events | Chelsea 4-3 Man Utd: MU missed out on a regretful victory, Palmer scores two goals at the last minute to save Blues

Chelsea 4-3 Man Utd: Palmer scores two goals at the last minute to save Blues

7-8 minutes


Highlights & All Goals:

In this strangest of seasons for Manchester United, Erik ten Hag’s side have swung between shambolic and sensational, and everything else in between. Rarely, though, have they managed it all on the same night.

Match Report

Here at Stamford Bridge, we were treated to the full repertoire. Five days after dropping valuable points in the race for Champions League qualification down the road at Brentford, United were at it again as they conceded goals deep into injury-time by Cole Palmer who celebrated a sensational hat-trick.

Two down to Chelsea and seemingly out, they clawed their way back into the game and then looked to have snatched victory through Alejandro Garnacho’s second goal of the night. But in the 99th minute, Cole Palmer converted a second penalty of the night to earn a draw and then fired on off Scott McToninay in the 102nd minute.

Although there was proof once again that these players are still ready to fight for Ten Hag, this was a crushing blow to their top-four hopes. United’s new co-owner Jim Ratcliffe was here to witness the drama at Stamford Bridge, and it would be fascinating to know what he made of it all.

United still have the prospect of an FA Cup final next month where they could feasibly meet Chelsea again. One the basis of this encounter, it could be a cracking final.

Ten Hag made the bold decision to leave Marcus Rashford on the bench and hand Antony his first Premier League start of the year, although not everyone will have bought into his explanation that he was rotating to keep players fit for Liverpool on Sunday.

At least, Raphael Varane and Harry Maguire proved their fitness in time to start in central defence after Lisandro Martinez and Victor Lindelof became United’s latest casualties.

‘It would have been an headache if they hadn’t been fit, so it’s a relief,’ added Ten Hag who even had the luxury of having Jonny Evans back on the bench.

Yet any sense of security dissipated within 18 minutes as Chelsea scored twice to seize control of the game.

We were less than four minutes in when Kobbie Mainoo was guilty of a rare error, misplacing a pass to Alejandro Garnacho on the United left. Enzo Fernandez picked up the loose ball and curled it into the path of Malo Gusto whose low cross took a deflection off Varane.

Not for the first time this season, United were punished for leaving a man unmarked on the edge of the box as Conor Gallagher swept a first-time shot under the body of Andre Onana.

It soon got even worse for Ten Hag. Marc Cucurella played the ball wide to Mykhaila Mudryk and continued his run into the box to collect a return pass from the Ukrainian. Antony had tracked Cucurella’s run but allowed the Spaniard to get the wrong side and brought him down with a clumsy challenge.

Referee Jared Gillett pointed to the spot and Cole Palmer maintained his 100 per cent record this season, converting a seventh penalty.

At that stage, there only looked like being one winner. An unchanged Chelsea had given Pochettino the response he wanted after dropping points against Burnley here on Saturday, while United simply couldn’t get going.

Garnacho’s volley was so wide it went out for a throw-in and Diogo Dalot sent a pass straight into the stands. The Portugal defender did manage to block Palmer’s goalbound shot, though, and Axel Disasi planted a free header wide at the far post.

But somehow, out of nowhere, United were level before half-time as it was Chelsea’s turn to implode. Their first goal was almost comical, starting with Bruno Fernandes’ wayward pass that looked to be going out of play in the 34th minute.

Credit to Antony for keeping it in, but even he thought Moises Caicedo had the situation under control. However, Caicedo played a horrible pass straight into the path of Garnacho and he faced away from Benoit Badiashile to prod home.

No sooner had Fernandez forced a smart save from Onana four minutes later than United broke and Dalot swung a cross to the back post where Fernandes was waiting unmarked to guide a header back across Djordje Petrovic into the far corner.

There was still time at the end of a see-saw first half for Gallagher to rattle the post with another effort.

The second half was just as end-to-end as the first, if not more so. Nicolas Jackson forced a fine reflex save from Onana who then turned over Palmer’s effort.

Fernandes fired over at the end of another United breakaway. Disasi recovered just in time to deny Rasmus Hojlund in front of goal after giving the ball away to the Dane.

By the time Garnacho scored the decisive goal in the 67th minute, Evans – a half-time substitute for Varane – had departed the action himself and Rashford was preparing to come on.

This time Badiashile was the guilty man, gifting possession to Antony close to halfway. The Brazilian capped a fine performance by accelerating away and guiding the ball with the outside of his right foot to Garnacho on the edge of the box. Petrovic came out but it was the wrong move, giving Garnacho the simple task of nodding the ball past him.

The deep into eight minutes of added time Dalot stumbled and brought down substitute Noni Madueke in the box and Palmer was given another chance from the spot. Once again, he didn’t miss.

There was even more to come in the 102nd minute as Palmer sized up another effort from range and this one took a deflection off McTominay as it flew past Onana.

Match Events

0′ The match is about to start!

4′ GOAL! Chelsea 1-0 Man Utd (Conor Gallagher)

19′ Penalty Goal! Chelsea 2-0 Man Utd (Cole Palmer)

28′ CLOSE! Mudryk’s shot wide out

32′ Yellow Card! Malo Gusto booked

34′ GOAL! Chelsea 2-1 Man Utd (Alejandro Garnacho)

39′ GOAL! Chelsea 2-2 Man Utd (Bruno Fernandes)

55′ Bruno fires his shot into the sky

59′ What a save from Onana!

67′ GOAL! Chelsea 2-3 Man Utd (Alejandro Garnacho)

100′ Penalty Goal! Chelsea 3-3 Man Utd (Cole Palmer)

101′ GOAL! Chelsea 4-3 Man Utd (Cole Palmer)

Line-ups

Chelsea XI: Marc Cucurella, Axel Disasi, Conor Gallagher, Djordje Petrovic, Benoît Badiashile, Cole Palmer, Mykhaylo Mudryk, Enzo Fernández, Moisés Caicedo, Malo Gusto, Nicolas Jackson

Subs: Thiago Silva, Sterling, Marcus Bettinelli, Trevoh Chalobah, Noni Madueke, Carney Chukwuemeka, Cesare Casadei, Jimi Tauriainen, Alfie Gilchrist

Man Utd XI: Casemiro, Varane, Maguire, Bruno Fernandes, Onana, Dalot, Wan-Bissaka, Antony, Alejandro Garnacho, Rasmus Højlund, Kobbie Mainoo

Subs: Heaton, Evans, Eriksen, Amrabat, Mount, Rashford, McTominay, Amad Diallo Traore, Willy Kambwala

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