Paul Pogba leads from the front for Manchester United in ruthless win over Chelsea 4 years ago

Paul Pogba leads from the front for Manchester United in ruthless win over Chelsea

When you're in form, you're in form

Manchester United arrived at Stamford Bridge on Monday night knowing that, for the first time since the departure of Jose Mourinho, there was real pressure on them.


The comprehensive defeat to Paris Saint-Germain in the first leg of their Champions League second round tie on Tuesday last week was the first time that United had been truly outclassed under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, and the Red Devils knew that a reaction was needed.

Chelsea themselves came into the game off the back of a humiliating 6-0 defeat to Manchester City, and with manager Maurizio Sarri under genuine pressure from a set of supporters with serious reservations over what has become known as 'Sarriball'.

That pressure was not evident by the way in which his side started, with Chelsea sluggish from the off and clearly lacking the intensity shown by their visitors.

United hassled and harried Chelsea, with Nemanja Matic and Ander Herrera giving Eden Hazard the sort of attention which has now become customary in this tie, and it worked.


Chelsea's midfield were unable to get any sort of momentum going in the game, and were persistently outmanoeuvred by United's midfield diamond containing Matic, Herrera, Paul Pogba and Juan Mata.

Pogba and Herrera in particular were exceptional throughout, and combined for United's first goal.

With the ball spread out to the left wing, Pogba turned onto his right foot and swung an arching cross in. It was met by Herrera on the end of a wonderful run, and the Spaniard headed past Kepa Arrizabalaga to give United the lead.


United continued to control the game after bagging the first, out-running and outplaying Chelsea in each phase of play. The hosts would have been looking for the half-time whistle to collect themselves, but it wasn't to be, as United grabbed their second and final goal just before the interval.

Once again Pogba was integral to proceedings, winning the ball and playing it out to Marcus Rashford on the right wing. The United forward held the ball up perfectly, allowing the Frenchman the time to reach the box.

Rashford then launched a beautiful ball into Pogba's path, and the midfielder - who has been a man reborn under Solskjaer - sent a bullet header past Chelsea's goalkeeper.


The goal was symbolic of Pogba's recent form; an example of the poise, vision and unadulterated confidence with which he is currently playing.

Chelsea still had the entire second half to try and mount a comeback but in truth they never threatened. Solskjaer will be delighted in the way that his side managed the game in the second 45, with United sitting back and making Chelsea do the work, before exploiting the space left in behind.

In the end a third wasn't needed, and United march onto the FA Cup quarter-finals and the weekend's game with Liverpool with the defeat to PSG firmly in the rearview mirror.