When we think of Manchester United versus Chelsea in the Premier League, so many good aspects pop up in mind: goals, skills, speed, defense, offense, control, back-and-forth seesawing and overall brilliant soccer. However, this was a game that unfortunately did not deliver the goods at all.
The home side fielded their best side with both Robin Van Persie and Wayne Rooney in the starting and finishing 11, but neither player could make the expected impact as goals were not scored. Rooney held onto possession, defended when he needed to and attempted to set up his teammates. RVP ran around, passed the ball nicely but could not find the openings he normally does in front of frame.
Chelsea played in a defensive 4-2-3-1 with the attacking midfielders struggling to find spaces near the United back four. They barely forced the goalkeeper to make a much-needed save. Fernando Torres came into the match later on in the second half, but his one run at the back four was halted by Rio Ferdinand, who cleared the ball.
The team played the game as if they were disallowed to wholeheartedly attack the United frame by coach Jose Mourinho. If they sent up a bunch of players to construct a successful counter-attack or to build up one, there could be gaps left in their own third with United definitely eager to go on the prowl.
Mourinho is a defensive-minded coach that will not allow his players to take risks, even if it against the likes of the reigning champions. That is smart but a bit too safe — settling for a draw this early on in the season is not as necessary as it would be towards the end. A point is a point, but potential champions should always play for more.
If coach M wants his side to play for the league title, he needs to instill a more attacking mindset into this team. With the players he has — young, determined and hungry — winning games by large margins and eventually becoming the top dogs is more than possible.