Match Analysis: Chelsea 5-4 Manchester United

Match Analysis: Chelsea 5-4 Manchester United
© PA Photos
Sports Mole dissects the thrilling clash at Stamford Bridge where Chelsea defeated Manchester United 5-4.

Chelsea have reached the League Cup quarter-finals for the ninth time in 12 seasons after a pulsating encounter at Stamford Bridge against Manchester United that saw nine goals go in.

United led three times in the 90 minutes, with Ryan Giggs, Javier Hernandez and Nani all scoring, but they were pegged back on each occasion by David Luiz, Gary Cahill and Eden Hazard.

In extra time there was only one winner. Daniel Sturridge and Ramires put the hosts 5-3 up before a late Giggs penalty ensured a tense last minute.

Here, Sports Mole analyses the thrilling encounter to work out how it eventually went right for Chelsea.

Match statistics:

Chelsea:
Shots
29
On target 14
Possession 52%
Corners 6
Fouls 17

Man Utd:
Shots
14
On target 9
Possession 48%
Corners 4
Fouls 21

Was the result fair?

In the end, yes. Chelsea did have the stronger team on the field as Roberto Di Matteo brought his star players off the bench and in the end they were too strong. Both sides were incredibly sloppy at times and many of the goals were gifts, but as Chelsea grew into the game from the second half onwards there was only likely to be one winner.

Chelsea's performance

Good in attack, poor at the back. United's first two goals were directly from errors by the hosts, with Oriol Romeu, Peter Cech and David Luiz culpable. At the same time, however, Victor Moses was a constant threat, with Juan Mata and Hazard becoming increasingly confident as the time wore on.

United's performance

Apart from some huge errors at the back, it was a good showing from an almost entirely different XI. They were clinical in attack during the initial 90 minutes and but for some increasingly poor defending that would have been enough for them. As it was, the two young centre-backs Michael Keane and particularly Scott Wootton could not deal with Chelsea's attack.

Sports Mole's man of the match

Anderson: It's close, but it has to be Anderson, who pips Moses. The United midfielder had to ask to be subbed off late in the second half but he had a good excuse to be out of breath. He pressured Romeu into a mistake for the opener and threaded Hernandez through beautifully for United's second. He also had a big say in Nani's goal. In all, his contribution was as big as anyone's, despite ending on the losing side.

Biggest gaffe

This has to go to poor Wootton. United looked to have held on to another 3-2 win before Wootton took away Ramires's legs in the box as he shaped to shoot. He made a bigger error for Chelsea's fourth, but this one was more costly as Hazard rolled in a penalty for a last-gasp normal-time equaliser.

Referee performance

Lee Mason was too card happy. He started waving his yellow in the 12th minute, which set a precedent he had to follow. After that point almost anything amiss was booked. That said, he got all the penalty decisions right, bar one that he could have given to Chelsea for handball against Wootton.

What next?

Chelsea: Chelsea travel to Wales for a tough fixture against Swansea, who knocked out League Cup holders Liverpool tonight.

United: United host Arsenal on Saturday afternoon, who themselves are fresh from their 7-5 win over Reading. However, don't expect so many goals to be leaked as it will be a full-strength United who line up at Old Trafford.

Eden Hazard scores the equaliser for Chelsea
Read Next:
Result: Chelsea beat Man Utd in nine-goal thriller
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2Manchester UnitedMan Utd86202121920
3Tottenham HotspurSpurs85211551017
4Watford84311313015
5Chelsea8413138513
6Arsenal84131210213
7Burnley834186213
8Liverpool83411312113
9Newcastle UnitedNewcastle832398111
10West Bromwich AlbionWest Brom824279-210
11Southampton823379-29
12Huddersfield TownHuddersfield823359-49
13Swansea CitySwansea822458-38
14Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton8224610-48
15West Ham UnitedWest Ham8224814-68
16Everton8224513-88
17Stoke CityStoke8224918-98
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19Bournemouth8116412-84
20Crystal Palace8107218-163
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