MX23RW : Thursday, December 13 23:12:00
Feb 25, 2018 at 2.05pm UK at ​Old Trafford
Attendance: 75,060
Man UtdManchester United
Lukaku (39'), Lingard (75')
FT(HT: 1-1)
Willian (32')

Live Commentary: Manchester United 2-1 Chelsea - as it happened

Relive how Romelu Lukaku inspired Manchester United to a 2-1 win over former club Chelsea, courtesy of Sports Mole's minute-by-minute updates from Old Trafford.
Live Commentary: Man United 2-1 Chelsea - as it happened
© SilverHub

Manchester United came from behind to secure three valuable points in the Premier League top-four race with a 2-1 victory over Chelsea at Old Trafford this afternoon.

Alvaro Morata was unlucky not to score when he struck the crossbar on four minutes and Chelsea did take a deserved lead through Willian's powerful shot on 32 minutes.

Romelu Lukaku equalised for United within seven minutes, sweeping home from Anthony Martial's pass to register his first league goal against top-six opposition this season.

The former Chelsea striker proved to be the match-winner for the hosts as he crossed for substitute Jesse Lingard to head beyond Thibaut Courtois 15 minutes from time.

Relive how the action unfolded in Manchester with our minute-by-minute updates below.

1.05pmThe EFL Cup final takes centre stage this afternoon, but curtain-raisers don't get any bigger than Manchester United versus Chelsea, who are fighting for the pride of their managers and crucial points in the top-four race. We've got all of the action from Old Trafford covered with our live commentary.

1.07pmJose Mourinho and Antonio Conte have been at each other's throats all season and, after the Special One lost 1-0 on his return to Stamford Bridge in November, he has the chance to settle the score with his bitter rival in Manchester. Let's see how the managers have lined their teams up...

1.09pmMAN UNITED: De Gea; Valencia, Lindelof, Smalling, Young; Pogba, Matic, McTominay; Martial, Alexis, Lukaku
Subs: Pereira, Bailly, Mata, Lingard, Carrick, Rashford, Shaw

1.11pmCHELSEA: Courtois; Rudiger, Azpilicueta, Christensen; Moses, Drinkwater, Kante, Alonso; Willian, Hazard, Morata
Subs: Caballero, Fabregas, Pedro, Giroud, Zappacosta, Cahill, Emerson

1.13pmThe big news from the United camp is that Paul Pogba is recalled after missing out on Mourinho's starting lineup for the last two matches. The Frenchman came on 17 minutes into the 0-0 draw with Sevilla in midweek to replace the injured Ander Herrera, who drops out of the squad completely.

1.15pmJose keeps faith in 21-year-old Scott McTominay in his midfield three, which is anchored by former Chelsea star Nemanja Matic. Michael Carrick is among the substitutes but McTominay offers the Red Devils some extra legs in midfield which should help ease the burden on Pogba.

1.17pmIn the only other change from the stalemate in Spain, Anthony Martial is preferred to another one-time Blues favourite Juan Mata in the forward three, perhaps an indication that United will be content to sit back and hit Chelsea on the break. Nevertheless, it is hardly a defensive move.

1.19pmThe third and final of United's ex-Chelsea contingent - Romelu Lukaku - leads the line hoping to score for the first time against top-eight opposition in the Premier League this season. His double against Huddersfield in the FA Cup took the Belgian's tally to 21, but he needs to step up in big games.

1.21pmDespite injuries to Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo, Mourinho resists the temptation to recall Eric Bailly for his first start since November's reverse fixture. Victor Lindelof keeps his place at centre-back alongside Chris Smalling, whose safety net David de Gea showed his importance again in midweek.

1.23pmMarouane Fellaini, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Daley Blind all remain sidelined, but Marcus Rashford does make the bench after shaking off a muscle strain to play 15 minutes against Sevilla.

1.25pmConte also makes two changes, from the team which drew 1-1 with Barcelona on Tuesday, opting for a recognised striker in the shape of Alvaro Morata ahead of his Spanish compatriot Pedro. Morata was the match-winner at Stamford Bridge when his header downed the Red Devils.

1.27pmElsewhere, ex-United trainee Danny Drinkwater is preferred as midfield insurance ahead of Cesc Fabregas. It is only the 27-year-old's fourth league start since arriving from Leicester in the summer.

1.29pmAntonio Rudiger starts his fourth successive game as the big-game experience of Gary Cahill is left to watch from the bench, despite Andreas Christensen's mistake against Barca.

1.31pmOf course the key player for Chelsea today is Eden Hazard, who has found form after Christmas with six goals in his last seven games. With Morata playing through the middle, the Belgian should have more freedom to roam this afternoon and try to find pockets behind the United midfield.

1.33pmWillian deservedly gets the nod over Pedro and Fabregas after his dazzling display against Barcelona - marked with a superb goal. Having previously been on the fringes, the Brazilian has served a reminder that he too has the ability to punish United if they focus too much on Hazard today.

1.35pmDavid Luiz, Tiemoue Bakayoko and Ross Barkley all remain unavailable for Chelsea, but Conte does have Pedro in reserve. The World Cup winner has scored seven goals against Jose Mourinho-managed teams, which is second only to the 11 notched by his old Barcelona pal Lionel Messi.

1.37pmLikewise, Conte has a pretty good record against his public enemy number one. The Italian has won three of his five meetings in all competitions against Mourinho, with his only defeat coming in this fixture last season when the Red Devils secured a 2-0 win against the soon-to-be champions.

1.39pmThat defeat was one of five that Chelsea suffered on the way to the title last campaign. They have already lost six times in the league this term, including 4-1 to Watford on their last away outing.

1.41pmTheir away form has been a problem for Chelsea for a while now, with only two wins from nine matches on their travels in all competitions, and they were against Huddersfield and Brighton.


1.45pmCombine Chelsea's recent away troubles with United's home form and such a double appears tricky for the Blues to complete today. Mourinho has lost only two of his 49 competitive matches at Old Trafford as Manchester United manager, with both defeats coming at the hands of Manchester City.

1.47pmUnsurprisingly, it has been solid foundations which have been the key to United's home success under the Portuguese. They have conceded just five goals in 13 Premier League home games this season.

1.49pmHowever, Mourinho's record is not so impressive against top-six clubs. The man who used to have a reputation for being a big-game manager has only won only four of his 16 United games against the other established top-six teams, losing seven of those including two to Chelsea.

1.51pmLukaku's statistics against the elite clubs are similarly unimpressive. Not only has he gone scoreless in six matches against the top-six clubs this season, he has managed only four shots on target.

1.53pmSTAT: More bad news for the Lukaku fan club out there; he has failed to score in all 17 Premier League appearances involving Chelsea - 10 for the Blues and seven against them.

1.55pmRESULT! Tottenham have put extra pressure on two of their top-four rivals with a late 1-0 win over Crystal Palace this lunchtime. It took them until the 88th minute to get the breakthrough, with Harry Kane the saviour, who else? That win takes Spurs above Chelsea into fourth, for now at least.

1.57pmBack to Old Trafford now, where we are under 10 minutes from kickoff. A lot of the pre-match talk has been about Paul Pogba and Mourinho will be expecting a big performance now that he has adjusted his formation to go with a midfield three that should get the best out of the Frenchman.

1.59pmUnited could also do with Sanchez delivering in a big way as the Chilean's Red Devils career has not exactly got off to a lightning start but he undoubtedly has the quality to be the difference today.

2.01pmHaving said that, it could be that the match-winners come at the other end of the pitch. David de Gea proved again in Sevilla on Wednesday that he is the best goalkeeper in the Premier League, but Thibaut Courtois might be the closest thing to him and will be looking to stake that claim.

2.03pmPREDICTION: There could be fireworks, both on the pitch and on the touchlines although there was a cursory pre-match handshake between Mourinho and Conte. United haven't been at their best at late but are dominant at home and I think they will pinch it 2-1.

1 minKICKOFF: The action is underway at Old Trafford and United have an early corner to defend as Lindelof, making his first league start since New Year's Day, knocks a Moses cross behind.

3 minChelsea have had most of the ball in the early going, with Willian looking lively. Hazard seems to be being tracked closely by McTominay, who may have inherited the Herrera man-marking job.

5 minWOODWORK! Morata comes within inches of giving the visitors a dream start when he turns Marcos Alonso's wonderful volleyed cross onto the bar from 10 yards. De Gea was beaten but is back to his feet quickly to tip a deflected Hazard follow-up over the frame of the goal.

7 minUnited have already had a chance to display their potential counter-attacking threat, but Lukaku was eventually forced wide and Kante wrestles the ball away from him in the corner.

9 minThe Red Devils have kept 10 home clean sheets this season, which is more than any side across Europe's top five leagues. Chelsea have got in behind them once already but it's no easy task.

11 minValencia bombs down the right and drills the ball into Lukaku's chest, with the knockdown perfect for Sanchez who soon finds himself crowded out and unable to get a shot away.

13 minA great switch of play from Morata picks out the run of Moses, who drives into the United box only to run into trouble with Ashley Young making up a lot of ground to negate the danger.

15 minThis game has settled at quite a languid pace, with both sides willing to sit off and wait for a chance to spring on the opposition. If anything, Chelsea are trying to make something happen.

17 minIt appears as though there is not a United plan to man mark Hazard. McTominay stayed close to him in the early going but now seems to have taken up a more customary midfield role.

19 minThe friendly nature of this opening 20 minutes has remarkably translated over to the benches where Mourinho and Conte have been sharing a laugh. Let's see how long that lasts...

21 minHazard knocks the ball down the line for Morata, who tries to shift it inside first time but Smalling comes across to get in the way and ushers the ball back comfortably to De Gea.

23 minMidway through this first half and Pogba has been unable to stamp his authority on this game. Then again, neither has anybody else with both teams quite slow and unimaginative on the ball.

25 minAzpilicueta gets his feet in a mess and allows Martial to latch onto Pogba's ball into the left channel. The cross from the Frenchman is turned away by Christensen on the penalty spot.

27 minSome sloppy Chelsea passing in their own half has given United's fans some encouragement and their players are gradually responding. The ball comes to Lukaku in the box and he swivels and shoots, with Christensen getting a block in and Courtois coming off his line to claim the high ball.

28 minCHANCE! Best opportunity of the game so far with Martial this time picking out a man - the run of Sanchez from the right into the box. For some reason the South American decides not to take on the effort first time, and the subsequent poke at goal is easy pickings for Courtois.

29 minSHOT! Moses takes on a shot from the right edge of the box which is weak and straight at De Gea. Not a great effort, but the wing-back has been Chelsea's best attacking outlet so far.

30 minYELLOW! Kante sees yellow for dragging down Pogba after the Frenchman had strode past his international colleague. He is such a powerful runner and needs to do that more.


32 minChelsea's form man strikes them into the lead with his fourth goal in three games! The Brazilian starts the counter-attack on the edge of his own box and, after exchanging passes with Hazard in the right channel, finishes it with a powerful shot which goes through De Gea at his near post.

34 minSTAT: Every time that Chelsea have taken the lead in the league this season, they have gone on to win. The same applies to United, but it is the Blues who have that crucial first goal.

36 minAlonso gets into a decent position down the Chelsea left but his sliced shot is watched wide by De Gea, who has proven that he is indeed human with that rare mistake for Chelsea's opener.

38 minMatic gives the ball away on the halfway line with a blind pass backwards, but gets away with it as Morata ignores the run of Hazard to his right to run into trouble in the shape of Smalling.


39 minLukaku breaks his top-six drought and finally exercises his Chelsea demons with a quick equaliser for United, who work the ball beautifully in tight space around the box with Martial teeing up the striker to slot into the bottom corner from eight yards. Finally he has his big goal in a big game!

41 minThis match has suddenly come to life with two goals in the space of seven minutes, and Hazard has half a chance to make that three when he is released by Drinkwater. The Belgian checks back onto his left foot but a block from Lindelof makes his shot comfortable for De Gea.

43 minThere is no room for friends in this fixture, with Matic having left his mark on a couple of his former Chelsea teammates. Going through the back of Hazard, he concedes a free kick 30 yards from goal.

44 minWillian deftly chips the set piece towards the six yard box but the angle and lack of pace on the ball meant that Morata's flick did not cause De Gea as many problems as it could have.

45+1 minIn the first of two minutes of stoppage time, Pogba lifts the ball over the Chelsea defence for Martial, who is tackled by Azpilicueta, and flagged offside anyway after drifting in from the left.


2.58pmIt was a little slow in getting going, but we are set up for a brilliant second period here at Old Trafford after goals from Willian and Lukaku late in the first half took us into the break at one apiece.

3.00pmDavid de Gea has been critic-free for the last few seasons but will be disappointed with his role in Willian's goal. Lukaku will hope that he has answered some of his detractors with his reply.

3.02pmChelsea have probably shaded been the better side and might have caused United a few more problems had Morata not been so poor. His only contribution so far has been hitting the post in the opening five minutes, but otherwise the striker has given the ball away on too many occasions.

3.04pmThere has yet to be any fireworks on the touchline between the two rival managers, but don't be surprised if that changes as things get more tense at the business end of this encounter.

3.06pmSTATS: As the half-time numbers show, Chelsea have dominated the possession at Old Trafford with 58%, converting that to four shots on target compared to United's two. Both teams were initially content to sit back but Chelsea took on the initiative and arguably deserve to lead.

3.08pmDecent bantz from the Chelsea fans, but Arsenal may have something to say about that this afternoon...

46 minKICKOFF: Referee Martin Atkinson blows his whistle to resume the action, with both sides unchanged. Lingard and Rashford are options for United on the bench while Chelsea could call on Giroud if Morata continues to be so ineffective.

48 minA neat trick from Pogba gets him away from two United defenders but he is checked by Azpilicueta as he strides down the United left. He didn't have many options ahead of him which is a concern.

50 minWillian shows his own fancy footwork to spin away from Sanchez skilfully in his own half, and he releases Morata down the left channel. The Spaniard is forced wide and has a shot blocked when he cuts back onto his right foot.

51 minA 60-yard crossfield pass from Drinkwater releases Hazard, but a simple cutback to Morata on the edge of the box is cut out with the Belgian lazily hitting Valencia with his pass.

54 minThe game is suffering from a sloppy passage in which both sides have given the ball away on multiple occasions. Chelsea wasted the best potential opening when a miscommunication between Alonso and Hazard prevented the Belgian from being found unmarked in the penalty area.

56 minMartial's shot is deflected behind for a corner but the delivery from Sanchez is turned away by the first man. The former Arsenal man makes amends by chasing Kante back 50 yards to retrieve the ball, but it is not happening for him so far today, or in his early United career, really.

57 minSHOT! A tame effort from Drinkwater is pushed back into the danger zone by De Gea, who is rescued by Valencia as the United captain gets to the rebound before Alonso.

59 minUnited should know better than to give Willian time and space to get a shot away from the edge of the box, but the Brazilian gets it badly wrong this time, slicing high and wide.

61 minSanchez is equally wayward from distance as he drags a 25-yard shot wide.

63 minSUBSTITUTION: Mourinho blinks first with his substitutions, bringing on Jesse Lingard in place of Martial, who is unlucky to be hooked while Sanchez is playing as poorly as he is.

65 minLingard is straight into the action, pinching the ball from Willian and starting a United break which is snuffed out by Kante. There is nobody better at stopping an attack before it starts.

67 minSAVE! A fantastic effort from Lukaku, an acrobatic volley from Sanchez's cross, is matched by an equally good Courtois save as he shows great reflexes to tip over his crossbar.

69 minYELLOW! Valencia becmes the first United player to enter the book this afternoon for a body check on Hazard which was cynical at best and perhaps even vicious at worst.

70 minFrom the resultant free kick, right over by the left byline, Willian tries to catch De Gea out by shooting towards the near post. The Spaniard looks as though he has it covered but nearly spills it over his own line before recovering to gather the ball. United's keeper has been a little shaky this afternoon.

72 minConte has yet to turn to his bench yet and the way that Chelsea have approached the last 10 minutes suggests that their manager would be pretty happy taking a point home from Old Trafford.

74 minSUBSTITUTION: My suggestion has been vindicated by Conte taking off Hazard with 16 minutes to play. Pedro is on and of course represents a threat, but not quite like the Belgian.


75 minConte might now regret that decision as United's own substitute has put them ahead with 15 minutes remaining. It is great work from Lukaku who peels off to the right and checks back to deliver a cross right onto the head of Lingard, who directs his effort past Courtois and just inside the post.

77 minChelsea have responded well and have already fashioned half-chances for Willian and Pedro. The goalscorer's low 20-yard volley was kept out by De Gea and a mistake from Lindelof goes unpunished as Smalling recovers to thwart Pedro before he could turn and shoot from close range.

79 minSUBSTITUTION: Chelsea need a change of impetus now so Giroud is on for Moses.

81 minSUBSTITUTIONS: Mourinho responds by bringing on Bailly to help Smalling and Lindelof against Chelsea's front two. The disappointing Sanchez makes way, while Fabregas is on for Drinkwater.

83 minIt has taken 83 minutes but finally tempers are starting to flare. Rudiger bundles over Lingard and Matic, who has thrown himself around this afternoon, takes issue, sparking a bit of a melee.

85 minYELLOW! Matic enters the book for a tug on Pedro. That has been a long time coming.

86 minDISALLOWED! Morata squeezes a left-footed shot into the bottom corner after a nice Chelsea move, but the flag had already gone up for offside and De Gea waved it into the net.

88 minYELLOW! Morata takes a yellow card for breaking up a United counter when Smalling of all people was driving forward. Chelsea are throwing plenty of bodies forward.

90 minThere will be FOUR minutes of added time. Replays have shown just how close that Morata offside call was. Only his right foot caught him out as Bailly was very close to playing him on.

90+2 minGiroud is teed up on the edge of the box but Lindelof gets a crucial block in.

90+4 minThe hosts are closing in on three massive points, seeing out these final few minutes with relative ease. An injury to Matic means that there is still a minute or so left on the referee's watch.


4.08pmMourinho gets one over on Conte, and United collect three huge points with Lukaku finally proving that he can be a big-game player. The Belgian scored one and set up the other as United came from behind after Willian's opener. They are back up to second, six points clear of Chelsea in fifth.

4.10pmThat's it from Old Trafford this afternoon, but don't go anywhere because my colleague Dan Lewis has the EFL Cup final covered. With 20 minutes until kickoff between Man City and Arsenal, you have a little time to read our match report of United's victory. Thanks for joining us this afternoon.

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Paul Pogba in action during the Premier League game between Manchester United and Leicester City on August 26, 2017
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