Saturday, June 10, 2023

EPL: Manchester United secure Champions League spot with emphatic 4-1 win over Chelsea

The Red Devils are now back to the European top tier competition after missing out last season.

• May 25, 2023
Man U v Chelsea
Man U v Chelsea [Credit; USA Today FTW]

Manchester United secured a return to the UEFA Champions League in an emphatic fashion on Thursday night with a domineering 4-1 home win over struggling Chelsea.

The Red Devils are now back to the European top tier competition after missing out last season.

In need of only one point to confirm their place in next season’s Champions League, Erik ten Hag side opened the scoring for United barely six minutes into the game through Casemiro who headed Christian Eriksen’s free kick into the net.

Both sides had plenty of decent chances to score more goals but the score line remained the same until the cusp of the first half when Anthony Martial doubled the lead. Casemiro found Jason Sancho with a no-look pass which the winger placed right away to Martial.

In the 73rd minute, Bruno Fernandes scored from the spot kick after he was fouled by Wesley Fofana inside the 18-yard box. Six minutes later, Marcus Rashford scored United’s fourth goal in the game which was the forward’s 30th goal for the Red Devils this season across all competitions.

Teenager sensation Alejandro Garnacho was close to further extending United’s lead in the 84th minute but the Argentine’s shot was deflected past Kepa Arrizabalaga but struck the crossbar to safety. Five minutes later, substitute Joao Felix scored a consolation for the Blues.

It was the first league win between Manchester United and Chelsea in a long time – all the previous 10 Premier League games between them have ended in draws. The victory moved United to third on the table with 72 points, two points ahead of Newcastle United.

On the other hand, Chelsea who have only managed to win one out of their last six league games, are confirmed to finish in the bottom half of the table. They are 12th on the table but will move a place upward if the Blues win their last game of the season at the expense of Crystal Palace’s defeat or lose.

The quartet of Champions Manchester City, Arsenal, who are guaranteed to finish second when the season ends next week, Manchester United and Newcastle United will represent the Premier League in next season’s Champions League.

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