Cape Town – Jesse Lingard stepped off the bench to rescue Manchester United once more as they came from behind to beat Chelsea 2-1 at Old Trafford on Sunday.
The visitors made a strong start and almost broke the deadlock in the fourth minute when Alvaro Morata steered Marcos Alonso’s volleyed cross against the crossbar from six yards out and David De Gea tipped over Eden Hazard’s shot on the rebound.
Antonio Conte’s men enjoyed plenty of possession in the first half, but couldn’t fashion any further chances in the opening stages, while United grew into the game and created a couple of opportunities just before the half-hour mark.
Lukaku had a shot on the turn blocked by Antonio Rudiger which looped up into the air and was gathered by Thibaut Courtois on 27 minutes, while Alexis Sanchez stabbed a weak effort straight to the Belgian keeper from Anthony Martial’s square pass on the left following a sustained spell of pressure from the hosts.
Victor Moses drew a routine save out of De Gea at the other end soon afterwards having cut inside from the right and shooting with his left foot from 19 yards out, but the Spaniard was well beaten by Willian on 32 minutes to cap off a swift counter.
Willian started the breakaway from just outside his own area and released Hazard down the right before receiving the return pass in space to power a shot home from eight yards out.
Alonso threatened three minutes later as he swapped passes with Hazard and fired wide of the right post from inside the box with his right foot, before the Red Devils hit back through Lukaku on 39 minutes.
Sanchez played the ball to the feet of Martial inside the area and the Frenchman picked out the advancing Lukaku, who side-footed past Courtois from eight yards out.
Alonso wasted the final chance of the half when he scooped the ball over from 17 yards out after being teed up by Hazard on 41 minutes.
De Gea provided a nervy moment for the home fans on 57 minutes when he fumbled Danny Drinkwater’s long-range shot, but Antonio Valencia helped him out to clear the danger.
Willian blasted a shot high and wide from 20 yards out after cutting in from the left three minutes later, while at the other end Sanchez dragged an effort well wide of the left post from 20 yards out on the right soon after.
Courtois was forced to tip over Lukaku’s acrobatic volley from Sanchez’s driven cross on 67 minutes, before De Gea gathered Willian’s low free-kick at the second attempt two minutes later.
However, United hit the front on 75 minutes when Lingard headed past Courtois at his near post from Lukaku’s cross on the right.
Willian looked to repeat his earlier feat as he latched onto a ball over the top and fired off a low shot that was kept out by De Gea at his near post from an angle on the right two minutes later.
But United held on to claim only their second win in 15 games against the Blues. – AFP