September 28, 2021

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Manchester United are out of the FA Cup following a 3-1 defeat at the hands of Chelsea on Sunday.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s decision to rotate his side backfired as United looked well below par at both ends of the field. David de Gea was poor for both Chelsea goals before Harry Maguire turned the ball into his own net. Bruno Fernandes netted a late consolation goal from the penalty spot.

United suffered an injury blow during the game as Eric Bailly was taken to hospital following a nasty clash of heads with his teammate Maguire. Solskjaer said he was disappointed to see the Ivorian depart as he was performing well.

The Reds must now turn their attention to a crucial game against West Ham at Old Trafford on Wednesday. United know winning both of their remaining two fixtures will secure their place in the top four.

Scroll down to read all of the latest United news.

Fernandes’ message

He tasted defeat for the first time as a United player.

Lampard pinpoints key moment in semi-final

Frank Lampard believes Chelsea begun to play better after Manchester United changed to their regular formation in the FA Cup semi-final on Sunday.

Both sides lined up in a three-at-the-back formation – the same system United used in their two wins at Stamford Bridge earlier in the season.

However, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer opted to change his tactics with half-time approaching following a serious injury to Eric Bailly. The Ivorian clashed heads with teammate Harry Maguire and was forced off the field on a stretcher while wearing a neck brace.

Anthony Martial replaced the defender as United shifted to the 4-3-3 formation that has worked brilliantly since the restart of the Premier League. Moments later, Olivier Giroud opened the scoring before Mason Mount and an own goal from Maguire in the second half booked Chelsea’s place in the final.

Lampard admitted he was surprised that he felt his side should have scored even more.

“I can’t ask for anything more than that – maybe a few more goals which is surprising when you play against a team of their quality.

“We played with a system that we haven’t played with in a while and I was surprised that they matched us up before (in the Carabao Cup and league meetings in October and February respectively).

“But in the early parts of the game I thought we were on top but when they changed the system I think we played even better. We did everything that I asked of them.

“I’m very proud of the performance.”

Frank Lampard was surprised by United's tactics earlier this season.

Frank Lampard was surprised by United’s tactics earlier this season. (Image: BBC Sport)

Marcus Banks

United fans agree on what should happen to De Gea after howler vs Chelsea

Manchester United fans have demanded that David de Gea is dropped for Dean Henderson next season after his two errors in the FA Cup semi-final against Chelsea.

De Gea’s form has nosedived in recent months with a number of key mistakes creeping into his game.

With Henderson impressing during a two-year loan spell at Sheffield United, De Gea’s position as United’s first-choice goalkeeper was already under threat.

The Spaniard did not help his cause at Wembley, allowing Olivier Giroud’s shot to beat him on the stroke of half-time. Although he saw the shot late, he will be disappointed not to have prevented it from crossing the line.

Read the full story here

Manchester United’s Spanish goalkeeper David de Gea (R) reacts as Chelsea’s English midfielder Mason Mount (L) celebrates. (Image: ANDY RAIN/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Samuel Luckhurst

VERDICT: United’s four tactical risks backfired in defeat to Chelsea

A Manchester United manager brought them success this weekend but he was not at Wembley. Jose Mourinho’s Tottenham have made Champions League qualification a near certainty for United but silverware is uncertain for the third season running.

United morphed into the Arsenal of the early Emirates era; prioritising a league position over a trophy, although the irony is Arsenal will be back at Wembley on August 1. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s management undermined the significance of a hollow FA Cup semi-final for a club who last went over three years without silverware in the late 80s. Hardly ‘glory glory Man United’.

Solskjaer should be more vocal about the Premier League enforcing a Monday-Thursday-Sunday schedule that disadvantaged United. The added mitigation was Chelsea had the benefit of 48 hours’ extra rest, United have been undeniably fatigued of late and West Ham visit Old Trafford on Wednesday in the penultimate league game. Rotation was inevitable though Solskjaer failed to sufficiently freshen up United on Thursday at Selhurst Park and they flew back to Manchester, rather than staying down in London.

He was adamant the approach at Wembley was purely down to conditioning yet it was not a coincidence he reverted to the same split-striker tactic that defeated Chelsea at Stamford Bridge in the League Cup and Premier League; games staged in October and February. United have been prone to living in the past.

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Samuel Luckhurst

RATINGS: David de Gea and Daniel James awful vs Chelsea

David de Gea

Conceded a soft goal to bookend his week with two unconvincing acts of goalkeeping and then committed a howler for Mason Mount’s strike. 2

Aaron Wan-Bissaka

Has looked tired all week and never looked like getting at a fresher Chelsea side who looked as though they had rumbled United. 4

Victor Lindelof

Found wanting and not for the first time this season. Had advance warning to get goal-side of Olivier Giroud but too slow. 4

Harry Maguire

In the wars a couple of times and Eric Bailly had to come off after they clashed heads. Looked rinsed and scored an own goal. 4

Read the full story here

Marcus Banks

Good morning

Welcome to our LIVE daily blog following yesterday’s defeat.

All focus must now turn to Wednesday’s game against West Ham.

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