Chelsea extended a 100% record in the Premier League by beating Manchester United 1-0 thanks to a Jorginho penalty during their rematch at Stamford Bridge in the third round of the competition on Monday.
Chelsea goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga, preferred to Thibaut Courtois for the match after David Luiz was omitted due to a ban, made a routine save from a low Jesse Lingard shot in the 38th minute. But the Blues were gifted the penalty in the 65th minute, and substitute Olivier Giroud gave the hosts an edge the visitors were unable to give in a 1-1 draw.
I actually thought Eden Hazard would strike the post or go over the top for the header, but I must admit that my expectation was wrong: It bounced and hit the underside of the crossbar, looped back over the dive of David de Gea, and then went in: https://t.co/dh5P9aKqf9 pic.twitter.com/khPQKjzbNU — Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) July 9, 2018
The game was missing any real class from both clubs, who were held by Brighton to a goalless draw in the Premier League the previous weekend. But there was a standout match between Chelsea’s Willian and Manchester United’s Alexis Sanchez, who failed to score despite some notable showings.
“Alexis Sanchez tried but the other team also looked strong,” Jose Mourinho said following the game. “It was a level of intensity that would seem to be the level required for the Premier League. The national team decided not to play, Chelsea decided not to play.”
Chelsea goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga does well to save a low Jesse Lingard shot at the end of the first half. Emma 👉 https://t.co/7aeNhIa6Gn pic.twitter.com/S1dlU5CRX2 — Premier League (@premierleague) July 9, 2018
After falling behind in the first half against Southampton in the FA Cup final, Mourinho’s team was jaded against another club in desperate need of silverware. Despite poor performances by both clubs, Chelsea are unbeaten in the league since April and are undefeated against United since 2014.
With a goal against United, Chelsea’s Jorginho equaled the achievement of a trio of former Chelsea midfielders in the Premier League who have scored at least one goal in each of their first three matches for their new teams. Dennis Wise, Dennis Wise and Frank Lampard all scored against United at Stamford Bridge during their first games for Chelsea.
Meanwhile, it marked the fourth time that Mourinho failed to win his first game at a new club.
Coming into the game, Chelsea were the Premier League’s most likely bet to drop points, and their struggles in two previous fixtures had led to speculation about their title hopes. But Mourinho’s United, after their own 4-0 humiliation at Tottenham, only recently signed a world-record deal to bring in Argentina superstar Cristiano Ronaldo.
At the start of the second half, Mourinho removed forward Alexis Sanchez, whose performance was summed up by a miss from close range in the first half. The forward was replaced by Timothy Fosu-Mensah in the 76th minute, while Timothy Weah was brought in on the left side of the Manchester United defense in place of Eric Bailly.
Jorginho’s successful penalty awarded for a handball on Fellaini (Mkhitaryan doesn’t have a flag) -> https://t.co/c7ShFmrEiX pic.twitter.com/WlkVRSaIDF — Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) July 9, 2018
Even Chelsea fans acknowledged that Mourinho’s team got a fair shake at Stamford Bridge. “A draw was fair, we had to fight,” said Victoria Ernesto, a Chelsea fan from Richmond, England. “We played well and we’re enjoying the results.”
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