Casemiro leads Man United past Chelsea into Champions League
MANCHESTER, England — Manchester United are again within the Champions League after a 4-1 win over Chelsea at Old Trafford on Thursday night time secured a top-four end within the Premier League. Needing solely a degree to make sure of a return to Europe’s prime membership competitors with a sport to spare, Casemiro, Anthony Martial, Bruno Fernandes and Marcus Rashford scored the targets as Chelsea fell to their ninth defeat of their past 12 video games.
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Casemiro’s header and Martial’s close-range end put United 2-0 up at half-time earlier than Fernandes transformed a penalty and Rashford, on as an alternative to Antony, obtained a fourth within the second half. Joao Felix obtained a late comfort for the guests.
The solely draw back for Erik ten Hag was an harm to Antony, who had to be stretchered off in the first half and can be an early doubt for the FA Cup remaining towards Manchester City at Wembley on June 3 (10 a.m. ET, stream live on ESPN+).
1. United qualify for the Champions League
A top-four end was the minimal requirement for Ten Hag when he took the United job final summer season, and he has delivered it. There have been instances this season when Champions League soccer seemed prefer it is perhaps slipping away, however it will likely be again at Old Trafford subsequent season and the Dutch supervisor deserves credit score for getting the job completed.
United have received 40 video games in all competitions for simply the fifth season of their historical past, and it is now 29 video games unbeaten at Old Trafford. Manchester City, Arsenal, Liverpool, Tottenham Hotspur and now Chelsea have all been crushed right here, and the Red Devils have not misplaced a house sport within the league since August. Old Trafford is a fortress once more.
Ten Hag should take care of elevated expectations subsequent season, and the purpose should be a sustained title problem, however he may be glad that his first marketing campaign in cost will go down as a hit. A trophy, a spot within the prime 4 and the prospect to win extra silverware within the FA Cup remaining is greater than many followers anticipated this season. The first a part of Ten Hag’s rebuild has been accomplished however, as Jose Mourinho and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer each discovered, the following step is essentially the most tough.
2. Casemiro will get Man United over the road
United seemed like a group in want of inspiration after back-to-back defeats to Brighton & Hove Albion and West Ham United risked their place within the prime 4, and thankfully for Ten Hag, Casemiro was in a position to present it. The Brazilian midfielder has been one of many gamers of the season at Old Trafford since his summer season arrival from Real Madrid, and on the enterprise finish of a gruelling season, he has chipped in with some essential targets. He scored within the Carabao Cup remaining towards Newcastle United in February because the Red Devils lifted their first trophy since 2017, and with Champions League soccer on the road, he stepped up once more.
He scored the one purpose within the 1-0 win over AFC Bournemouth on Saturday with an acrobatic volley to place United getting ready to a top-four end, and needing solely a degree towards Chelsea, he scored the primary after simply six minutes with a medical header from Christian Eriksen‘s free kick. He then arrange the second with an exquisite no-look flick in to Jadon Sancho, who crossed for Martial to attain.
Casemiro is due a bump up in wages now that United have secured their return to the Champions League, and Ten Hag will suppose it is price each penny.
3. Lampard attempting to look to the long run
This season has been an unmitigated catastrophe for Chelsea — there isn’t a different method of placing it. They will end within the backside half of the Premier League desk for the primary time in 27 years, whereas the consequence at Old Trafford additionally set a brand new membership report of 16 defeats in a 38-game Premier League season. The solely excellent news for Chelsea followers is that, certainly, it has to get higher subsequent season.
Caretaker boss Frank Lampard will not be right here past the summer season, however towards United, he tried to point out potential new supervisor Mauricio Pochettino that there’s hope for the long run. Lampard fielded Chelsea’s youngest-ever Premier League XI and picked simply the third group in Premier League historical past to incorporate at the very least 9 gamers underneath the age of 24.
Left-back Lewis Hall was the choose of the bunch. The 18-year-old used the ball nicely, obtained ahead when he might and wasn’t afraid to defend one-on-one towards Antony after which Sancho. He needs to be a part of the first-team squad subsequent season.
This was one other depressing night time for Chelsea throughout a forgettable marketing campaign of mismanagement and underachievement. You must look exhausting, however there may be the odd cause to be hopeful.
Best and worst performers
Casemiro, Manchester United: Scored United’s first purpose and arrange the second with a superb ball into Sancho.
Lewis Hall, Chelsea: It was one other disappointing night time for Chelsea, however Hall may be glad together with his personal efficiency.
Bruno Fernandes, Manchester United: Won after which scored his penalty earlier than organising Rashford for United’s fourth purpose as Chelsea capitulated.
Kai Havertz, Chelsea: Got caught underneath the ball for Casemiro’s purpose and missed a golden probability of his personal with a header that flashed large.
Anthony Martial, Manchester United: Got on the scoresheet with a tap-in however he seemed off the tempo.
Mykhailo Mudryk, Chelsea: Fluffed an ideal alternative to place Chelsea in entrance and gave the ball away too usually.
Highlights and notable moments
It solely took six minutes for Casemiro and United to construct an insurmountable lead over visiting Chelsea.
For the second week in a row, Casemiro opens the scoring early for Manchester United!
📺: @Peacock | #MUNCHE pic.twitter.com/PyYpartsQF
— NBC Sports Soccer (@NBCSportsSoccer) May 25, 2023
Fernandes and United made their 4-0 win over Chelsea appear to be a stroll within the park.
BRUNO NUTMEGS FOFANA, WINS THE PENALTY AND PUTS IT AWAY 🥶 pic.twitter.com/XkiTsf5NAB
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) May 25, 2023
After the match: What the managers and gamers mentioned
Fernandes: “[Qualifying for the Champions League] is decent; it’s not perfect because we want more. For what we did this season, it’s perfect. We get the trophy, which was our goal after seeing we couldn’t get the Premier League. Now it’s about finishing the league well and going to FA Cup.”
Ten Hag: “We are back in the Champions League. That is an important step. If you want to be successful, you have to be in that competition.”
Key stats (supplied by ESPN Stats & Information)
– Casemiro has now scored in consecutive matches for the primary time since 2017 for Real Madrid.
– Fernandes now has 15 penalty-kick targets for Man United within the Premier League, breaking a tie with Cristiano Ronaldo and Eric Cantona for the third most in membership historical past. Only Wayne Rooney (19) and Ruud van Nistelrooy (18) have extra.
– Rashford is the fist Manchester United participant to attain 30 targets in a single season throughout all competitions since Robin van Persie did so within the 2012-13 season (30).
Manchester United: The curtain will come down on United’s Premier League marketing campaign on Sunday, when Fulham make the journey as much as Old Trafford.
Chelsea: The Blues’ depressing season will mercifully finish on Sunday as they play host to Newcastle United at Stamford Bridge.