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Chelsea put in another embarrassing 90-minute display as the season edges into its business end. It’s becoming increasingly obvious now that Sarriball is failing at Stamford Bridge. Again, the Italian’s system continued to show a lack of attacking dynamism needed to break the opponent lines. The tactical analysis below explains how Chelsea were nosed out by United’s press and fast counter-attacking style, and why the Blues were incapable of threatening Solskjaer’s men in any way.


Chelsea played in a 4-3-3 with Higuain leading the front line as the number nine. Manchester United, on the other hand, played with a vertically enriched 4-3-1-2 formation which allowed them to close the potential gap between their lines out of possession.

Chelsea Manchester United FA Cup Tactical Analysis Statistics

United pressed on the front foot

Manchester United played with a high, intense press over Chelsea. The away team deployed a 4-3-1-2 formation with Mata positioned behind the front line. His job was to cover Jorginho during the defensive phases.

Chelsea Manchester United FA Cup Tactical Analysis Statistics
United pressing high on Chelsea
Chelsea Manchester United FA Cup Tactical Analysis Statistics
United played a 4-3-1-2 with Mata checking Jorginho.

The high and aggressive press by Solskjaer’s men didn’t let Chelsea play their passing game and compose attacking patterns. This resulted in them pushing their game towards the own half. As Chelsea reached the final third, United players would reduce the gap between their lines.

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