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Manchester United vs Chelsea: Match Report, 9th May 2011

Didier Drogba for Chelsea against Manchester United
Drogba failed to deliver on Sunday

Chelsea’s title challenge (and the season) has definitely come to an end following the 2-1 defeat at Old Trafford against Manchester United. It was a disappointing match for Carlo Ancelotti, who has been speaking so much about the importance of playing well at Old Trafford. However, it seems that the players never heeded his words after a huge lapse in concentration allowed Hernandez to score within the first minute. It was the worst conceivable start for Chelsea in the match, but you’d definitely hope that things would change with the passage of time. It wasn’t the case as Manchester United continued to dominate. Chelsea never woke up until the start of the second half, by which it was too late as Manchester United had a two goal lead.

Even though the defeat was a collective responsibility, one definitely has to take a look at the performance of John Obi Mikel. He was almost non-existent throughout the first half and was duly replaced by Ramires, who played a major role in Frank Lampard’s goal. Mikel has never delivered for Chelsea and it truly amazes me to see him being picked up by every single Chelsea manager without the thought that he is a liability. On Sunday, he failed to pick Wayne Rooney time and time again. Rooney was enjoying all the freedom in the world to pick his passes and subsequently, get into good positions.

Mikel failed to close him down and it is not like that he was too busy in attack to concentrate in defending. In all, two decisions might have cost Ancelotti’s job as Chelsea’s manager. Firstly, it is the decision to play Torres over Didier Drogba in the Champions League quarter-final second leg. Secondly, it is the decision to play Mikel over Ramires. Also, these decisions have also brought one of the worst seasons for Chelsea in recent history. It’s time to look forward to the next season.