Chelsea ease past Manchester United
The scoreline might not reflect the actual scenario, but Chelsea was rarely threatened as Manchester United looked toothless in front. United started with positive intent and looked a compact side in the opening 10 minutes, but Chelsea started to assert their dominance as Cesc Fabregas began to exploit a surprisingly nervous United back line. Playing in behind Morata and Hazard, Fabregas was a constant thorn in United’s throat and dinked in few delicious chips over the United defence spotting Morata’s runs. However, the Blues had to wait until the 54th minute when a brilliant Cesar Azpilicueta cross found Morata completely unmarked, and the Spaniard made no mistake in guiding a powerful header past De Gea. United looked slow and could not make decisions in the attacking third. Rashford looked to be the only player capable of undoing Chelsea’s defence.
Mourinho’s side has been guilty of playing ultra-defensive football, and RomeluLukaku’s off night didn’t help their cause. Lukaku barely looked like scoring and was a peripheral figure throughout the game. Super sub-Martial paired well with Rashford, but could not provide much. Morata had an outstanding opportunity to kill the game in extra time but failed to beat Valencia after taking a touch too many.
Kevin De Bruyne and Manchester City playing fairytale football
The Belgian playmaker is certainly EPL’s best right now and was in the thick of the action with teammate David Silva ripping off Arsenal. De Bruyne opened the scoring from 20-yards after Fernandinho set him up with no one closing down the Belgian. Arsenal responded well, but Alexis Sanchez had an uncharacteristically bad game. City was awarded a soft penalty after Sterling went down following a Monreal challenge. Replays suggested that the contact was minimal and the English winger made the most of it. Aguero stepped up and slotted home City’s second goal. The game spurned back into life after Ramsey did well to evade City players and set up Lacazette who finished brilliantly. The 73rd minute Gabriel Jesus goal killed off the game, although replays suggested that David Silva was slightly offside in the build-up. Manchester City looked like a team playing to assert their dominance with beautiful football, and Arsenal’s same old defensive woes and lack of quality in the attacking third looks to be a recurring sequence.
Ronaldo endures another goalless league outing as Madrid bounce back
The Portuguese talisman is going through a lean patch, something that the 32-year old rarely experiences. Ronaldo looked up and ready for the league game after his side was humbled by Spurs. Ronaldo looked a constant threat and set up Benzema with a nice through pass only for the Frenchman to hit straight at the keeper when one-on-one. The French striker had another frustrating game and missed two glaring chances, and was booed by the Bernabeu faithful. It was not until the 40th minute when Casemiro placed an incisive header following a deflection from a Marco Asensio corner. Real looked shaky in the first 30 minutes, but regained their composure and piled on the pressure.
Madrid started off the second half in a more dominant form, and a wonder strike from Marco Asensio helped them gain a two-goal cushion. The young forward blasted a first-time volley past Las Palmas stopper into the back of the net from 25+ yards out. Ronaldo might not have scored but set up Isco with a beautiful cross after playing a neat one-two with Asensio. Real still lurk eight points behind Barcelona and will be tested further against city rivals Atletico Madrid in a fortnight.