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Manchester United 2-1 Chelsea: Three talking points from Old Trafford

Rob Meech brings us three talking points as Manchester United overcame top four rivals Chelsea at Old Trafford on Super Sunday.

Rob Meech

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Photo: Reuters

Goals from Romelu Lukaku and Jesse Lingard helped Manchester United record a crucial victory over Premier League top-four rivals Chelsea.

In-form Willian had fired the visitors in front on 32 minutes before Lukaku restored parity shortly afterwards.

Both sides looked capable of snatching all three points, but it was substitute Lingard who had the decisive say when he nodded in Lukaku’s cross.

Alvaro Morata thought he had equalised for Chelsea late on but it was erroneously ruled out for offside, denying the Blues what, on balance, would have been a deserved point.

Here are three talking points as United reclaimed second spot and moved six points clear of Chelsea.

Lukaku makes a statement at long last

He was at the centre of a tug-of-war between United and Chelsea last summer before eventually joining the Red Devils to be reunited with Jose Mourinho, with whom he had worked at Stamford Bridge.

It is fair to say the Belgian’s not entirely justified the huge transfer fee, but this performance suggests the tide could be turning.

His goal, which settled United after a shaky start, was the first he had scored against a top-eight club this season and it could not have been more timely.

Emboldened by his strike, the 24-year-old looked back to his menacing best and, although Thibaut Courtois denied him a second of the afternoon, the Belgian played a key role in United’s winner.

His chipped ball to Lingard was inch-perfect, handing the England man an opportunity he couldn’t refuse to put the hosts in control.

This wasn’t a vintage United performance by any stretch, but it bore all the hallmarks of a Mourinho team.

Chelsea’s top-four hopes suffer a blow

It has not been an easy period for Chelsea boss Conte, who had to face questions about his own future following shock defeats to Bournemouth and Watford.

He answered his critics to some degree as the Blues held mighty Barcelona to a draw in the Champions League in midweek.

This was another improved display from his charges, with no suggestion that they are not playing for their manager.

Willian’s goal was well deserved but their lead lasted only seven minutes.

Chelsea can feel aggrieved that Morata, who had earlier hit the woodwork, had a late effort ruled out for offside when he appeared to be level.

Nevertheless, the Blues now sit in fifth place, two points behind Tottenham Hotspur who saw off Crystal Palace earlier in the day.

There are still 30 points to play so all is not lost for Chelsea, despite this setback.

But with competition so fierce, Conte knows his side face an uphill climb to finish in a Champions League spot.

Super-sub Lingard presses his case

While Lukaku had struggled to have an impact in the crunch games, the same cannot be said about Lingard.

He was in sparkling form earlier this season, scoring six goals in a nine-match spell over the festive period.

Although that form tailed off to an extent, the 25-year-old reminded Mourinho of his ability to make something happen.

Ten minutes after coming on for Anthony Martial, Lingard was at the centre of the celebrations when he converted Lukaku’s cross.

Despite having a peripheral role at times, this was his 13th goal in all competitions for United this season.

England boss Gareth Southgate is a known admirer of Lingard’s and, with World Cup selection on the horizon, the United academy product will be hoping to get as much game-time as possible in order to book his place on the plane to Russia.

After this telling cameo against Chelsea, Mourinho may have a hard time leaving him out of the starting XI.

Rob is a freelance writer, specialising in football, who previously worked as a sports journalist at the Dorset Echo. A long-standing AFC Bournemouth supporter, Rob can often be found on the terraces at the Vitality Stadium. Follow him on Twitter - @RobMeech

Chelsea

Three goalkeepers Leicester should target if Kasper Schmeichel leaves

Chelsea are keen to sign Kasper Schmeichel, which would leave Leicester in need of a replacement.

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Kasper Schmeichel
Photo: Getty Images

Leicester City could be in need of rejuvenation between the stick if Chelsea get their way, as the Blues are eyeing Kasper Schmeichel.

Sky Sports state the Denmark international is a target for new Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri amidst continued speculation that Thibaut Courtois is off to Real Madrid – a transfer that now seems increasingly likely to go ahead.

After featuring for his nation at the World Cup, speculation suggesting 31-year-old Schmeichel will seek a new challenge for the 2018/19 season has been growing, with Sky Sports previously reporting the Premier League winner is also a target for Roma.

(Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

If Schmeichel is to leave, then Leicester boss Claude Puel must invest funds on a new goalkeeper in the market and these three options would be tremendous signings.

“Those Champions league nights are special. There is something about the night games, going away to different cities, it makes it unique.”

Schmeichel’s comments in 2017 may hint at a move for European football.

Jack Butland

England international Jack Butland may not have been first-choice for Gareth Southgate during the club’s tremendous run to the World Cup semi-finals but a major transfer could be on the cards before the window shuts.

Stoke City‘s relegation means that Butland will find it difficult to fight for a spot in the national side next season if he remains in the second-tier and Leicester would be the ideal surroundings for the 25-year-old, though a stern fight may emerge for his services.

The Sun reported Chelsea’s interest earlier this month but the Blues pursuit of Schmeichel suggests that their targets have changed, while the Mirror has thrown doubt on Liverpool‘s reported interest as Jurgan Klopp is content with the goalkeeping options he has at Anfield.

(Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

David Ospina

Boasting vast experience at international level, after starring for Colombia in the previous two World Cups, David Ospina also possesses Premier League and European experience – all of which would encourage Leicester to make a move.

Arsenal are ready to approve a departure following their capture of Germany international Bernd Leno and the Mirror states that the Gunners will accept a fee of just £6 million for the 29-year-old due to the fact he has entered the final 12 months of his contract.

Boca Juniors are also in the hunt for Ospina’s services but the player’s agent told El Crack Deportivo that a move to South America would be difficult to materialise and his preference is to remain in European football.

(Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)

Cho Hyun-Woo

Prior to the World Cup, Cho Hyun-Woo told ESPN that he dreams of playing in England and the performances of the South Korea goalkeeper in Russia have increased the possibility of that becoming a reality.

The 26-year-old starred for his nation in a difficult group alongside Mexico, Sweden and Germany but stunned the latter with a shock victory that saw the defending champions knocked out prematurely, with Hyun-Woo capturing plenty of attention for a number of superb stops.

An advisor of Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp told Dagbladet that the Reds should secure a move for the Daegu FC player and Leicester should be alerted as a result, as he could prove to be a superb acquisition.

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Three reasons why Kenedy can become Newcastle’s talisman next season

The 22-year-old made an instant impact when he joined on loan last season.

Liam Thomas

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Kenedy
Photo: Getty Images

Newcastle United managed to acquire Kenedy’s services for another season, after bringing the silky winger in on loan last January from Chelsea.

During his time at St. James’ Park last season, the Brazilian showed glimpses of the genius that saw Chelsea bring him into their ranks from Brazilian powerhouse Fluminense and he will, in no doubt, be an extremely effective weapon for Rafael Benitez to have at his disposal next season.

But can the 22-year-old take it up a notch and become Newcastle’s star man in the 2018/19 Premier League season?

A brilliant manager to learn from

Kenedy will again have to chance to play under Spanish tactician Rafael Benitez, a manager who’s done and won it all.

Benitez seemed to get the best out of Kenedy last season for the Magpies, and the young Brazilian won’t find many other managers around who are invested in getting the very best out of their young talents.

He had a huge impact playing just half the season for Newcastle

When Kenedy arrived on Tyneside in January, Benitez’ team were struggling, and in a rut of bad form, the Brazilian played his part in turning the clubs fortunes around and helped his new side to a top half finish.

It is a mouthwatering prospect to think for Newcastle fans what Kenedy will achieve with the club given a full season with them, and now he has fully settled into life in the city, he may be able to make an even bigger impact next season.

Young, ambitious and highly rated

At 22 years of age, Kenedy is poised to have the best season of his career so far and his energetic style of play bodes well for Newcastle next season.

You only have to look back as far as April to see the kind of teams interested in taking Kenedy into their ranks for the new season. Sky Sports reported that Bayern Munich and PSG were considering launching bids for the winger; a testament to how highly rated he is.

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Tottenham Hotspur must avoid repeat of Willian situation as Chelsea enter Malcom race

Tottenham are again looking to beat Chelsea to the signing of a Brazilian attacking talent.

Mathew Nash

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Tottenham Hotspur are back in the race for Brazilian winger Malcom. Le10 Sport reported this week that Spurs are now the frontrunners for the player, with Inter Milan falling short in their pursuit. The French source claimed Malcom was now available for just £35.3 million.

The same source has since gone on to report that Tottenham are now looking into the deal. However, that most recent report also commented on the presence of a transfer rival. It is suggested that Chelsea are entering the race.

Which immediately harks back to memories of Tottenham’s failed pursuit for Willian in 2013. Andre Villas-Boas had identified the Anzhi Makhachkala winger as the perfect option for Spurs. As reported by the BBC, a £30 million fee was agreed and a medical had been undertaken. Willian, was set to be a Tottenham player.

(during the Premier League match between Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur at Stamford Bridge on April 1, 2018 in London, England.

However, two days later, Willian had joined Chelsea.

It was a huge blow for Spurs and left them open to ridicule from Chelsea fans.

The parallels are clear. A talented young Brazilian winger wanted by Spurs, but with Chelsea set to swoop in.

The irony on this occasion is that Chelsea may even be targeting Malcom as a replacement for Willian, who is a target for Barcelona and Manchester United.

Tottenham must not be left with their tails between their legs once again.

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