MANCHESTER, England — Manchester United are again within the Champions League after a 4-1 win over Chelsea at Previous Trafford on Thursday night time secured a top-four end within the Premier League. Needing solely some extent to make certain of a return to Europe’s high 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 previous 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 choice to Antony, obtained a fourth within the second half. Joao Felix obtained a late comfort for the guests.
The one draw back for Erik ten Hag was an damage to Antony, who needed to be stretchered off within the first half and shall be an early doubt for the FA Cup remaining in opposition to Manchester Metropolis at Wembley on June 3 (10 a.m. ET, stream dwell 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 occasions this season when Champions League soccer appeared prefer it is likely to be slipping away, however it is going to be again at Previous Trafford subsequent season and the Dutch supervisor deserves credit score for getting the job executed.
United have gained 40 video games in all competitions for simply the fifth season of their historical past, and it is now 29 video games unbeaten at Previous Trafford. Manchester Metropolis, Arsenal, Liverpool, Tottenham Hotspur and now Chelsea have all been overwhelmed right here, and the Pink Devils have not misplaced a house sport within the league since August. Previous Trafford is a fortress once more.
Ten Hag must take care of elevated expectations subsequent season, and the goal must be a sustained title problem, however he may be glad that his first marketing campaign in cost will go down as successful. A trophy, a spot within the high 4 and the possibility to win extra silverware within the FA Cup remaining is greater than many followers anticipated this season. The primary a part of Ten Hag’s rebuild has been accomplished however, as Jose Mourinho and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer each came upon, the subsequent step is essentially the most tough.
2. Casemiro will get Man United over the road
United appeared like a crew in want of inspiration after back-to-back defeats to Brighton & Hove Albion and West Ham United risked their place within the high 4, and luckily for Ten Hag, Casemiro was in a position to present it. The Brazilian midfielder has been one of many gamers of the season at Previous Trafford since his summer season arrival from Actual 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 in opposition to Newcastle United in February because the Pink 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 on the point of a top-four end, and needing solely some extent in opposition to 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 a beautiful 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 assume it is value each penny.
3. Lampard making an attempt to look to the longer term
This season has been an unmitigated catastrophe for Chelsea — there isn’t any different method of placing it. They may end within the backside half of the Premier League desk for the primary time in 27 years, whereas the end result at Previous Trafford additionally set a brand new membership report of 16 defeats in a 38-game Premier League season. The one excellent news for Chelsea followers is that, absolutely, it has to get higher subsequent season.
Caretaker boss Frank Lampard will not be right here past the summer season, however in opposition to United, he tried to indicate potential new supervisor Mauricio Pochettino that there’s hope for the longer term. Lampard fielded Chelsea’s youngest-ever Premier League XI and picked simply the third crew in Premier League historical past to incorporate no less than 9 gamers underneath the age of 24.
Left-back Lewis Corridor was the choose of the bunch. The 18-year-old used the ball properly, obtained ahead when he might and wasn’t afraid to defend one-on-one in opposition to 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. It’s a must to look exhausting, however there may be the odd motive to be hopeful.
Greatest and worst performers
Casemiro, Manchester United: Scored United’s first purpose and arrange the second with an excellent ball into Sancho.
Lewis Corridor, Chelsea: It was one other disappointing night time for Chelsea, however Corridor may be completely satisfied along with his personal efficiency.
Bruno Fernandes, Manchester United: Received after which scored his penalty earlier than establishing Rashford for United’s fourth purpose as Chelsea capitulated.
Kai Havertz, Chelsea: Obtained caught underneath the ball for Casemiro’s purpose and missed a golden likelihood of his personal with a header that flashed broad.
Anthony Martial, Manchester United: Obtained on the scoresheet with a tap-in however he appeared off the tempo.
Mykhailo Mudryk, Chelsea: Fluffed a fantastic alternative to place Chelsea in entrance and gave the ball away too typically.
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 activities Soccer (@NBCSportsSoccer) Could 25, 2023
Fernandes and United made their 4-0 win over Chelsea seem like a stroll within the park.
BRUNO NUTMEGS FOFANA, WINS THE PENALTY AND PUTS IT AWAY 🥶 pic.twitter.com/XkiTsf5NAB
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) Could 25, 2023
After the match: What the managers and gamers stated
Fernandes: “[Qualifying for the Champions League] is first rate; it is not excellent as a result of we would like extra. For what we did this season, it is excellent. We get the trophy, which was our purpose after seeing we could not get the Premier League. Now it is about ending the league properly and going to FA Cup.”
Ten Hag: “We’re again within the Champions League. That is a vital step. If you wish to achieve success, it’s a must to be in that competitors.”
Key stats (offered by ESPN Stats & Data)
– Casemiro has now scored in consecutive matches for the primary time since 2017 for Actual 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. Solely 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 Previous Trafford.
Chelsea: The Blues’ depressing season will mercifully finish on Sunday as they play host to Newcastle United at Stamford Bridge.