What We Learnt From Chelsea And Man United’s UCL Games
The 2021/2022 UEFA Champions League season got underway on Tuesday and Wednesday night with mouthwatering action, super goals, drama and all-round excitement as the big boys in Europe came to play.
Matchday One of Europe’s elite club competition saw contrasting results and outcomes as star-studded PSG drew 1-1 away to Belgian side Club Brugge, Liverpool overcame another powerhouse AC Milan 3-2 despite missing a penalty, Ukrainian heavyweights Shakhtar Donetsk crumbled to debutants Sheriff Tiraspol of Moldova, while Ivorian striker Sebastian Haller scored four goals on his Champions League debut as AFC Ajax thrashed Portuguese champions Sporting CP 5-1.
In the same vein, Chelsea and Manchester United both took to the field with different outcomes as per their results. While the Blues could only manage a 1-0 win courtesy of Romelu Lukaku’s solitary strike, the Red Devils crumbled 2-1 away to Young Boys Bern of Switzerland, despite taking the lead through Portuguese star Cristiano Ronaldo.
We shall point out our observations of both Chelsea and Manchester United, ahead of Matchday Two which comes up in less than two weeks.
OLE GUNNAR SOLSKJAER IS TACTICALLY DEFICIENT: The Norwegian couldn’t step up to the plate as Manchester United lost 2-1 to Young Boys.
Things had started brightly when Ronaldo had given them the lead off an assist from Bruno Fernandes but the red card issued to Aaron wan Bissaka severely exposed the Red Devils.
Solskjaer’ attempts to neutralize the effects of Young Boys attack proved a failure. He took off Cristiano Ronaldo and Bruno Fernandes which was surprising as they needed an assurance goal. To make matters worse, Jesse Lingard who was a substitute was culpable as his bad pass led to the second goal they conceded.
Over time, Solskjaer has failed to show any tactical nous in crucial games and the same continued on Tuesday night. He isn’t the right man for the job at Old Trafford.
CRISTIANO RONALDO AND ROMELU LUKAKU BOTH COME GOOD AGAIN: Portuguese international Cristiano Ronaldo made it three goals in two matches, after giving the Red Devils the lead in their clash against Young Boys, although they ended up with nothing following their defeat.
The 36 year-old continues to believe his age to give tremendous performances which shows that United are in for a wonderful time under the five-time Champions League winner. As much as his game-time is well-managed, be sure that Ronaldo will deliver the goods.
As for Romelu Lukaku, the big Belgian hitman was the hero again as he scored off an assist from captain Cesar Azpilicueta in their 1-0 victory.
Lukaku is the missing piece in attack for the Blues no matter the formation adopted by manager Thomas Tuchel. Lukaku has four goals in four games already and he looks to be on course to hit 30 plus goals in all competitions at the end of the season.
CHELSEA WILL BE TOUGH TO BEAT: The Blues pipped Russian outfit Zenit St Petersburg 1-0 to begin the defence of their European crown on a positive note.
Their famous 4-3-3 formation employed by coach Thomas Tuchel seems to hold sway with the West London side, as it guarantees them a good result whenever they take to the pitch.
Moreover, the Blues are becoming notorious for not conceding or letting in goals cheaply as they mount another assault on Europe’s elite club competition. It will take something extraordinary to get past this Chelsea side.