Manchester United Manager Jose Mourinho settled his score against his former club Chelsea on Easter Sunday, and avenged a lopsided defeat that his club suffered earlier this season in October.
He accomplished this with a masterpiece of tactical brilliance, where he kept coaching ’em up every step of the way, fighting hard the entire way.
He gave a lot of interesting answers in his post match press conference (you can watch the video and read some transcripts from the session at this link) after the 2-0 victory that kept United’s hopes for a top four finish very much alive.
The United boss even described in detail the specific tactics he used to get the best of his counterpart Antonio Conte and his former employer. Although, to hear some of the Blues players tell it, there was another powerful force working against them- a virus.
Marco Alonso was ruled out of the game due to his feeling ill. Victor Moses and star striker Diego Costa were also reportedly felling under the weather. Was a bug to blame?
Alonso was still suffering the effects of the virus on Saturday night and, despite being named in the starting lineup at United, complained of feeling ill after the pre-match warm-up. Chelsea’s medical staff duly assessed him in the away changing-room and the wing-back was withdrawn from the team…
One theory that has been considered by the club is that the bug had actually spread through the squad at a team bonding meal – one of a number arranged by Conte over the course of the campaign to strengthen the group – last Thursday evening.
Victor Moses, only just returned from a calf injury, had also been hampered and, having started the game, had to be withdrawn nine minutes into the second half prompting further disruption to the visitors’ approach. Diego Costa is also understood to have been unwell and, like Moses and Alonso, had missed training at the back end of last week prior to his side’s trip to the north-west.
Costa did have a very subpar game, failing to make much of an impact. United Defender Marcos Rojo certainly kept him bottled up most of the afternoon. Are strong germs to blame?
Well, it’s something Chelsea and their fans would certainly hope is the reality, but I doubt United and their supporters are going to go along with this narrative. Of course, one cannot deny that Sunday saw the worst effort, by far, of Conte’s Chelsea since he made the switch to a back three in September.
The truth probably lies somewhere in the middle. There are three sides to every story- one view, the opposite and then the truth.
Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank.net, partnered with FOX Sports Engage Network. and News Now. Banks, a former writer for the Washington Times, Bold and the Chicago Tribune’s RedEye publication, appears regularly as a guest on CGTN America, WGN CLTV and KOZN.Powered by Sidelines Follow paulmbanks