Chelsea News and Notes: Mount, Pulisic, Azpilicueta, Giroud

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Chelsea beat Manchester United today for the first time since the 2018 FA Cup final; breaking a streak of six without a win over the Red Devils. The 3-1 victory came in this season’s FA Cup semis, setting up a London derby final against Arsenal.

Let’s take a look at the Blues news and notes items from this one. (For the United side of things, go here)

We start with man of the match Mason Mount, who came out firing.

Mount was dangerous off the dribble tonight and easily could have bagged a brace (much like Chelsea easily could have won by more), but United keeper David de Gea had a dreadful outing. United fans were calling for his replacing, and manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer admitted that his keeper should have stopped Mount’s goal.

“I can’t speak for David de Gea’s confidence but he is mentally very strong,” Solskjaer said.

“He knows he should save that one 100 times out of 100 but that’s football for you.”

The Spaniard really should have stopped Olivier Giroud’s scoring strike, which came in first half stoppage time.

Mount was in the line-up due to Christian Pulisic sitting out over a mysterious “injury.” The American was seen warming up and also named to the substitutes list, but didn’t feature. Obviously, he’s not that seriously hurt.

While Mount was man of the match Cesar Azpilicueta was rock solid too.

The Blues defense has been much maligned recently, and with good reason, but Azpilicueta has been a bright spot, a stellar mainstay. Overall, Chelsea were dominant from start to finish, as United didn’t even score until long after this one was essentially done and dusted.

Both sides are still working on clinching Champions League qualification for next season, and each can get there by winning out. With critical matches looming on Wednesday for both teams, and Chelsea heading into this one with extra rest, it was no surprise to see Frank Lampard field a stronger side than Solskajer did.

olivier giroud

The Blues boss played, pretty much, the best team that he could among those who were match fit. Meanwhile Solskjaer left Paul Pogba, Mason Greenwood and Anthony Martial on the bench to begin this one.

Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank.net, which is partnered with News NowBanks, the author of “No, I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry,” regularly contributes to WGN TVSports IllustratedChicago Now and SB Nation.

You can follow Banks, a former writer for Chicago Tribune.comon Twitter and his cat on Instagram.

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