United grabs Champions League ticket, but loses Antony with injury
In his first season as manager of Manchester United, Erik ten Hag managed to qualify for the Champions League with his team. A 4-1 win over Chelsea led to joy at Old Trafford.
Ten Hag stepped in last summer at a club in decline, yearning for prizes. After the departure of vedette Cristiano Ronaldo, who had been sidelined under the Dutchman, cohesion within the squad increased, and that led to results.
Manchester United got involved in the battle for a direct ticket to the Champions League, although a bid for the national title still proved a bridge too far. They did achieve another success after a long period of drought by winning the League Cup, at the expense of Newcastle United.
And despite the elimination in the quarter-finals of the Europa League by Sevilla, Ten Hag and his formation remained on course for Champions League qualification.
Against Chelsea one point was enough, but it turned into three. Casemiro headed in an early goal and put Manchester United on the right track with his goal. The loss of Antony, after a duel with Trevoh Chalobah, was a major setback.
The Brazilian, who came over from Ajax with Ten Hag, left the field on a stretcher. The severity of his injury is still unclear, but it did not look good. The question is therefore whether Antony will be able to play next Saturday’s FA Cup final against Manchester City.
After Anthony Martial had scored the 2-0 on the stroke of halftime after a fine attack, the game seemed stripped of all tension. The very young Chelsea, completely sagging this season, could not make a real fist despite some chances.
United captain Bruno Fernandes exploited a penalty about twenty minutes before time, after a foul on the Portuguese by Wesley Fofana. After Marcus Rashford’s 4-0, João Félix saved the honor on behalf of Chelsea.