Man United vs Chelsea LIVE Football Score 28/04/2022
Manchester United will aim to keep their fleeting hopes of a top-four Premier League finish alive when Chelsea make the journey to Old Trafford on Thursday night. The Red Devils went down 3-1 to Arsenal at the weekend, while Thomas Tuchel’s men left it late to overcome London rivals West Ham United 1-0. In spite of fleeting optimism that the appointment of Erik ten Hag could galvanise the Man United players – some of whom may be playing for their futures at the club under the new boss – the Red Devils once again lost ground in the race for Champions League football to a direct top-four rival at the Emirates.
Cristiano Ronaldo’s 100th Premier League goal after a tragic week was a nice touch for the 37-year-old, but Nuno Tavares, Bukayo Saka and Granit Xhaka struck in a 3-1 success for the Gunners, who certainly rode their luck as Bruno Fernandes missed from the spot in the second half. Taking just four points from 15 on offer since the start of the month and losing three of their last four means that Man United are at risk of dropping out of the European places entirely never mind a Champions League pursuit, with Ralf Rangnick’s side now sixth in the rankings and six points behind Arsenal having played a game more.
West Ham are also breathing down the necks of Man United, and reports are starting to emerge of Rangnick allegedly losing the dressing room at Old Trafford, but the Red Devils can at least take a slice of confidence from their domestic home form ahead of Thursday’s game. Indeed, Rangnick’s men have strung together a seven-game Premier League unbeaten run at Old Trafford – following a pattern of winning one and then drawing one on home soil – and not since the days of Louis Van Gaal in 2015 have they suffered a trio of consecutive defeats in the top flight.
Chelsea can empathise with their upcoming opponents after also conceding multiple goals in a recent defeat to Arsenal, and Tuchel also witnessed his side fail to convert from 12 yards at the weekend, with Jorginho’s trademark hop, skip and jump effort falling kindly into the gloves of Lukasz Fabianski.
Just when it seemed like it was going to be another frustrating afternoon at the office for Chelsea, substitute Christian Pulisic was in the right place at the right time to convert in the 90th minute and ensure that the Blues would remain in the driving seat for a third-placed finish.
Chelsea could now open up an eight-point gap to fourth-placed Arsenal should they win their game in hand on Thursday night, and victory at Old Trafford would certainly give the Blues a healthy buffer before meeting Leeds United, Everton, Leicester City, Wolverhampton Wanderers and Watford before the season is done and dusted.
There is also the small matter of the FA Cup final to come for Chelsea, whose off-field distractions may be starting to affect the players somewhat, but they have strung together an impressive nine-game winning run away from home in all competitions, including each of their last four in the top flight.
Michael Carrick did manage to hold Chelsea to a 1-1 draw with his Man United side at Stamford Bridge earlier in the season, with that stalemate stretching the Blues’ winless league run against the Red Devils to eight matches since a 1-0 home win in 2017, and it has been nine years since the capital side last won a top-flight match at the Theatre of Dreams.
The tough games keep on coming for Manchester United as they get set to take on rivals Chelsea after two difficult encounters against Liverpool and Arsenal. Having lost both of those matches, the Red Devils will be hoping to avoid a hat-trick of defeats when they welcome the Blues to Old Trafford on Thursday night.
The losses against Arsenal and Liverpool meant that Manchester United’s hopes of a top-four finish are all but over as they are in sixth place, six points shy of Arsenal in fourth, who also have a game in hand. But with West Ham pushing from below, Ralf Rangnick’s side need to pick up positive results to ensure they finish in the top six at least.
Chelsea, meanwhile, have been well below their best of late. Having succumbed to a shock home defeat to Arsenal last week, the Blues just about managed to eke out a win over West Ham United, securing a narrow 1-0 victory. With Arsenal and Tottenham not very far away, Thomas Tuchel’s side will need to bag another win or two to avoid getting dragged into the top-four battle.
Manchester United have been dealt a couple of fresh setbacks as Jadon Sancho is ruled out due to illness while Harry Maguire also misses out with injury. Fred, Paul Pogba, Luke Shaw, Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Edinson Cavani remain unavailable for selection for the home team.
Manchester United are expected to continue in the 4-3-3 formation that Ralf Rangnick has preferred for the majority of his stint as interim manager. David de Gea will be the undisputed starter in goal while Maguire’s injury means Victor Lindelof and Raphael Varane should start in defence again. Diogo Dalot and Alex Telles should continue to slot in as the full-backs for the home team.
Former Chelsea midfielder Nemanja Matic should occupy the No. 6 position for Manchester United, with Scott McTominay providing him support in the defensive phases. The playmaking responsibilities will, as usual, fall on the shoulders of Bruno Fernandes, who needs to step up after a lean patch over the past couple of months.
Sancho’s unavailability could pave the way for Marcus Rashford to start and make a point with a solid performance. Anthony Elanga is a certainty on the right flank, while Cristiano Ronaldo will continue spearheading the Manchester United frontline.
Both Rudiger and James ought to return to the starting XI on Thursday, with the latter slotting in on his natural right wing-back slot rather than occupying the right-sided centre-back position. Instead, Trevoh Chalobah, Thiago Silva and Rudiger should form the three-man backline that will shield Edouard Mendy in the Chelsea goal.
James starting at wing-back should allow Ruben Loftus-Cheek to relocate into his preferred midfield position. He could be partnered with N’Golo Kante, with Jorginho dropping to the bench. Meanwhile, Marcos Alonso remains the obvious starter out in the left wing-back role for Chelsea.
Mason Mount will be the primary creator in the final third for the Blues and will carry a goal threat himself with his driving runs. Christian Pulisic scored the vital winner against West Ham United but is unlikely to start at Old Trafford as Tuchel could stick with the pairing of Kai Havertz and Timo Werner up top. Former Manchester United striker Romelu Lukaku should get some minutes off the bench on his return.