Alvaro Morata strikes as Chelsea derail Manchester United title bid
London: Chelsea striker Alvaro Morata condemned Jose Mourinho to a different damaging defeat towards his former membership because the champions clinched an important 1-Zero win over Manchester United on Sunday.
Morata rewarded an enterprising show from Antonio Conte`s aspect when the Spain striker headed house early within the second half at Stamford Bridge.
After dropping twice at Chelsea in his first season as United boss, Mourinho, who received three English titles in two spells with the Blues, is rising accustomed to leaving west London empty-handed.
This was an particularly painful setback for Mourinho as a second defeat of their final three Premier League video games leaves second-placed United lagging eight factors behind leaders Manchester Metropolis.
United have not received at Chelsea since October 2012, a barren run that now stretches to eight matches.
Whereas Mourinho licks his wounds, Chelsea supervisor Conte can take coronary heart from a vibrant efficiency that retains his fourth-placed staff 9 factors behind Metropolis.
Amid speak Conte was in peril of dropping the help of his gamers over his intense coaching regime, Chelsea`s third successive league win was nicely timed for the Italian within the week when demanding Blues proprietor Roman Abramovich made one in all his ominous visits to the coaching floor.
Having reportedly torn into his gamers throughout a prolonged inquest into Tuesday’s Three-Zero defeat at Roma, Conte wielded the axe as David Luiz and Antonio Rudiger have been dropped.
Simply as considerably, France midfielder N`Golo Kante returned to supply his steadying affect after lacking six video games with a hamstring damage.
In want of a quick begin to set the tone, Chelsea thought they`d taken the lead when Marcos Alonso’s cross was changed into his personal internet by United defender Phil Jones, just for referee Anthony Taylor to disallow the objective for a push by Morata.
United ought to have been forward themselves moments later when Ashley Younger`s cross uncovered early fault traces in Conte`s revamped defence, however the unmarked Marcus Rashford headed over from shut vary.
Tiemoue Bakayoko was equally profligate on the different finish, the Chelsea midfielder firing huge from Davide Zappacosta`s cross.
And not using a objective in his final six appearances, United striker Romelu Lukaku was looking for the blistering kind that adopted his pre-season transfer from Everton.
However the Belgian was largely nameless and even when he turned on the sting of the Chelsea space for a low shot, Thibaut Courtois was in a position to push it away.Eden Hazard led the Chelsea response with a stinging 25-yard strike, forcing David De Gea into an agile cease.
Mourinho has been criticised for adopting a cautious gameplan in large matches lately and, whereas he appeared extra keen to let United go ahead this time, he should have been livid with the way in which Chelsea have been slicing open his defence.
Andreas Christensen ought to have punished extra slack United marking when he headed over from a Fabregas nook earlier than Conte completed the half raging on the officers after Antonio Valencia barged over Hazard.
Hazard got here in for extra tough therapy after the interval, with Jones and Ander Herrara each booked for fouling the Chelsea playmaker.
Hazard may have exacted fast revenge when he discovered himself with simply De Gea to beat from shut vary, however the Belgian`s hurried shot was straightforward for the United keeper.
Hazard didn`t have to rue that miss as Chelsea`s strain was rewarded within the 55th minute.
United had solely themselves responsible as Cesar Azpilicueta was allowed to advance unchecked down the fitting earlier than whipping his cross in direction of Morata.
Left untouched by the flat-footed Chris Smalling and Eric Bailly, Morata had time and area to bury his header previous De Gea for his first objective in seven video games.
Mourinho despatched on Anthony Martial and Marouane Fellaini, but there was little menace from United till Fellaini squandered their final probability, capturing straight at Courtois within the closing minutes.