Often criticised for a perceived unfairness towards their academy players – with countless names currently out on loan – Chelsea’s youth products stole the show against Juventus as the Champions League holders ran out convincing 4-0 winners at Stamford Bridge.
Trevoh Chalobah, Reece James and Callum Hudson-Odoi all struck for the Blues before Timo Werner came off the bench to round off the scoring on his comeback from injury, which has seen Chelsea confirm their rightful place in the last-16 of the tournament.
Thomas Tuchel’s side’s Premier League fortunes also improved following their 1-1 draw with Burnley before the international break, as the scintillating Blues saw off Leicester City 3-0 at the King Power, with former Foxes lynchpin N’Golo Kante scoring the pick of the bunch.
Victory over Juventus marked Chelsea’s ninth win from 10 in all competitions, and the league leaders remain three points clear of Manchester City at the top of the table having conceded a league-low four goals all season – three of which have come at home, though.
However, Matej Vydra’s equaliser for Burnley is the only goal that Chelsea have conceded over their last 450 minutes of top-flight football, and United’s famed attackers will have their work cut out to impress their soon-to-be interim boss.
Rumours around Mauricio Pochettino continue to swirl, but as United seek an experienced head to guide them through the remainder of the 2021-22 season, the ‘godfather’ of the gegenpress – Ralf Rangnick – appears to be Manchester-bound.
Michael Carrick led the Red Devils to a much-needed 2-0 Champions League win over Villarreal in midweek to book their spot in the knockout rounds, and the Englishman will have the chance to pit his wits against Chelsea this week, with Rangnick not set to be appointed in time for a Tuchel reunion.
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Not one United fan needs reminding of how Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s reign came to the most dismal of finishes at Watford last time out in the Premier League, and Carrick’s first top-flight game in charge starts with the Red Devils lying eighth in the table before the weekend’s games kick off.
Five of Solskjaer’s last seven Premier League games in charge of Man United ended in defeat, and the Red Devils have failed to win back-to-back games on the road in all competitions this term – with a 2-1 defeat to Young Boys sandwiched in between top-flight successes at Wolverhampton Wanderers and West Ham United.
History may be on the Red Devils’ side, though, as they are unbeaten in their last seven Premier League meetings with Chelsea – keeping clean sheets in each of their last four – although both highly-anticipated games last term ended goalless