Chelsea pair Alvaro Morata and Cesar Azpilicueta proved decisive yet again this evening, as the Blues put Manchester United to the sword at Stamford Bridge.
The two sides went head to head in London, with Chelsea desperate to return to winning ways following their 3-0 hammering at the hands of AS Roma in the Champions League during the week.
Manchester United, meanwhile, looked to continue their recovery from a blip at Huddersfield two weeks ago, with Jose Mourinho’s men coming into proceedings on the back of successive victories over Swansea City, Tottenham and Benfica.
The Red Devils were without a rake of star names for today’s clash, as all of Paul Pogba, Michael Carrick, Marouane Fellani, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Marcos Rojo remained sidelined through injury.
Jose Mourinho opted for 3 central defenders, with Eric Bailly, Chris Smalling and Phil Jones taking their places at the back.
Romelu Lukaku and Marcus Rashford, meanwhile, led the line for United.
Chelsea received a major boost with the return of N’Golo Kante to their midfield after the Frenchman missed 6 games with a thigh problem, though David Luiz was left out of the Blues’ squad altogether after his disappointing showing at Roma on Tuesday night.
An end to end opening to the game saw both outfits exchange early chances, before the home side began to take control from the middle of the park.
The Blues’ midfield trio of N’Golo Kante, Cesc Fabregas and Tiemoue Bakayoko looked more and more dominant as the first-half wore on, with Antonio Conte’s men disappointed to head into the interval without having put themselves ahead.
However, it did not take long for Chelsea to put this right during the second-half, with a familiar connection once again doing the damage for the Premier League champions.
After Alvaro Morata had ghosted in between Eric Bailly and Chris Smalling in the United box, Cesar Azpilicueta picked out his fellow countryman with a perfectly-weighted cross.
Morata smashed home his header with aplomb, giving rise to a remarkable statistic regarding the Blues’ duo:
Cesar Azpilicueta has 5 PL assists this season 🅰️
All of them have been for Alvaro Morata ⚽️ pic.twitter.com/41LSfGFkL2
— EPL Stat Man (@EPLStatman) November 5, 2017
— Chelsea FC Global (@Chelsea_Global) November 5, 2017