PIK News | United back in CL with 4-1 rout of Chelsea
United back in CL with 4-1 rout of Chelsea
Published on: 27-May-2023
MANCHESTER: Manchester United will be back in action in next season’s Champions League after they hammered Chelsea 4-1 on Thursday to secure a top-four finish in the Premier League.
Casemiro, Anthony Martial, Bruno Fernandes (penalty) and Marcus Rashford scored for United, who needed a point from their final two league games to officially end Liverpool’s fading hopes of securing a spot in Europe’s premier club competition.
“It’s important, this club belongs in the Champions League,” manager Erik ten Hag told Sky Sports. “But it’s not easy in the Premier League, it’s a tough competition, so it’s a massive performance when you get this done.”
Three-time European champions United, who failed to qualify for the Champions League last season, are third on 72 points with one game remaining, six points clear of fifth-place Liverpool. Chelsea, who have struggled all season, are 12th with 43 points.
Chelsea, despite spending over 500 million ($620 million) in the transfer market this season, slumped to an eighth defeat in 10 games since Frank Lampard returned as interim manager.
“It was another reality day today when you look at the emphatic nature at the top end of the pitch of United compared to us,” said Lampard. “Results for Chelsea this season are not good enough.”
United, who cap their Premier League season on Sunday by hosting 10th-placed Fulham, won the Carabao Cup in February and will be aiming to complete a domestic double when they face rivals Manchester City in the FA Cup final on June 3.
“(The season has been) decent, it’s not perfect because we want more,” Fernandes said.
“But for what we did this season, I think it’s great. Won one trophy, we get to the top four, that was our goal after we saw we couldn’t go for the Premier League (title).
“Now it’s about finish the league well and go to the FA Cup and win.”
Ten Hag’s side are unbeaten in Premier League action at Old Trafford for 17 games, going back to the opening weekend of the season.
Casemiro scored in the sixth minute with a close-range header off a long free kick. The Brazilian helped set up Martial’s goal just before halftime with a no-look chip into the path of Jadon Sancho. Martial was there to slot the ball into the empty net.
Interim manager Frank Lampard’s Chelsea side collapsed in the dying minutes. After Fernandes had made it 3-0 with a penalty in the 73rd minute, Rashford returned from a two-game absence to score his 30th goal of the season, cutting the ball around keeper Kepa Arrizabalaga. Joao Felix pulled one back for Chelsea in the 89th minute. The one negative on the night for the home side was the loss of Antony, who was left in agony with an apparent foot injury and had to be carried off on a stretcher. Ten Hag said he did not yet know the extent of the injury. While United were celebrating their return to Europe’s top-tier competition, Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah was devastated as the Reds failed to qualify for the Champions League for the first time in seven seasons. “I’m totally devastated,” Salah, who has scored 30 goals in all competitions this season, posted on his social media channels.
“There’s absolutely no excuse for this. We had everything we needed to make it to next year’s Champions League and we failed. “We are Liverpool and qualifying to the competition is the bare minimum. I am sorry but it’s too soon for an uplifting or optimistic post. We let you and ourselves down.”