90+5min: FULL TIME. Chelsea lose.
90+3min: Caballero makes a save on Ighalo, who’s on for his United debut.
89min: Chelsea have a free kick after Fernandes’s called for a high boot on James. Mount fools everyone by going for goal, but hits the post! De Gea hurt in the process by diving into the post.
88min: Chelsea threaten from another corner. This time James can’t find the finish and Pedro’s long shot is blocked. Pedro had received a bit of treatment just prior to that.
82min: Chelsea threaten from a corner, but Pedro can’t find a finish and then Azpi’s weak effort is easily caught by De Gea.
79min: Wan-Bissaka yellow for a flashpoint with Azpilicueta.
GOALLL!! GIROUD!! Mount crosses, Giroud heads it in. Except he’s off by a toe, according to VAR, who chose to stop the play at that specific instance.
76min: Williams into the book for United for hacking down Willian.
73min: Kovačić with a fantastic 1-2 with Giroud, and is in for a shot, but Bailly arrives just in time to block it. Willian’s corner is useless.
72min: Azpi wins a free kick high up on the left. James with an inswinger, but it’s over the head of everyone and wide of the post.
69min: Maguire wins another set piece header, but Azpi’s there to head clear for a corner. Giroud heads clear.
68min: Giroud on for Batshuayi.
66min: Goal. Maguire. Back-to-back corners from United. Zouma clears the first, but Maguire scores from the second. 2-0, somehow.
63min: Pedro contrives to lose the ball while dribbling towards his own area. Lucky to not give away a penalty. Fernandes takes and hits the post.
61min: Kovačić covers a United counter after they clear a corner.
59min: Fred gets a yellow for protesting. Zouma gets a yellow, too, for the initial foul(?) on Martial.
58min: VAR strikes again! Zouma turns the ball into the back of the net, but the goal’s ruled out by VAR because Azpilicueta pushed Shaw. Of course, Azpi was pushed by Fred into Shaw, but somehow that was completely missed. What a joke.
55min: Chelsea come again but United scramble Azpi’s cross away. Pedro has a clear shot, but goes for a chipped cross instead of a shot and it’s cleared for a corner.
54min: James eventually puts in a cross, which hits Batshuayi’s hand accidentally, so Mount’s shot wouldn’t have counted. He hit the post anyway.
53min: James cuts out a long ball and gets Chelsea going on the right. Maguire covers Willian and puts it out for a throw, from which Chelsea pas it around for a bit. We go left, then right, but go nowhere at all.
50min: Willian gets a cross in, but it’s wild and there’s no one at the far post anyway.
47min: Kovačić through ball for Mount doesn’t come off and United counter. Rüdiger halfheartedly blocks off Fernandes, who throws himself to the ground and gets the defender carded.
46min: Zouma on for Christensen, who apparently couldn’t continue. No other changes as Chelsea restart the match. Big 45 minutes ahead!
HALF-TIME: Chelsea much the better side. Maguire should’ve seen red. Willian booked for a non-dive. Michy with at least one easy chance missed. Martial scores against Chelsea again. Sigh.
45+3min: Michy does well to break past the defensive line, then combines with Pedro to get into the area. His shot is poor however and poses no danger.
45min: Goal. Martial. Pretty much out of nothing, Wan-Bissaka crosses, Martial beats Christensen, just back on the pitch, in the air and his header finds the inside of the far post. 0-1, Manchester United.
43min: Christensen walloped in the face by a flailing arm from Martial, and the red stuff starts gushing from his nose. Chelsea down to 10 temporarily as the physios try to stem the flow of blood.
41min: A great bit of passing sees Chelsea waltz through midfield, but Azpilicueta’s cross is blocked by Wan-Bissaka’s trailing leg and the chance is gone.
39min: Willian this time gets the right call after getting pushed over by Shaw. Chelsea can build on the right.
38min: Luke Shaw with one of the worst crosses yet today.
36min: Martial counters by himself, but his shot is poor.
35min: Chelsea turn the screw, with Kovačić orchestrating. Bailly clears for a corner, which goes short to Willian. He jinks past a defender, then falls over his outstretched leg. Taylor books Willian for simulation, which seems harsh.
31min: James runs into Fred and United counter. Kovačić drops in cover well to clear for a corner. Fred takes the outswinger, Christensen clears. Fernandes tries a powerdrive, wide.
30min: Azpi’s cross from the left is over the head of Michy and Willian can’t quite get to it. Christensen does well to cover United’s low-key counter.
28min: Good block from Azpi on a Wan-Bissaka cross gives United a corner, which is swung in by Fred. Chelsea head clear at the near post, but United reload. Rüdiger clears Fred’s second cross and Chelsea can build. Jorginho tries a ball over the top for Willian, but it doesn’t quite come off.
26min: Michy misses another great chance, this time with his left, from Mount’s cutback from the left. Needed that one.
24min: R.James stops a counter and escapes a card. Weee.
23min: Rüdiger steps up and launches a cross, which Maguire heads out for a corner. Chelsea play it short for James to cross. United clear but Chelsea spin it around quickly. A nice cushioned header from Christensen finds Willian, but Michy can’t twist his body enough to convert Willian’s cutback. Big chance, that.
21min: Rüdiger blocks another shot, this time from Martial. Chelsea go long to Michy, who tangles with Maguire, who appears to kick out as they both tumble to the ground.
19min: Kova loses the ball, but then combines with Mount to win it back. Chelsea’s attack breaks down after Pedro runs into Fred.
18min: Pedro strong against Wan-Bissaka on the left, but Willian can’t fashion a good shot from the cutback.
16min: Mount into the action for the first time, playing wide to Michy. He dribbles inside, finding Jorginho central. But his return pass is a bit too strong for the striker, who seemed to not be fully expecting that, and the 1-2 does not quite come off.
14min: Foul throw called on Williams. Never not funny at this level. But Batshuayi can’t hold the ball and United counter. D.James checks back to his right and aims a nice-looking cross towards the far post. Fortunately no one there for United.
13min: Fred and Fernandes combine in the left channel to create a snapshot for the latter. Rüdiger blocks for corner. The corner is half-cleared, then William’s follow-up shot is blocked by Willian. Chelsea try to counter, but Maguire defends well enough 1-v-1 against Pedro.
10min: Kanté’s down with an apparent groin injury. He won’t be able to continue. Mason Mount’s rest day is over.
9min: Pedro starts another counter, which then gets Kovačić on the ball to waltz through a couple. He gets a kick to his ankles from behind, but still gets the ball wide to Willian. He cuts inside his man and tries a curling left-footed effort, which misses the top corner.
8min: Chelsea counter down the right, but Willian chooses the wrong option in Michy with Pedro running free further to the left.
7min: Christensen covers a long ball towards Martial on the left, but can only clear for a corner. Fernandes takes the corner short, Shaw then pumps big cross in, which United win, but Chelsea then clear at the second time of asking.
6min: Chelsea play out well from the back, with Kovačić turning upfield and breaking the lines, then playing wide to Azpi. The ball’s worked back to the right, where James drops a shoulder and takes aim, just missing the far post with a low, sharp shot.
4min: Good press from Michy forces an errant goal kick from De Gea.
3min: Chelsea press and force an error from Bailly, but Pedro has no support and has to turn back. Chelsea lose the ball, but then win it back deep from United’s throw. Bit scrappy first few minutes.
1min: An early long-ball towards James tests Rüdiger, but he does well to cut it out and Chelsea have possession, albeit only briefly.
KICK-OFF: With Abraham and Hudson-Odoi both injured and Caballero again in for Arrizabalaga, it’s a somewhat uninspiring and maybe even scary lineup from Chelsea. United, in classic red with white shorts and black socks, get us underway.
And so begins the final third of the season with crucial 8-day, 3-home-game period that will likely define the rest of the season.
They’re not technically must-wins, as there are still plenty of games left afterwards, but they might as well be — especially the home games against other top-four/-six rivals. Spurs are now just 1 point behind, after another last-gasp winner yesterday.
Here we go.
Chelsea starting lineup (4-3-3):
Caballero | Azpilicueta (c), Rüdiger, Christensen, R.James | Kovacic, Jorginho, Kanté | Willian, Batshuayi, Pedro
Substitutes from: Arrizabalaga, Tomori, Zouma, Alonso, Mount, Barkley, Giroud
Manchester United starting lineup (3-4-3):
De Gea | Shaw, Maguire (c), Bailly | Williams, Matic, Fred, Wan-Bissaka | B.Fernandes, Martial, D.James
Substitutes from: Romero, Dalot, Jones, Andreas, Mata, Greenwood, Ighalo
Date / Time: Monday, February 17, 2020, 20.00 GMT; 3pm EST; 1:30am IST (next day)
Venue: Stamford Bridge, SW6
Referee: Anthony Taylor
On TV: Sky Sports Main Event (UK); NBCSN, Universo (USA); Star Sports Select HD1 (India); SuperSport 3, Canal+ Sport 2 (NGA); elsewhere
Streaming: Sky Go (UK); NBC Sports Live, Universo Now (USA); Hotstar (India); DStv Now (NGA)
Be excellent to each other, and party on, dudes!