Chelsea maul Man United on Mourinho’s return to Stamford Bridge

Chelsea maul Man United on Mourinho’s return to Stamford Bridge
Chelsea hammered Manchester United 4-0 on Sunday in a game that saw the return of former manager and current United boss Jose Mourinho to Stamford Bridge since his sacking by the club in December 2015.

Mourinho won three Premier League titles in two stints at Chelsea from 2004-2007 and then from 2013-2015. He parted ways with Chelsea last December after a bad run of results, despite his side being Premier League champions.

Chelsea struck after just 30 seconds when Marcos Alonso clipped the ball forward to Pedro, who darted in between David De Gea and the Man United defense to control the ball with his midriff and then poke it into an open net for the quickest Premier League goal so far this season.

From then on United were put under constant pressure by the Chelsea forward line, who swarmed the visitors’ inside their own half with fluid attacking play.

Twenty minutes later Chelsea doubled the lead through defender Gary Cahill who took advantage of Chris Smalling’s reluctance to defend a corner and drill a free ball home from close range.

As United’s defense looked ever shakier, Chelsea pushed for a third, but couldn’t find a way through and the London side went into the first half two goals ahead courtesy of some dreadful defending.

Little changed in the second half and Chelsea made it three with winger Eden Hazard before N’Golo Kante rounded off the rout with a fourth on 70 minutes.

Mourinho said his reception by the Chelsea crowd was “fine” but bemoaned his side’s lack of urgency in the early part of the game.

“It’s one of these days where you give the advantage to the opponent by doing nothing. They were defensively compact and defended well. We made incredible defensive mistakes and you pay for that.”

The Portuguese manager preferred to stay tight-lipped on about a challenge by Chelsea defender David Luiz on United midfielder Marouane Fellaini in which Luiz landed his studs high on Fellaini’s leg, instead saying, “I prefer not to speak about the referee.”

“[The reception was] fine, I was not expecting different. The people inside of the tunnels the friends are friends the ones who are not special friends are not special friends. The crowd behaved in a normal way.”

Mourinho refused to shed any light on an apparent heated exchange between himself and animated Chelsea boss Antonio Conte after the final whistle, curtly telling the interviewer, “I was speaking with Antonio, not with you.”

Conte expressed his joy at resoundingly beating their close rival in his first match against United as Chelsea manager, but the Italian was equally hushed when asked about the incident between Luiz and Fellaini.

“I’m please for a great performance, we started very well with a high intensity to move the ball very quickly and to create chances to score the goal. I’m pleased for the game and above all for the players. They deserve this.”

“I didn’t see this situation. I think that if Luiz played a fantastic game and then I don’t know if he deserved a red card or yellow," he added. 

Chelsea’s win means they go fourth in the Premier League while United are now without a win in six league games.