Chelsea and Manchester United had contrasting results from their European games this week. While the Blues recovered from the 6-0 hammering of Manchester City to beat Malmo 2-1 away from home, Manchester United lost for the first time under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as Paris Saint-Germain beat United 2-0 at Old Trafford in the Champions League fixture on Tuesday night.
Both sides meet for the second time this season in the FA Cup fifth round tie at Stamford Bridge on Monday night, and journalist Raphael Honigstein believes Chelsea have the advantage heading into this tie.
United might be without injured duo Jesse Lingard and Anthony Martial at the Bridge on Monday, and Honigstein believes that it’ll affect Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side.
Lingard and Martial are a huge part of Solskjaer’s game and the duo help the team press high up with intensity alongside Marcus Rashford, and this was evident as United collapsed following their exit from the game against PSG.
Honigstein believes Chelsea can take advantage of this and beat Manchester United on Monday.
“It will be more difficult for United to press them without the likes of Martial and Lingard,” he told The Totally Football Show.
“I think the big lesson that Manchester City took away or sort of employed was to just harass them and cut down the supply through Jorginho.
“I think for United it will not be quite as easy to replicate that system.
“Would it really kill [Maurizio] Sarri to put Kante next to Jorginho and make it more of a double pivot? It doesn’t necessarily change all that much going forward that just gives you a little bit more solidity for the back four.”
Chelsea put in a much better performance away at Malmo as the Blues were the dominant side in the game.
Maurizio Sarri was much more impressed with his team’s performance which came after the humiliating 6-0 loss at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday.
“I am happy because we played with a very good level of confidence,” Sarri said.
“It wasn’t really very easy after the last match. But today we were confident because we moved the ball also inside our box.
“So I think we played very well. We risked only on set-pieces, because they are more physical than us. We could have scored more, I think. But we conceded a goal on a mistake. Today, the level of application and attention was good. We made a mistake, I think, a material mistake. So it could have been better.
“Better because we had three or four goal opportunities when it was 2-0, so we could have killed the match. But I am happy with the confidence. It wasn’t easy to play with this confidence after the last match.”