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4 reasons why Manchester United are better than Chelsea

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Catch the Manchester United v Chelsea game live here

Both sets of fans have been going on and on about why their team will win on Sunday – and after having watched both teams since the start of the season, I’ve picked out a number of reasons why Manchester United is going to win (simply because they are SO MUCH BETTER on certain areas of the pitch than Chelsea).


1. Flair players

Ronaldo is in the form of his life, and as he showed in the World Cup, he raises his game for the big occasions, and in the Premiership it doesn’t get any bigger than Manchester United vs Chelsea. He’s learned to stay on his feet more and his overall game (freekicks, passing, dribbling) has improved.

He’ll be up against Ashley Cole and John Terry and both Chelsea players would love to kick him, but there’s also Boulahrouz and Ferreira, and with Ronaldo’s penchance for roving about the Chelsea defence will be in for a tough time.

Manchester United also have Giggs, Saha, Rooney and Scholes in a magnificent front-five attacking quintet – in comparison, Chelsea will have Sheva, Drogba, Lampard and Cole – Of these, only Drogba and Cole are worth worrying about and even then, The front four don’t have the same attacking verve as United do.

2. Manchester United’s wing-play

In contrast to Manchester United, Chelsea play in a cramped area of the pitch, and whenever they do float out to the wings, they tend to defend rather than attack (as they did against Barcelona). The natural width is there with Robben and Joe Cole but Mourinho hasn’t played those two together very frequently.

United have been the most effective team on the wings this season, and with Giggs and Ronaldo bombing down each flank (and Evra and Neville to support them) it’s going to be a tough task for Chelsea to match them in that area.

3. Defence

Without Petr Cech, Chelsea are crippled in defence, whether they admit it or not (they miss Gallas too, but that’s a different story). Cudicini just isnt that good at commanding his box – he’s more a Lehmann than a Cech. Edwin van der Sar, on the other hand, is absolutely fantastic in his marshalling of the defence.

Vidic and Ferdinand make a better pairing than KB and Terry (this one lacks the pace of Gallas), and Manchester United’s full-backs are more attacking than those of Chelsea (Neville gets up there far more than Ashley Cole, who is supposedly a very attacking player).

As a unit, the United defence is more coherent and settled.

4. Desire to Win

It would grossly unfair to say that Chelsea don’t have the same hunger to win as other teams do. However, it would also be naive to assume that the last two titles won’t make a difference on the way Chelsea treat the Premiership.

Already, the Prem is much tougher than two years ago – Chelsea led the line in raising the bar and everyone else has followed and as a result it’s harder to win the league than it was when Chelsea won it first.

Bottom line is that most of Manchester United’s squad hasn’t won the Premiership, Ferguson hasn’t won it for three years and the way they prepared this year (after coming close last year) and came out of the blocks firing on all cylinders, you can bet your life on the fact that Manchester United will be treating this game as one that will decide the season. Lose here, and Chelsea have the advantage going into a tough winter in which United’s bench consists of Darren Fletcher, Alan Smith and John O’Shea, while Chelsea have Robben, SWP, Carvalho and Kalou to call upon.

Win here, and United’s title charge is really on. For that reason alone – that United have more to lose with a defeat here than Chelsea – United should be more fired up for the game.

After all, that’s how we beat Liverpool, and that’s how we beat back Arsenal.

Of course, Manchester United are not perfect (and Chelsea are not Liverpool), so you can’t say that United dominate Chelsea all over the park – there are several factors going against United in this game, but apart from Makelele and Essien in the midfield and a star-studded subs bench, I can’t think of any.

Update: Read part two.

Comments (34)

  1. and that’s how we beat back Arsenal…
    i liked this line..

    i am a bit worried abt our ability to counter aerial attacks..terry , ballack r all very good at heading the ball..evra or heinze whoever plays , will have to do their marking very well in the box..will have to stick to their man..

  2. unfortunately, both evra and heinze suck in the air. Neville isn’t that hot either.

  3. What a laugh Ahmed! You’ve obviously been listening to Andy Gray and Alan Green. I would like to invite you back after the game tomorrow and to see you eat your words. No doubt it will be a good game but if you know anything about manu you’ll know that Chelsea have an extraordinary record against manu at OT, and with Chelsea having their strongest team ever, I wouldn’t be so dismissive. If you want to earn some money have a fiver on Chelsea to win 3-0

  4. what do you mean heinze sucks in the air?

    i agree though as i mentioned in an earlier post that our main problem is lack of squad depth.
    great first 11 and good defensive cover.
    but on the bright side we only need 2/3 players do give us a great squad.
    one midfielder: hargreaves/mascherano(yes, he is still a class player and could do a good job for us)
    one winger: nani/SWP(i know, almost no chance)
    one striker: torres/huntelaar/trezeguet
    add to that the return of rossi, and the impressive prospect of lee martin, then i think our midfield and strikers have the quality and depth to match chelski for the next few years.

  5. Pray that Didier Drogba doesn’t fully recover from his injury. United are not that good when on back foot. they won most of their games playing teams that were too fearful to them. Arsenal run the game at them and we never really see Manu as a true premiership contender that day. Their are an excellent team to watch when going forward; but not so when on back foot.

  6. What an appalling assessment of the game. Man U’s strength is that they attack in numbers. Saha, Rooney, Ronaldo, Giggs and Scholes give most teams heart attacks. The trouble is, when they play Chelsea, they’re throwing themselves at rocks and get nowhere fast. When that fails, they have absolutely nothing to fall back on.

    They have no-one outside of their defence who can play or defend when they don’t have the ball. Who will it be? Those named or Carrick, who’s never made a tackle in his life? Against most teams, their attacking game is sufficient – when it doesn’t work there’s nowhere to go.

    And the defence? Vidic has brawn and no brains. I don’t even think Rio is a defender – he’s only good at taking the ball out of defence, not actually defending. Neville is aging fast and Evra is a bit of a joke as a defender. VdS is defenceless.

    Their hope is that they get crosses in against Cudicini who’s weak in that area and a defence that’s confused aerially without Gallas. Then hang on for grim death.

    Much like last season in fact.

    Footballing-wise, I’m expecting the kind of damp squib they produced against Celtic, Copenhagen, Arsenal and Southend.

  7. These are the two best teams in the Premiership. The big difference is that Man United has played about as well as they can thus far (excepting their performances in the CL) and Chelsea is just getting started. The worry for Chelsea as the season goes on is can Cudicini/Hilario hold up all season long – they are noticably inferior to Cech. The injury bug is bound to hit Man U (Saha is due for a spell on the injured list, Ole Gunnar is already staring to fall apart) and when it does they will be in need of scoring. Ronaldo, for all his skill and class, simply is no finisher. Drogba has as much as flare and class as anyone in the League, and for that matter, Europe.

    If ManU loses, it will be a huge blow – two losses at home to their biggest PL rivals. If Chelsea loses, it will not be so bad. Long way to go.

  8. Look u guys u have won a title after long time don’t consider ur team is better then any team in England. let season start win some titles EPL,CL,CC,FA for 1 or 2 years show consistency then talk about being best in England.

  9. sami, hahaha chelsea have won 2 titles in god no’s how many years, how bloody convenient after roman and his millions came in you win stuff, if you don’t remember we’ve won titles back to back on more than one occassion and also 3 times in a row, and before you talk about me bringing up the past, chelsea’s dominance was in the past too. oh and win CL, yeah like chelsea know how to win that, when did you’s last win it? oh yeah, never

  10. i think u can see the european influence- mourinho, rafa and wenger play to a style using 4-5-1 formation. whereas united tend to play with 2 central midfielders and two wingers. obviously with the arrival or hargreaves i think there wud b a more 4-5-1 from man utd in the forthcoming season (must be quieroz influence. lol)

    it is an old article and clearly u must be laughing when you wrote “Vidic and Ferdinand make a better pairing than KB and Terry” KB? khalid boulahrouz. lol but i agree with your judgment in the defence department. we were stronger then chelsea last year but now they have bench warmers such as ben haim and alex. makes for an interesting season next year. the return of scholes helped us but chelsea have the return of joe cole so i expect more of a challenge from chelsea next season

  11. It’s fun to read this now, seeing as how Man Utd couldn’t beat Chelsea once this season, and lost in the FA Cup Final to a Chelsea lineup struggling to field 15 fit players, much less its usual starting 11.

    However, I am not going to be the Chelsea supporter saying “Oh, look at how wrong you were” after the fact, because simply, when these two teams play, it’s a toss up because they are both so talented.

    To anyone saying Chelsea didn’t do anything before Roman came into the fold: OK, you’re right. but guess what? It doesn’t matter now! Chelsea has won two titles and everyone has new rich owners, for the most part, so it isn’t a big deal! What is done is done! And those players put on the pitch still had to win, so Roman didn’t buy the trophy like so many bitter people claim. Football changes, Chelsea is now a powerhouse, deal with it. Recognizing Chelsea’s recent success puts NO damper on what Man Utd or other clubs have done in the past.

  12. No Ronaldo would only be a great player if he didnt dive on the little’st tap on his leg. OOOOOWWWWW he says. Plus if Manchester United are much better than Chelsea can someone explain to me why you lost against West Ham and Chelsea won 4 – 1 against them ??? Oh and dont say you played out a rubbish team because thats admitting you are rubbish. Also for a bit of the match you had Rooney and Ronaldo. Plus yes we do buy players but thats doing something to get a bigger advantage of a win. I also admitt that the ball was over the line but then again did Ryan Giggs push Cech over the line ?? Yes. Essien did’nt make Giggs fall as he slid in to kick the ball in just a little bit before Essien slid in. Therefore Chelsea are a better team, have better players, and have a good manager

  13. Chelsea are a better team? So what if we lost against West Ham, so did lots of other teams….Its just like saying how come spurs beat you 2-1 and we beat them 3-1, or how come we beat fulham 5-1 and you drew 2-2. We won the league, this season we were better, and at least our 30m signing can score more than 10 league goals a season!({Overall}Rooney 22 Shevchenko 5) Yea you buy players that everyone has already heard of, and make them worse than before: Playing shevchenko out on the wing, Ballack out on the left, Boulahrouz, Paulo Ferreira and even Drogba in his first two seasons when you played him in a 4-3-3 which he said he hates. You spent about 90m altogether on them and only one of them has proved to be good so far! Whereas we bought Carrick, Ronaldo, Vidic, Rooney, Evra. Comparing each:
    Shev-Roon
    Ballack-Carrick
    Vidic-Boulahrouz
    Ferriera-Evra/Heinze
    Ronaldo-Drogba

    Each time our player proves to be better and cheaper(Other than ballack), only drogba can come close to being the better signing, so we buy better and don’t buy anyone and everyone(or steal other players, Robben,Mikel,(both from united) ashley cole etc.) so we have nothing against you’s buying players, but its the way you do it.

    Roman did buy the title! He made sure he got the best manager by paying him loads, he bought all of the best players available at the time(without considering how good they really are-Ferreira,Johnson,Geremi etc.) whereas United built a foundation, and used their own youth(neville, beckham, scholes) for a long while, then bought young foriegn youth(nani anderson ronaldo) so Chelsea bought the title!

    United won the league this season! Chelsea won a rubbish(hardly even competitive) cup and another well known cup against United in the final, so United were the better team verall this season, so stop talking about injuries etc. Thats what you get when you buy injury prone players like joe cole and robben.

  14. Andycfc4life
    At least when Ronaldo dives he makes it look convincing unlike Drogba who makes it look comical.

    Conor
    We beat Spurs 4-0 so clearly we are better and don’t forget that we did the double over Liverpool and Chelsea lost to them twice this season.Shevchenko was a good
    signing because he showed Drogba what not to do if you want to score and Drogba paid attention.

  15. Yea well sorrrrrrrrry i meant to say 4-0. And true about drogba, he is a terrible diver.

  16. Sorry Conor I was just trying to be extra smug

  17. Haha ok=]

  18. Conor, you can’t buy a title. You can only buy your way into position to compete for one. Spending money has nothing to do with how players play on the field. And its not like United has ever not splurged on players (Ferdinand, Rooney, Ronaldo anyone?)

    As far as having a better overall season, I would say roughly both teams played the same. We won two knockout cups by playing the same competition you did. Man Utd won the Prem by six points. both teams made the Final Four of the Champions League, and each probably should have advanced to the final. You call the Carling Cup “rubbish” yet if you had won it, you would be proud of the accomplishment. Chelsea even had to deal with more injuries, yet I’m not claiming that as an excuse at all.

    You also claim that United buys “better” than Chelsea, which really isn’t that true at all, and since “better” is such an ambigous term, it really doesn’t even apply without some sort of evalutation credentials. We chase most of the same players, and we usually get them more than you. Of course our failure rate is higher since we buy more than you, that’s natural. I remember quite vivdly United being very interested in a certain stud named Michael Essien a while back…

    Don’t demean Chelsea’s accomplishments this season. Instead, celebrate yours and stop trying to prove you’re better than everyone. And learn some more about football before you try acting smart.

  19. manchester suks soo bad u have no idea. I mean wat da hell they lost to coventry. yes i will admit chelsea fc havent been playing great football lately but we won against boro away 2-0. the way we were playing lately is gettin beta and beta. CHELSEA FC 4 LYF! UEFA here we cum.

  20. Well Sheva7… had you done your homework properly, you’d know that Man Utd played a string of youngsters against Coventry. You may have grinded out a result at Boro (who are a terrible side this season), but Man Utd swiped the floor with Villa, who beat you guys 2-0 at Villa Park.

  21. @Tomas / Sheva7
    Most importantly, don’t forget that Man Utd beat you guys (Chelsea) as well.

  22. dats wat i tort Chelsea bak on top we beat Schalke 04 with flowing attaking football, Man city watch out your short reign at the top of da league is gonna end this saturday. and Tomas, man utd wont win da league this season, if gna be between Arsenal nd Chelsea.

  23. O ya nd i dnt do homework. Fergie thinks hes soo clever by thinking he can do wat Arsenal did in last seasons Carling cup. he tort he can play his youngsters nd get to the final bt they suk soo u gt knocked out. Shame maybe u shld start trying nt to copy otha clubs ideas nd create your own, if u can

  24. Ey Brian W u legend bru. CHELSEA FC 4 LYF

  25. chelshit will not have anything this year….to SHEVA7 ur club is rightly placed where they deserve to be….once drogba goes ….u will be in relegation spot …………..

  26. ur not the force to reckon with……….end of your era is like serena williams dominance ending in tennis the ugliest phase in epl…horrible football played inspite of billions invested………….UNITED and ARSENAL are the clubs reponsible for making EPL the greatest league in the world and not you CHELSHIT

  27. Manchester United cant play how long do they take to get their act together mate and dont u talk about the man u vs cheslea game because tell me which team to go to old trafford with 10 man and a new mannager at place chelsea have know stepped up and united better watch out because we showed u y cheslea is da better team ind a fa cup final

  28. Man Utd and Arsenal are the best teams in England and also the most entertaining. Chelsea’s era is over.

  29. Ya i agree with sheva 7 and rycoos and leecoos dat man unt suks so bad dey lost to west ham twice i mean dats rely rely bad_ and thomas sheva 7 dosent do his homework becaus hes nt a geek lyk u. and alberto u need to go 4 a brain cheak cus ders sumthing wrong wit u. AND CHELSEA 4 LYF AND MAN UNT 4 NEVER!

  30. Tanx Rambo. Alberto, u knw dat Chelsea is beta dan man utd…so get ova it.

  31. infcat i am a ghanaian nd i am a full fun of manchester the player i love most is ronaldo infact i will like to play like him i play very well also i have his videos ant time i go to the cafe i make sure i look at him

  32. infcat i am a ghanaian nd i am a full fun of manchester the player i love most is ronaldo infact i will like to play like him i play very well also i have his videos ant time i go to the cafe i make sure i look at him i think man u will win by 5 goals to nill well i love our coach too

  33. chealsea is the best my ballack should win the game to manchester hit the goal to manchester as manchester loose with manchester city very badly as the rooney and owen doesnot hav luck on this as well as before year they loose badly with aston villa as chelsea is best!!!!!!!!!

  34. man utd is number one 1#