Manchester United fans were outraged by their side’s woeful defensive performance against Chelsea as Jose Mourinho’s men succumbed to a humiliating 4-0 defeat.
The visitors, unbeaten in six going into the clash with Antonio Conte’s side, conceded after 30 seconds after some terrible judgement from Daley Blind, David de Gea and Chris Smalling allowed Pedro to stroke the ball into an empty net.
It was a dramatic setback, and one that United’s back four failed to recover from, conceding three more goals in a display hallmarked by a miserable lack of control and composure.
Man United fans were understandably horrified with their back four.
Haven't seen such a disorganised Man Utd team in years. LVG's United wasn't this separated in defence. Blind and Smalling have been woeful.
— Liam Canning (@LiamPaulCanning) October 23, 2016
Costa screaming out for a chance on goal. Think it will happen for him in the second half. United's back four are looking shaky. #CFC
— Tom Andrews (@CarefreeTom_182) October 23, 2016
— Shaun Irvine (@_shaunirvine) October 23, 2016
Hazard in acres of space on the edge of the box, just wide. Mourinho screaming at his back four.
— Chelsea HQ (@Chelsea_HQ) October 23, 2016
Back four is having an absolute mare today. Speechless.
— Joel 🅙 (@JustCantona) October 23, 2016
Never seen a United back four have such a shocker in the first 45, and that includes the spurs game when we were 3-0 down at HT
— Aquelious (@aquelious) October 23, 2016
This was, above anything, a tactical humiliation for Mourinho and his back four. Chelsea’s 3-4-3 system, a set-up adopted in the wake of their humiliation at Arsenal, completely bamboozled United. Antonio Valencia and Daley Blind, both solid at full-back so far this season, couldn’t cope with the interchanging, innovative attacking trio of Eden Hazard, Pedro and Diego Costa.
Conte’s use of wing-backs meant that the three up-front could ghost inside, drawing Blind and Valencia with them, and in turn creating space out wide for Victor Moses and Marcos Alonso to exploit. The result of this, as anyone who watched that game will tell you, was catastrophic: it was five – all bursting forward with unpredictability and intent – against a back four horribly pulled out of shape, and the home side inevitably ran riot.