Rene Meulensteen: Stopping Cesc Fabregas is key for Manchester United in FA Cup Final

by Alex Turk

Former Manchester United assistant manager Rene Meulensteen has had his say on how to beat Chelsea in the Emirates FA Cup Final.

Meulensteen was part of Sir Alex Ferguson’s backroom staff for six years from 2007 to 2013 and came up against Cesc Fabregas on a number of occasions when the Spaniard played for Arsenal.

Man United face Chelsea in the showpiece clash at Wembley Stadium on Saturday evening as Jose Mourinho searches for a 26th career trophy and Antonio Conte looks to win his first domestic final.

Speaking to club TV channel MUTV ahead of the final, Meulensteen said he believes that Fabregas is the threat the needs nullifying on the day in order to avoid defeat.

He explained: “Chelsea like to break quickly and through the lines. Fabregas is the key in his passing and the forwards know that.

“The moment Fabregas turns and looks ahead, the forward players are on their bikes as he can hit a forward pass,” Meulensteen continued.

“He is like Paul Scholes. He has that creative mind, he gets the ball going forward with quality, with little through passes, or sometimes he just holds on to it.”

Meulensteen enjoyed plenty of success as Ferguson’s assistant at Old Trafford and has explained what they did to deal with Fabregas back when he played for Arsenal.

“There was a clear link with Robin van Persie at that time. We basically stopped the ball going into Fabregas and that was the key, so other players had to make decisions that they weren’t used to.”

He finished by stating: “It’s about killing it at the source.”

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