Paul Pogba 9/10 as Man United sweep past sorry Chelsea in FA Cup
LONDON, England -- Paul Pogba inspired Manchester United to a 2-0 win over Chelsea on Monday to book their place in the FA Cup quarterfinals. The midfielder made one and scored one as United won at Stamford Bridge for the first time since 2012 to further improve Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's chances of getting the manager's job permanently.
As Chelsea fans revolted against Maurizio Sarri with chants of "You're getting sacked in the morning," the United supporters spent most of the second half making it clear they want the Norwegian to get the gig on a permanent basis. Following impressive wins at Tottenham and Arsenal, Solskjaer added Chelsea to his CV. Ander Herrera scored the first with a header after Pogba's sublime cross to the back post before the Frenchman got his 14th goal of the season on the stroke of half-time with a diving header after fine work on the right from Marcus Rashford.
Pogba stole the show, but Sergio Romero was good again when asked to stand in for David De Gea. The Argentine made important saves from David Luiz and Pedro with the score at 0-0 and also did well to smother Gonzalo Higuain when the striker briefly broke free. He can expect to keep his place for the rest of the FA Cup games this season.
There weren't many, but Romelu Lukaku might feel he should have done more after being picked from the start. He battled away with Antonio Rudiger and Luiz but he never seemed to be involved in United's best moments going forward. Even with doubts over the fitness of Anthony Martial and Jesse Lingard, he seems unlikely to start against Liverpool at Old Trafford on Sunday.
Manager rating out of 10
8 -- Solskjaer got his team selection and his tactics spot on in wins at Tottenham and Arsenal and he did the same here. Both first-half goals were straight off the training pitch as United broke quickly and got players into the box to punish Chelsea. It was a polished performance from his team overall.
Player ratings (1-10; 10 = best. Players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating.)
GK Sergio Romero, 8 -- Solskjaer's FA Cup goalkeeper made a fine double stop from Luiz and Pedro in the first half to keep the score at 0-0.
DF Luke Shaw, 7 -- Produced a fantastic challenge to poke the ball away from Pedro when it looked like the Spaniard would have a golden chance to make it 2-1 in the second half.
DF Chris Smalling, 8 -- Starting for the second time since recovering from injury, he made one diving block to deny Higuain early in the second half.
DF Victor Lindelof, 8 -- Always seemed to be in the right place at the right time. Played a vital role in helping United keep their first clean sheet at Stamford Bridge since 2011.
MF Nemanja Matic, 7 -- Booked in the first half for a challenge on Hazard and was on thin ice soon after the break after two mistimed tackles right under referee Kevin Friend's nose.
MF Ander Herrera, 8 -- Had Kepa Arrizabalaga diving at full stretch to keep out a 30-yard rocket before ghosting in at the back post to head United in front after 30 minutes for his third goal of the season.
MF Paul Pogba, 9 -- Flicked a perfect cross into Herrera's path to score the first, then started and finished the move that put United 2-0 up just before half-time. Fantastic performance.
FW Juan Mata, 7 -- Handed a chance after injuries to Martial and Lingard. United have never lost an FA Cup game in which he has started and the run continued here.
FW Marcus Rashford, 8 -- Delivered a wonderful cross from the right to give Pogba the chance to score the second just before half-time. Almost set up Lukaku with a blistering run in the second half.
FW Romelu Lukaku, 6 -- Solskjaer said before the game he was hoping for a big performance from the Belgian, but the centre-forward had a frustrating night. Didn't make the most of his one sight of goal after a superb run from Rashford.
FW Alexis Sanchez, N/R (for Romelu Lukaku, 73) -- Looked sharp.
MF Andreas Pereira, N/R (for Juan Mata, 75) -- Worked hard.
MF Scott McTominay, N/R (for Marcus Rashford, 90) -- Made it on the pitch.