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17th Apr 2017

Jose Mourinho reveals the tactic that allowed Manchester United to beat Chelsea

Worked a treat

Darragh Murphy

Fixtures against Chelsea are not just any other games for Jose Mourinho.

Victories over his former side must come as significantly more satisfying for the Manchester United boss than points picked up against the rest of the teams in the Premier League.

And he clearly enjoyed Sunday’s 2-0 victory, as he made his allegiances clear for all to see at Old Trafford with a proud display of chest-beating.

Given the 18-point gap between the sides at the start of play on Sunday, many were expecting United to be given the runaround by the table-topping Blues but that couldn’t have been further from the truth as the Red Devils claimed a a pretty routine 2-0 win against Antonio Conte’s side.

The impact of Chelsea’s danger-men was nullified and the engine room, N’Golo Kante, had one of his more forgettable games in the centre of the park.

Mourinho had his side well-drilled and prepared for the Chelsea challenge. And, after the game, the Portuguese revealed the vital tactic that he utilised to ensure that David De Gea would enjoy an easy outing.

“I want to say I was convinced even before the cup that controlling the two players that played behind Diego [Costa],” Mourinho explained, via Manchester Evening News. “Sometimes Hazard, sometimes Hazard-Pedro controlling the position of these two players, and controlling the full-backs because they go really deep with two wide men would create them lots of problems.

“And I repeat the same: They are phenomenal in counter-attack, and when they have the ball it’s more difficult for them and when they have the ball we are compact and when they try to play counter-attack we were always in control of these link positions.

“Diego is very dangerous but the two link positions are the two positions we have to control. We did that at Stamford Bridge when we played with 11, with 10 it was more difficult and today we controlled.”