A brilliant 75th minute header by substitute Jesse Lingard enabled hosts Manchester United to recover from a goal down to beat Chelsea 2-1 in a classic Premier League match played at Old Trafford on Sunday.
Prior to kickoff, United had slipped into third position on the log after Liverpool beat West Ham 4-1 on Saturday. Frenchman Paul Pogba was restored to the starting line up alongside Scott McTominay and Nemanja Matic while Chelsea boss Antonio Conte opted for Danny Drinkwater at the heart of midfield as Cesc Fabregas dropped to the bench.
Chelsea dictated play in the early exchanges and nearly took the lead in the fifth minute. A crisp cross-field ball by Eden Hazard was met by a first time volleyed cross by Marcos Alonso that Alvaro Morata steered against the crossbar. Hazard pounced on the rebound but United keeper David De Gea was on hand to tip the ball over the bar for a corner.
The Blues’ persistence paid off in the 32nd minute when Hazard sliced United’s defence open with a neat through pass to Willian who in turn drilled the ball past the hapless De Gea at the far post. However, Chelsea’s lead lasted only seven minutes as the burly Romelu Lukaku finished off a fluid passing move that involved Alexis Sanchez and Anthony Martial who provided the assist.
Lingard came on as a 64th minute substitute in place of Martial whose influence on the match was fading. In the 75th minute, Lukaku did brilliantly to evade his markers from the right wing and delivered a teasing cross that fell perfectly for Lingard who headed home past Thibaut Courtois to send the Old Trafford faithful into jubilation.
Mourinho brought on Eric Bailly in place of Sanchez for the final few minutes to see out the game. United now have 59 points, 13 less than leaders Manchester City who were due to play Arsenal in the Carabao final on Sunday.