In a fantastic FA Cup tie played at an electric pace, Rafa Benitez's bold substitutions ultimately changed the game and put Manchester United on the back foot.

The first-half was a story that was all too familiar for Chelsea fans since Roberto Di Matteo's departure, with United cutting through Chelsea's defence at will.

Carrick and Cleverley bossed the game in midfield and a well taken goal from Hernandez before a curling free kick from Wayne Rooney gave United a two goal advantage in a half in which Chelsea lacked creativity and barely threatened David de Gea's goal.

Soon after the break Benitez brought on John Obi Mikel and Eden Hazard at the expense of Frank Lampard and Victor Moses, which brought about chants of "you don't know what you're doing" from the away end. 

However, the much criticised Mikel's presence in front of the back four, rendered Shinji Kagawa ineffective and Mikel distributed the ball sensibly, as well as defending superbly.

This allowed the likes of Ramires to bomb forward on his trademark ravaging forward runs, which in turn created space for the three amigos, Mata, Hazard and Oscar, to work their magic. 

Hazard after coming on, made an immediate impact scoring a fantastic curling effort into the far corner, and using his pace and trickery to runs rings around United's defence. 

Mata and Oscar became more and more effective as the game wore on as United could no longer man mark them, because of the number of Chelsea players in advanced positions. 

It was then, when Chelsea looked to be at the level that they had performed at earlier in the season with their three attacking midfielders feeding off each other. In the dying minutes of the match, Mata could have won the game for Chelsea, but for Daid de Gea to save magnificently with his feet.

Perhaps Benitez will adopt a more attacking philosophy from now one and start Hazard, Mata and Oscar together. 

 

DISCLAIMER: This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeFootball Writing Academy and does not represent the views of GiveMeFootball.com or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. GiveMeFootball.com and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

Topics:
Football
Chelsea
Manchester United
FA Cup