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Manchester United secure UEFA Champions League qualification following a 4-1 thumping over Chelsea

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Manchester United vs Chelsea highlights. Source: YouTube.

Manchester United and Ten Hag ensured UEFA Champions League football beyond all reasonable doubt, following a 4-1 lashing over Chelsea.

Key moments

Carlo Casemiro opened the scoresheet in the early stages of the match. The Brazillian international headed home in front of the Stretford End.

On the stroke of half-time, Casemiro looped a pass into the path of Jadon Sancho. The Englishman served Anthony Martial with an assist, and the latter scored a tap-in to give the home side a healthy lead.

Manchester United vs Chelsea

At the start of second-half, Victor Lindelof stole the ball from Conor Gallagher. The Swidish exchanged passes with Sancho, only for Bruno to rattle the upright.

Alejandro Garnacho sprung from the left before interchanging passes with Bruno. The latter nutmeg Westley Fofana in the eighteen area. In turn, the Chelsea midfielder fouled Fernandes to award Manchester United a silly penalty.

Manchester United skipper stood composed by the penalty spot before dinking the ball in the Chelsea goal to hand the home side a three goals lead.

On the 78th minute, Fofana made a horrendous mistake at the back. Bruno took full advantage and served Marcus Rashford with a clear cut opportunity. The number ten tapped the ball past Kepa.

Manchester United vs Chelsea - Bruno Fernandes

In the closing stages, Joao Felix ran past United players and scored from outside the box in what became a consolation goal.

Manchester United secure UEFA Champions League spot

The 4-1 victory against Chelsea brought back the Champions League nights at Old Trafford since the 2021/22 campaign.

The Red Devils last participated in the Champions League back in March 2022. They were eliminated by Atletico Madrid in the last-16 during the era of Ralf Rangnick.

This was no doubt the first aim of the Ten Hag project. According to the Daily Mail, Ten Hag said:

Manchester United vs Chelsea - Martial

“This club belongs in the Champions League. It’s not easy in the Premier League so a lot compete for that. It’s massive when you get it done.”

“I have always high expectations of myself and I think this club belongs in the Champions League, so you have to qualify in the first four.”

“But this league is very strong, and there are many teams, many clubs, who are competing for the position and they all can do it because they have high budgets, good squads”, Ten Hag continued.

“We see Chelsea, they have massive, good squad with outstanding players.”

Manchester United vs Chelsea

The Dutchman added: “So, we are happy we are in the first four. I think we played a good season in the Premier League. I would say, a very good season.”

When asked on the importance of the Champions League, Ten Hag responded: “I think in the Premier League, yeah, it’s something like that. That is, I think, the main objective of the season, to get in the Champions League.”

“So, therefore you have to see yourself in the top four and, as I just tried to respond, the competition is tough.”

Marcus Rashford hits milestone

Rashford scored his 30th goal against Chelsea in what became his highest goal tally per season since joining the first team back in 2016.

Manchester United vs Chelsea - Rashford

No United player has reached 30 goals per season since Robin van Persie back in 2013 during the era of Sir Alex Ferguson.

According to Manchester Evening News, Marcus said: “I want to thank the club and my teammates for helping make this personal achievement possible,” Rashford posted on Instagram.

“After last season, when I struggled for form and fitness, I just wanted to get the feeling back of scoring goals and winning games that’s what has happened this year.”

Rashford added: “Long may it continue. We have two games to go, and we will give everything to lift another trophy.”

Casemiro’s record against Chelsea

Manchester United vs Chelsea - Casemiro

Casemiro scored in both fixtures against Chelsea this season. The Brazillian last scored through a header at Stamford Bridge from a similar angle.

The veteran midfielder has formed an integral part of the Ten Hag project since arriving at Old Trafford last summer.

He was largely deployed in the middle of the park alongside Christian Eriksen. Casemiro will be hoping to lead United to their second trophy this season.