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Manchester United 4-1 Chelsea: Three talking points as Red Devils book Champions League return by hammering the Blues

Manchester United secured their ticket for Champions League football in some style as they thrashed Chelsea 4-1 at Old Trafford this evening.

Erik ten Hag named the same starting XI which defeated Bournemouth last weekend.

Casemiro gave the Red Devils an early lead, allowing United to settle down. Anthony Martial scored the second goal of the game right on the stroke of half-time.

Matters worsened for Chelsea as the goals from Bruno Fernandes and Marcus Rashford forced Frank Lampard to hide his face.

The visitors created a few good chances to score but were wasteful in front of David De Gea.

Joao Felix’s late consolation strike ended De Gea’s hopes of keeping his 18th clean sheet in the Premier League this season.

Here are the three talking points from the game.

Man Utd make Champions League return

United faithful will be delighted that the Red Devils will finish in the top four and already have a trophy in their cabinet. 

Returning to the Champions League was the primary objective of United’s season. Liverpool were on their tail, but their faint hopes of a top-four place ended with this result.

The 20-time Premier League champions have a rich history of success. Participating in the elite European competition should be the minimum target for United going forward.

Old Trafford getting back to being a fortress

Sir Alex Ferguson built his success on a solid record at the Theatre of Dreams and Ten Hag is heading down the same path.

The Red Devils are unbeaten in their last 28 English top-flight games, winning 38 and drawing four. During this period, they have scored 63 goals and conceded just 15.

These are highly impressive statistics, especially considering their horrific start to the season, where they lost to Brighton & Hove Albion.

Football is a highly psychological sport. If Ten Hag continues United’s dominance at Old Trafford next season, teams will fear making a trip to the red half of Manchester.

Marcus Rashford enters history books

The 25-year-old became the first player to score 30 goals in a season for United since Robin van Persie in the 2012/2013 campaign. 

Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Bruno Fernandes came close to matching Van Persie’s record, but their run stalled at 28 goals each.

Rashford has been in scintillating form this season and has carried this United side on his shoulders. 

Although Casemiro, Lisandro Martinez and Bruno Fernandes have had good campaigns, Rashford deserves to win the Player of the Season trophy for 2022/23.