Man-marking is a thankless task – if you do your job well then no one notices and if you make a mistake the blame will be squarely on your shoulders. It is a bit of a lost art in modern football, but Jose Mourinho made it the centrepiece of his tactical masterclass against Chelsea as Manchester United emerged 2-0 winners in a game where they outplayed and outran the champions-elect.
Apart from the sparkling forward play by Marcus Rashford, the outstanding feature of the game was United’s relentless pressing. Players like Darmian and Fellaini were handed assignments like Pedro and Kante and like diligent students they stuck to their tasks. But the one player who had a complete understanding of his role was Ander Herrera, who was tasked with marking Chelsea’s biggest threat in Eden Hazard.
As it turned out, the only thing that was tighter on Hazard at Old Trafford than Herrera was probably his shirt as the ex-Bilbao man followed the Belgian with a dedication that would make the most loyal pets insecure – as the footage below attests. It was mildly surprising he didn’t trail Hazard to the car park after the game was over.
Ironically, Herrera also had a goal and a brilliant assist to top off a remarkable all-round performance. The Blues’ loss has blown the title race wide open – and Spurs have a determined United to thank for that.
Check out ‘Hazard and Herrera: A 90-minute Love Story’, below:
— UTDHD (@UTDHD) April 16, 2017