Jose Mourinho’s return to Stamford Bridge – his first game back at his former home since he was sacked by Chelsea last December – ended up in disaster. So humiliating was Manchester United’s 4-0 thrashing at the hands of a rampant Blues outfit that you would hardly believe Mourinho’s credential among the best managers in the world. The Red Devils posed no real threat against a resurgent Chelsea with shaky defending that was beyond Mourinho’s comprehension. It was the heaviest defeat Mourinho has ever suffered in the Premier League.
The scapegoat was, of course, the defense. Within one minute – 32 seconds to be precise – Pedro scored the first goal after David De Gea, usually so reliable in goal for United, made a reckless rush-out that allowed the Chelsea forward to go round him and score.
“The first mistake was crucial”, Mourinho lamented afterwards. Right from the outset United was playing catch-up and in Mourinho’s counter-attack system it was understandably difficult.
Mourinho did apologize to the fans who witnessed United’s terrible defeat against one of their old foes, saying “To the millions of fans we have around the world they have a bad feeling and I am so sorry for that.”
“I have to apologise as the leader of the dressing room and the only thing I can say is I’m 100 percent Man Utd, not 99 percent for Man Utd and 1 percent for Chelsea. I feel deeply about the situation but there is only one answer, training on Monday and keep fighting.”
Unfortunately, the deep-lying problem is not only with one or two personal defensive mistakes. Instead, this toothless United has the fans seriously concerned. They have scored just 13 goals so far this season, while the top four clubs have all scored either 19 or 20 apiece. Their goal ratio is at the same wavelength as Watford, Burnley and Crystal Palace. It was definitely not a good return considering they invested so heavily in offensive players like Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Paul Pogba in the summer.
To make the situation even worse, their new defender Eric Bailly suffered a “very serious” knee injury which could rule him out for a long period of time. It is too early to write off Mourinho and his Manchester United, but the pressure is quickly piling up and their upcoming League Cup match against Manchester City this week is clearly a game they can’t afford to lose.