Manchester United secured the Champions League for next season after a 4-1 win against Chelsea. When Brighton won at Old Trafford in August, we wondered if Erik Ten Hag would reach September as Manchester United manager never mind the Champions League.
It was the last time United was beaten at home in a Premier League season that ends at home to Fulham on Sunday, however, and victory over Chelsea here confirmed that Ten Hag has indeed taken the club back into Europe’s elite.
That was his No.1 target when he arrived from Ajax last summer and United needed a point from these final two games to be sure of achieving it.
They did it at the first time of asking thanks largely again to Casemiro who scored for the second game in a row and then produced a moment of magic when Anthony Martial claimed the second.
0′ The match is about to start!
6′ GOAL! Man Utd 1-0 Chelsea (Casemiro)
19′ Unbelievable! What a miss from Martial!
27′ Injured! Antony is stretchered off
32′ CHANCE! Havertz header over the bar
46′ CLOSE! Gallagher’s shot wide out
47′ OFF THE POST!
51′ GOAL! Man Utd 2-0 Chelsea (Martial)
53′ SAVE! Fine stop from world-class Kepa
73′ Penalty Goal! Man Utd 3-0 Chelsea (Bruno Fernandes)
78′ GOAL! Man Utd 4-0 Chelsea (Rashford)
89′ GOAL! Man Utd 4-1 Chelsea (Felix)
The victory came at a cost, however. Brazil winger Antony was stretchered off in the 28th minute after sustaining an injury to his right ankle in a challenge with Trevoh Chalobah and must now be a serious doubt for the FA Cup final against Manchester City in eight days’ time.
For Chelsea, the end of a wretched season – and the arrival of Mauricio Pochettino – cannot come soon enough.
They were already guaranteed to finish in the bottom half of the Premier League for the first time in 27 years, and this set a new record of 16 defeats in a 38-game season. Caretaker boss Frank Lampard has now lost eight of his 10 games.
Ten Hag named an unchanged team, although Marcus Rashford was fit to return on the bench where he remained for less than half an hour before coming on to score the fourth.