Alvaro Morata gave Manchester United a taste of what he looks like by heading Antonio Conte’s Chelsea to a much-needed victory as Jose Mourinho endured another frustrating Stamford Bridge return.
All eyes were on the touchline as the combustible managers faced off, with Manchester City’s latest win leaving United eight points off the Premier League summit as pressure mounted on Conte just months after leading the Blues to the title
Here are the five things we learnt:
1. Antonio Conte showed his players who the real boss is.
No-one can suggest that Conte is afraid to take on some of the biggest players in the dressing room after the past few days.
Against Roma on Tuesday night, he took off captain Gary Cahill early in the second half as they trailed 2-0 in the Champions League.
2. Chelsea is a better side with Ngolo Kante
It’s stating the obvious that Chelsea look a far better side when Kante’s in it, but that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be said…again.
Chelsea have looked totally unbalanced and at times clueless without the France international for the past month.
Kante sustained a hamstring injury while on international duty with France and the Blues haven’t been as good in defence or attack in his absence.
3. Alvaro Morata comes back to haunt Manchester United
Morata would have been wearing a Manchester United shirt today if manager Jose Mourinho hadn’t had a late change of heart.
A deal with Real Madrid was agreed in July, the player was packing his bags for Old Trafford, only for Manchester United to gazump Chelsea for Romelu Lukaku instead at the 11th hour.
Chelsea ended up buying Morata and it is proving to be a lot more than a consolation prize.
4. Bakayoko outshined Nemanja Matic
Another subplot to this fixture was the battle in midfield between Chelsea’s past and it’s present.
In the red of Manchester United was Matic, whose £40m transfer to Mourinho’s side this summer has been the subject of a lot of debate.
Many pundits have questioned the wisdom of Chelsea’s decision, even though it had been clear for a long time last term that the Serbia international was looking to leave and Bakayoko was being lined up to be his replacement.
5. Manchester United must hate playing Chelsea
What is it about playing Chelsea that gets under Manchester United’s skin so much?
Not even the Special One can change their hopeless record against the team from west London.
This was their 18th defeat against Chelsea in the Premier League – no team in the top flight has beaten them more.