Manchester United's trip to Chelsea serves up a game that could define both clubs' seasons.
David Moyes' men travel to Stamford Bridge knowing a loss could be fatal to their hopes of qualifying for next season's Champions League. A win, however, would see the Red Devils make up two points on Liverpool, who were forced to salvage a 2-2 home draw with Aston Villa in their last match.
For Jose Mourinho, a win would once again put the Blues within two points of Arsenal at the top. Considering Manchester City are currently four points clear and play host to Chelsea on Feb. 3, it's vital the West Londoners keep up their momentum.
With such an important game ahead of us, it's only right to provide another dose of FIFA 14 simulation treatment.
Both teams' starting lineups—including injuries and suspensions—have been adhered to by using information from the Premier League website. EA Sports' Matchday update has also been applied, ensuring both squads are playing to their current form.
Let's do it.
FIFA 14 Simulation: Chelsea vs. Manchester United Highlights
5'—United start strong with some decent passing around Chelsea's box. Danny Welbeck dances into the area with a neat trick but doesn't get a shot away. The home side counter, but Eden Hazard's attempt is weak from inside the area.
17'—Darren Fletcher snatches a crucial interception away from Hazard, who would have been free on goal. A simple long ball split the United defence!
33'—Nemanja Vidic sustains an injury. Jonny Evans comes on as his replacement.
45'—Chelsea end the half with an extended period of possession, but this is dull stuff so far.
HALF TIME: Chelsea 0-0 Manchester United
51'—Juan Mata comes on for Oscar. There's really very little to enjoy here, as both teams seem more content on making sure their shorts don't get dirty rather than playing football.
54'—Well, there we go! Just three minutes after coming on, Mata takes control of Hazard's pass into the area and coolly beats David De Gea. Finally a bit of action, and indeed, a goal!
55'—Nearly a second for Chelsea, who have finally come to life. Welbeck starts a United move down the left, but Shinji Kagawa's ball doesn't find Adnan Januzaj in the middle. Chelsea break on the counter, which sees Mata slot a neat ball into Hazard on the edge of the area. He blasts a fine shot at De Gea, who pulls off a spectacular save!
59'—Torres leaps high from the corner, but his header sails onto the roof of the net.
70'—United struggling to even get beyond the halfway line. It's really poor from the visitors, who will be readying themselves for a Europa League stint next season.
85'—Still no attacking impetus at all from United. Chelsea keeping possession too easily.
90'—A soft Eto'o header is palmed away by De Gea. In all honesty, Chelsea have taken their foot off the gas since scoring, but United have barely tried to muster up an equaliser.
FULL TIME: Chelsea 1-0 Manchester United (Mata)
Due to blandness, here's a highlights package from the entire game:
So, a Mourinho masterstroke wins this one for Chelsea. We've seen that happen in recent weeks, although at Southampton, it was Mata's exit that sparked Roman Abramovich's club into life. Chelsea were comfortable, United were lacklustre.
Skybet currently have odds of 45/1 for Mata to score the only goal, but do you agree? Let us know in the comments section below.
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