Paul Pogba, Manchester United Knock Chelsea out of FA Cup with 2-0 Win

Rob Blanchette@@_Rob_BFeatured ColumnistFebruary 18, 2019

LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 18: Eden Hazard of Chelsea FC and Paul Pogba of Manchester United in action  during the FA Cup fifth round  match between Chelsea FC and Manchester United at Stamford Bridge on February 18, 2019 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Chloe Knott - Danehouse/Getty Images)
Chloe Knott - Danehouse/Getty Images

Manchester United eliminated Chelsea from the FA Cup on Monday, with the Red Devils winning 2-0 in the fifth round at Stamford Bridge.  

Ander Herrera broke the deadlock for United with a header after 31 minutes, and Paul Pogba doubled the advantage on the stroke of half-time.

Chelsea pressed hard in the second half, but United defended in numbers as they snuffed out the threat from the Blues.

Herrera and Pogba gave inspirational displays for the visitors, with United marching into the next round after a wonderful performance.

                         

                   

Paul Pogba Is the Best Midfielder in England

Pogba started the game with the disappointment of a red card hanging over his head. The midfielder was sent off in United's 2-0 defeat to Paris Saint-Germain in the round-of-16 first leg in the UEFA Champions League, but the French superstar was all business at the Bridge.

Caretaker manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer switched his system to employ a midfield diamond, allowing Pogba to drift into parts of the pitch where he could cause maximum damage.

The 2018 World Cup winner delivered a magnificent cross for United's opener from Herrera, allowing the Spaniard to nod home to beat goalkeeper Kepa from close range.

Pogba doubled the lead with a burst of pace that destroyed Chelsea's midfield, arriving late to head home Marcus Rashford's precision ball.

The midfielder's turnaround since the departure of former boss Jose Mourinho in December has been remarkable.

In the second half, Pogba was forced to show his defensive prowess, organising with Herrera as United closed down Chelsea at every turn.

The hosts could not find their way into the box with conviction, and Pogba twice burst from the back line to beat opposition players chasing his tail.

It was a complete performance from United. Pogba showed he is now operating at his highest level in a Red Devils shirt.

The leadership from the Frenchman is evident, and Herrera's reading of the play allowed United to be clear winners.

Pogba is the best midfielder in England on his current form, and his contribution will be the difference as United burst into the quarter-finals of the Cup.

                         

LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 18: David Luiz of Chelsea during the FA Cup Fifth Round match between Chelsea and Manchester United at Stamford Bridge on February 18, 2019 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by James Williamson - AMA/Getty Images)
James Williamson - AMA/Getty Images

David Luiz Must Be Replaced If Chelsea Want to Play Sarri-Ball

Chelsea are a team with an identity crisis and a centre-back not capable of following manager Maurizio Sarri's instructions.

The mythology behind Sarri-ball had Blues supporters excited at the advent of the season, but after a strong start to the campaign, Chelsea have appeared to be fractured.

In terms of skill, Luiz should be perfect for Sarri's tactics, but his lack of focus and work rate have exposed Chelsea's spine.

Rashford's explosive movement was an issue for the hosts, but Luiz also failed to read the runs of Pogba from midfield.

United lacked their first-choice attackers with Anthony Martial and Jesse Lingard absent with injury, but Chelsea's defence was a mess when the Red Devils countered with menace.

Chelsea were forced to chase the game in the latter stages, with Luiz pushing forward, but the damage had already been done.

If Sarri remains at the Bridge beyond the summer, he must find himself a centre-back who will give him a maximum return each and every week.

                                                                                               

What's Next?

Chelsea are back in action on Thursday, with Malmo visiting Stamford Bridge in the second leg of the UEFA Europa League round of 32. United host Liverpool at Old Trafford in the Premier League on Sunday.

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