Manchester United vs Chelsea: Comfortably The Man of The Match

In a perfect illustration of how football is a team game, the man of the match in the clash between Manchester United and Chelsea at the weekend was a player whose best work was done off the ball.

Ander Herrera went for long spells without even touching the ball. Because he was tasked with the specific job of limiting the potential danger of Eden Hazard.

And how well he did it. A year ago the Manchester United midfielder would not have been suited to such a quest. He was a ball playing, attacking midfielder and some might say a bit of a luxury player.

But, under Jose Mourinho he has added a bit of bulk and has changed his game. He plays a deeper role in general and puts his foot in so much more these days. Herrera has become a plucky anchor man who has demonstrated a fantastic attitude to successfully transform from a bit part player to a crucial member of the side – especially in the big games.

Herrera not only kept Hazard quiet for Manchester United but also scored the decisive goal to settle the game in a perfect display from Manchester United. You can’t ask much more from a player in a crucial game than that.

At 27, the 6ft midfielder has come of age and now looks like a vital cog in the Mourinho machine.

And a respectful nod must also go in the direction of Jose Mourinho who got his tactics down to a tee in what must have been his most satisfying win of the season. With all the other top four chasers winning on Sunday, anything but three points could have been decisive in the race for The Champions League.