Goals from Marcus Rashford and Ander Herrera gave Manchester United a deserved victory over Premier League leaders Chelsea at Old Trafford.
Rashford gave the Reds the perfect start with a composed finish inside seven minutes before Herrera’s deflected shot found the net early in the second half to secure a memorable win.
It was just rewards for an impressive display as United extended their unbeaten run in the league to 22 games since being beaten by the Blues in October to maintain the pursuit of a top-four finish.
For the visit of his former club, Jose Mourinho made four changes from Thursday’s Europa League draw against Anderlecht in Belgium as David De Gea returned in goal and Ashley Young came in to captain the side, with Henrikh Mkhitaryan and top scorer Zlatan Ibrahimovic dropped to the bench.
A wet and miserable Easter Sunday afternoon didn’t dampen the atmosphere inside the Theatre of Dreams, which was typically electric as the Reds settled well and created the first opening in the fifth minute.
Jesse Lingard harried David Luiz into a mistake and Marcus Rashford seized on to the loose ball and bore down on goal but could only scuff his shot wide of the post, but it gave the vociferous United fans plenty of early encouragement.
And, moments later, the young striker came up with the goods to break the deadlock, timing his run to perfection from a pinpoint through ball by Herrera to calmly slot past Chelsea’s replacement goalkeeper Asmir Begovic and send Old Trafford into pandemonium.
The Reds continued to press high up the pitch to unsettle the Blues, with Lingard and Rashford in particular giving Chelsea’s back three a torrid time with their tireless work ethic, while at the back, Eric Bailly proved he was up to the task in shackling the visitors’ leading marksman Diego Costa and Herrera did a sterling job of keeping PFA Player of the Year nominee Eden Hazard quiet.
As the sun broke out over the Theatre of Dreams midway through the first half, United’s bright start showed no signs of fading as the impressive Rashford harried Victor Moses off the ball and delivered a dangerous cross which Begovic palmed away before anyone wearing red was able to pounce.