Man United beats Chelsea 2-0 to open up EPL title race

The strikes by Rashford and Herrera at the start of each half were enough for United who, despite resting several players against Chelsea ahead of Thursday's Europa League quarterfinal return leg at home to Anderlecht, were good value for their win.

Mourinho set his team up in a similar way when United fell to a 1-0 defeat at Stamford Bridge in the FA Cup last month after being reduced to 10 men following Herrera's red card.

Chelsea boss Antonio Conte said he took responsibility for failing to motivate his side in Sunday's defeat by Manchester United.

Marcus Rashford - Ibrahimovic's replacement up front - ran onto Herrera's through-ball to give United a seventh-minute lead.

And Mourinho clearly relished getting one over them at Old Trafford, delighting United fans by pointing to their badge as he walked into the tunnel.

"I have concern because we have to work together and find quickly the right ambition to win this title", said Italian Conte, whose side face Tottenham in an FA Cup semi-final at Wembley on Saturday.

For United, meanwhile, manager Jose Mourinho chose to leave Ibrahimovic on the bench with the 35-year-old top scorer having faced Anderlecht in Thursday's Europa League quarter-final first leg.

United's unconventional tactics proved the flawless foil for Chelsea's strong form, and the Blues spent much of the first half in frustration.

"We hurt them on the counter-attack, we played football, controlled the game and moved the ball really well, so we can be very happy". And United center backs Marcos Rojo and Eric Bailly succeeded in riling the combustible Diego Costa, who was booked in the first half and played on the edge throughout. These three points were phenomenal.

While the 27-year-old Spaniard deservedly scooped the man-of-the-match award, Rashford had an excellent game and when Ibrahimovic replaced him near the end of the game, Old Trafford gave him a standing ovation as they lauded the young striker's lung-bursting effort on the night. It doesn't matter if the leader is Chelsea or another - we beat them convincingly.

Chelsea brought Cesc Fabregas on in the 55th minute, bringing off Victor Moses, while they then introduced Willian for Nemanja Matic eleven minutes later as they searched for a goal to bring them back into the game.

Liverpool are unbeaten since losing at Leicester in late February and now lead City by two points, although Pep Guardiola's team have a game in hand in the race for an automatic spot in the Champions League group stage.

David De Gea returned in goal as United made four changes from the trip to Belgium, with Marouane Fellaini, Ander Herrera and Ashley Young coming in.

  • Julie Sanders