Ander Herrera explains his tactical role vs Chelsea

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Manchester United were comfortable 2-0 winners against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge in the FA Cup fifth round on Monday night.

Ander Herrera headed us into the lead on 30 minutes following excellent play by Paul Pogba down the left to pick him out. Pogba turned from provider to goalscorer 15 minutes later when the 2018 World Cup winner burst into the box to head home Marcus Rashford’s excellent cross from the right wing.

Chelsea dominated the possession and territory in the second half but failed to produce a single shot after the 11th minute. Chris Smalling and Victor Lindelof put in an excellent display at centre-back, whilst Ashley Young stuck tight to Eden Hazard from right-back and Luke Shaw got the better of Pedro down the other flank.

Man of the match Herrera played a more attacking role for us in the first half than what he often plays. Speaking in a post-match interview with the BBC following our win, the Spaniard explained that it was Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s decision to give him a more advanced role at Stamford Bridge as we were confident Nemanja Matic would be able to deal with Chelsea’s attacking threat alone.

He said:

“The manager didn’t want me that much in the build-up, because he told me it was enough with Nemanja today. He wanted me to get into the box. Even Kieran [McKenna] told me I was going to score and I did, so they had a good vision about the game.

“We had to fight until the end,”” Ander added. ““We knew how to play them. I played today in a more offensive role, because we knew they struggled on that side of the pitch. But, I think it was a fantastic game. When you play with these kind of players you can make that run and you know you will get the ball.”

Ander Herrera was also pleased to have come away with a win at Stamford Bridge, a ground that hasn’t always been an easy away day for us over the years. The midfielder added:

“Chelsea away is always one of the best games and we are happy. We’re happy, because we haven’t had many good results at Stamford Bridge, so we are pleased for the fans as well.”

Following victories over Arsenal and Chelsea in the previous two rounds we have been drawn away to Wolverhampton Wanderers in the quarter-finals. The match will take place on the weekend commencing Saturday 16 March.

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