If you score three goals against an opposition, you should be the victor at the end of the game. No excuse. The only reason why the result might be anything other than a win is if that team displayed some terrible defending during the game. Let's look at what want wrong defensively for Chelsea in that 3-3 draw against United by analyzing the three goals the Red Devils scored in the second half.
The First Penalty
|Picture 1.1 Rooney Operating in the Hole|
After their third goal, Chelsea dropped off and defended deep. This allowed Rooney a lot more space than he was allowed in the first half. Here, United No. 10 gets the pass from Carrick near the center circle. Meireles and Essien, the two Chelsea central midfielders at this point, has been taking turns marking Rooney; this time it is Meireles who's the closest to Rooney.
As Rooney turns and dribbles the ball centrally, Giggs sneaks in behind Chelsea's two defensive block and makes a diagonal run to the left. With Meireles on Rooney, Essien should have been watching Giggs but the Ghanaian turns his attention to Rooney. To his credit, Essien nearly intercepted Rooney's pass to Giggs.
At this point, it is useful to note where Sturrige was in relation to Evra. He was not too close and not too far from Evra. His positioning was alright but his anticipation was not.
|Picture 1.2 Sturridge Fouls Evra|
While the United left back anticipated the pass from Giggs, Sturridge was a bit slow in realizing where and how United's attack was going. That meant that he now had to chase Evra who made the run first.
However, all is not lost at this point. Sure, Evra will definitely get to the ball first and might even get a cross in but look how many Chelsea players were back defending -- it was a 2 v 4 situation in the box and Chelsea could have dealt with the cross. It wasn't the best of scenarios but it sure wasn't the worse.
In reality, Evra didn't get to the ball quick enough to make a cross but he showed his experience by shielding the ball, expecting a challenge. Sturridge bit the bait along with the nasty hook.
Both Essien and Meireles could have done better against United's build up but, ultimately, Sturridge is responsible for this mistake.
The Second Penalty
|Picture 2.1 Rooney Operating in the Hole Again|
This time, Chicharito went out to the right wing to tap the ball back to Carrick. The Mexican was tightly marked by Luiz (in red circle). From then on, the build up to the second penalty was similar to the first: Rooney drops deep, receives a pass from Carrick and finds a pass to a teammate in an advance position. Again, Chelsea's central midfield pairing -- Essien and Meireles -- were torn apart by the movements of United players.
Chicharito pushes ahead of Luiz -- again, through, better anticipation of the play -- to get on the end of Rooney's through ball. As you will find out later, this will not be the last time the Mexican out-played the Brazilian.
This build up will end with Ivanovic "fouling" Welbeck but notice how far apart they were in the initial build up -- Ivanovic on Chelsea's right watching Giggs while Welbeck was making the run down the Chelsea's left.
|Picture 2.2 Chicharito Passes to Welbeck|
It turns out, Luiz wasn't the only one who was tracking Chicharito's run. Both Bosingwa and Cahill got dragged towards the Mexican, leaving the space wide open for Welbeck to run onto. Either one of them should have been in a position to close down on Welbeck. Instead, Ivanovic had to come all the way from the right to get the tackle in. It wasn't a penalty for me (a soft one, even if it was) but Chelsea's defending was terrible.
The Chicharito Header
|Picture 3.1 Valencia's Cross and Rooney's Shot|
The first stage of the United's attack for their third goal was all done by one man -- Valencia. The United winger has been kept pretty quiet by Bosingwa who, took the left back duty for the day. Valencia was later shifted to the right back position and that's when he came out to play.
The Ecuadorian picked the ball up in his own half and bombed forward. He exchanged passes with Welbeck before beating Malouda with speed. Bosingwa is now marking Welbeck, so it was Malouda's sole responsibility to track Valencia. Essien tried to help out but Valencia cleverly made an early cross.
There is two things to note as the cross comes in. One, Luiz is marking Chicharito and Cahill is looking after Rooney at the D. Two, Giggs is totally free on the Chelsea's right but it doesn't matter at this point because the danger is at the center.
Rooney controls the cross and took a shot as Cahill and Romeu stepped forward. Cech made another good save -- he made a couple in the game -- and palmed the ball to his right.
|Picture 3.2 Giggs Gets Ready to Cross|
As Giggs collects the loose ball, Ivanovic closes him down. Cahill, in the six-yard box, seems to be warning Romeu (Picture 3.2, top) that Welbeck and Rooney have plenty of space near the edge of the box. But Romeu does not move (Picture 3.2, bottom). Luiz stays close to Chicharito who anticipates where the cross is going to go and starts to make a move. The Mexican is actually boxed in by four Chelsea players at this point, there is not way anything bad can happen, right?
|Picture 3.3 Chicharito Scores|
Luiz was possibly distracted by Welbeck's run but he let Chicharito get a free header. It is pretty clear from all the pictures that we have looked at here that the Mexican is Luiz's responsibility and the Brazilian came short. Ivanovic and Cahill did what they could. Malouda, for the Valencia's cross, and Luiz, for the Chicharito header, were the two main culprits for this goal.
Carefree, wherever you may be...