Published on November 1st, 2012 | by soccersweep9
Manchester United demonstrate true squad depth
So Chelsea edged past Manchester United last night to gain a modicum of revenge for their home defeat to the same club, if not the same eleven, in The Premier League on Sunday.
And team selection merits a mention here because, while Chelsea just about got through this fantastic tie by bringing on some of their best players as substitutes, Manchester United looked like the better team for much of the evening with a second string side that was almost unrecognisable from Sunday.
And this is probably the main difference between the clubs right now. The only Manchester United starter last night, who could argue that he’s a nailed on first eleven player, was young right back Rafael. Apart from the Brazilian it was a completely different United team from Sunday’s spectacular league encounter.
Despite the defeat, Manchester United demonstrated the true power of their current squad. This was United’s second XI but it included Mexico and England international strikers, the Scotland captain, the most capped Manchester United player ever and a Brazilian and Portuguese duo who cost a combined £45m plus. Scholes, RVP, Rooney, Valencia, Vidic, Kagawa, Evra, Ferdinand, Carrick, Cleverley and Young all sat it out.
Chelsea, by contrast, included Petr Cech, David Luiz, Gary Cahill, John Obi Mikel and star man Juan Mata, but still struggled against a more clinical opponent until they introduced three more of their main men in Hazard, Oscar and Ramires. Even with these additions Chelsea only equalised with the last kick of the 90.
There is little doubt that the Chelsea’s starting XI from Sunday would have given this Manchester United team more serious problems. But it is also clear that Manchester United, still without Phil Jones and Chris Smalling, have their strongest squad in years.
We think that this could be a decisive factor when it comes to the business end of the season. Chelsea will surely add in the winter window, particularly in the striking section, but they still won’t have the frightening strength and quality in numbers that Sir Alex Ferguson now has at his disposal.
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