Chelsea were handed a major dent to their title ambitions on Sunday afternoon, with goals from Marcus Rashford and Ander Herrera gave Manchester United a 2-0 victory, in what was arguably their best performance of the season.
It was an excellent start from the Red Devils with Rashford giving them the lead just seven minutes in, José Mourinho's side continued to dominate throughout the half with chances from Ashley Young and Rashford to round off what was an excellent first-half display from the Red Devils.
Herrera doubled their lead just after the restart and from there began to shut Antonio Conte's side down, further chances from Jesse Lingard and Rashford followed but the Blues went down at Old Trafford with little less than a whimper failing to record a shot on target for the first time in a decade.
Couldn't ask for a better start
There were some serious eyebrows raised ahead of this crucial clash at the Theatre of Dreams, with Zlatan Ibrahimović been left on the bench in place of Rashford but after a slow start United burst into life by taking an early lead.
Herrera was well aware of his job to man mark Eden Hazard from the off, but on one of his rare runs forward he produced one of the passes of the season. There were serious calls of handball against the Spaniard in the middle, but referee Robert Madley waved played on. His excellent ball split open the Chelsea defence with Rashford on the end of it, he managed to get it beyond David Luiz and stick it beyond the on rushing Asmir Begović.
Lingard and Rashford were beginning to showing the rewards of their growing partnership, and they produced an excellent piece of play with Rashford's back heel before Lingard spreading it out to Young. The skipper for the day did well to get a low ball across the face of goal, but Rashford under the pressure of Luiz couldn't react quick enough.
Keeping up the pressure
Many will have been surprised by the drop in performance from Conte's side, but many more will have been surprised at the performance of Mourinho's side considering Thursday's draw in Belgium and the team selection and United continued to push the title favourites.
Rashford looked like a man possessed throughout the first-half, he was at it again in the 23rd minute as he managed to regain possession and push out to the left-hand side and his dangerous ball had to palmed away by Begović.
The final opportunity of the first 45 minutes once again involved the 19-year-old with three minutes to play. He looked to have lost posession from Victor Moses, but managed to regain the ball and put the ball in which Gary Cahill had to block but it nearly proved disastorus as it nestled on the roof of the net.
Plan out of the window
The small blue contingent inside Old Trafford will have expected some sort of resurgence at the beginning of the second period, but Conte's plans were thrown out of the window early on as United managed to double their lead.
A wayward free-kick from Rashford was well mopped up by Young, N'Golo Kanté came lying in to win possession but the skipper managed to pick the ball up once again. He played it out to Herrera and his effort took enough of an deflection off Kurt Zouma to take it beyond Begović. Some criticism will be left at the door of Cahill, who helped Lingard off the floor during the build-up but it is difficult not to say United were deserving of their two-goal lead.
It could have been two moments later as Lingard and Rashford combined once again, the young striker did well to hold the ball up for Lingard but his effort just went over the crossbar.
Chelsea had little to nothing to offer in terms of attacking threat, but Rashford thought that he had his second just after the hour mark. The ball was played through to the youngster and the sweet effort had a large majority of Old Trafford on their feet, but it only nestled into the side-netting.
Rashford was running riot and he was a it again in the 68th minute as a clearance saw him turn on the engines, he looks to have been smothered by Luiz and Kanté. But he did brilliantly to retain possession and forces Begović into a good save down low.