Rio Ferdinand slams Manchester United for lack of professionalism in Chelsea defeat

Matt Hobkinson
Manchester United players look dejected after Cole Palmer scores for Chelsea

Rio Ferdinand has claimed that Manchester United could have prevented Cole Palmer from scoring the winning goal during their 4-3 defeat to Chelsea if the team were “concentrating and professional” in the dying moments.

Despite holding a 3-2 lead in the 99th minute, Manchester United succumbed to goals from Palmer in the 100th and 101st minute as Chelsea snatched victory from Erik ten Hag’s side in dramatic fashion.

Palmer scored the winning goal from a corner that was taken quickly after Man United players failed to react in time to the danger and close down the Chelsea man – something that Ferdinand could not accept from his former side.

“They [Man United] switched off,” Ferdinand told TNT Sports. “I think concentration plays a huge part in the end of these games. There is a lot of pressure riding on these games, but in the midst of the madness and the chaos, you have to have people in there who are on top of their game and concentrating.

“The corner comes in for the winner, Cole Palmer comes out to the corner of the box and no one even notices him. He’s the danger man. This is the man that is more dangerous than anyone else on that pitch. He’s able to drift out there unopposed.

“Yes, it takes a deflection, but he shouldn’t be able to get there and turn if you are concentrating and professional in the manner and you understand the magnitude of the moment. You can’t afford to have those moments at this level.”

Chelsea raced into a two goal lead by the 19th minute thanks to goals from Conor Gallagher and Palmer.

Man United were quick to respond, however, as the Red Devils went into the break level at 2-2 after Alejandro Garnacho and Bruno Fernandes found the back of the net within five minutes of one another.

Garnacho’s second of the night in the 67th minute looked set to hand Ten Hag’s squad with all three points, before Diogo Dalot was adjudged to have fouled Noni Madueke in the box, with Palmer tucking home the penalty to make it 3-3 in the 100th minute.

Just 82 seconds later, Palmer would complete his first senior hat-trick after he was picked out at the edge of the box from a quick-thinking Chelsea corner. The visitors failed to respond in time and the 21-year-old’s deflected strike flew past Andre Onana to spark wild scenes inside Stamford Bridge.

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