The Red Devils unbeaten run under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was ended by Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League last week, but they produced the perfect response in west London.
Led by a man of the match display from Paul Pogba, United saw off the home side’s early threat and took charge with two goals before half-time.
Pogba’s teasing delivery was headed home by Ander Herrera to open the scoring, before the Frenchman himself powered home the second.
Chelsea again flattered to deceive under Maurizio Sarri and exit the competition with little more than a whimper.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has had no problem with switching up his tactics at the top end of the field, swapping between a 4-3-1-2 and 4-3-3 formations.
Without Anthony Martial and Jesse Lingard, who has thrived as the No.10 in the former, Solskjaer elected to start a front trio of Romelu Lukaku, Rashford and Juan Mata (rather than Alexis Sanchez), the make up of which saw the Spaniard operate off the front with the other pair splitting either side of Chelsea’s centre-backs.
It worked a treat. Similar to United’s win over Arsenal in the previous round, the two front men thrived in the spaces left by the opposing full-backs, while Mata stopped Jorginho having an effect at all on proceedings.
Solskjaer wanted his side to bounce back after the loss to PSG. They did precisely that and his decisions pre-match – in terms of formation and personnel – were a big reason why.
Kepa hasn’t been bad this season.
But when Chelsea look back at the £71million release fee they paid Athletic Bilbao to sign the Basque stopper last summer, do they perhaps regret it now.
Because you look at a keeper like Alisson, who has thrived at Liverpool after they spent big to land the Brazilian, and he seems to have been emboldened by living up to that fee.
Conversely, Kepa appears weighed down by his price tag, and quite simply, there will be more questions after the two goals.
Time is on his side to prove himself an astute purchase in the long term, but there needs to be improvement.