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Chelsea vs. Man United: Jose’s Blues will be a real test for LvG’s resurgent United

16 Apr | BY Betway | MIN READ TIME |
Chelsea vs. Man United: Jose’s Blues will be a real test for LvG’s resurgent United

Once Louis van Gaal was the top boss in this friendship, but can he still outwit his former pupil?

The first time Louis van Gaal met Jose Mourinho, the young Portuguese screamed blue murder at him. So he gave him a job.

It was 1997 and despite picking up three trophies in his single season in charge, Bobby Robson was being replaced as Barcelona manager. Van Gaal was taking his job.

Robson’s assistant – Mourinho – was furious.

Van Gaal takes up the story: “Mourinho thought he’d been promised the youth academy job and even that he might be the next manager and hadn’t been told.

“He was so angry and shouted so much about not being consulted that I was impressed. On that day he was a Special One and because of that I hired him.”

Little did Van Gaal know he was helping the young Portuguese on a journey that would one day see him outdo his mentor and beat LvG’s Bayern Munich side in the Champions League final.

This weekend they meet again, both now in the Premier League and again it is the one-time pupil who is outdoing his former master.

Mourinho looks poised to lead Chelsea to another league title – while Van Gaal will call it a job well done if he can guide Manchester United to a top four finish.

In recent weeks it has looked increasingly like he will do just that as his resurgent side finally seems to understand his “philosophy” and has delivered four straight wins against Tottenham, Liverpool, Aston Villa and Manchester City.

But Chelsea will be their biggest test yet.

Mourinho’s Blues have been efficient league leaders all season – and as Sunday’s late win against QPR proved, they have that handy knack of scraping results even when they might not deserve them.

That always used to be United’s habit of course. But the Red Devils have not managed a single win against Chelsea since way back in 2012 when Alex Ferguson was still at the helm.

So league position, venue and recent history all point to a Blues win.

And yet… while Chelsea are indeed digging out the results, they have not looked like invincible champions marching toward a certain title for some time. It’s been all draws with Burnley and Southampton and wins by the odd goal against Stoke and Hull. Just enough.

By contrast United have the momentum, Wayne Rooney, Juan Mata – on his return to Stamford Bridge, Marouane Fellaini, Michael Carrick and even Ashley Young look like they are firing on all cylinders.

And with Diego Costa out, and Loic Remy still a doubt, where will the goals come from for the Blues?

Could this one see these two managerial mates sharing the spoils?