Jose Mourinho crammed as many forward-thinking players into his FA Cup final starting lineup as he thought possible but failed to breach Chelsea’s massed ranks frequently enough to really worry Antonio Conte.
United dominated the ball but only really created three chances of note; two from Marcus Rashford, both smartly saved by Thibaut Courtois and Paul Pogba’s free header in the closing stages.
Their flair players were simply unable to influence proceedings, create overloads or get in behind frequently enough to pull the Blues apart and Jesse Lingard was the worst offender in terms of a lack of influence.
The England international – valued at £22.5m by Transfermarkt – was his usual busy self but could not make anything happen with his energy and ended up getting crowded out in a packed central area before being substituted on 73 minutes.
Lingard had just 44 touches, no shots, dribbles or accurate crosses and allowed his frustration to show by committing three fouls as he was detailed to deal with N’Golo Kante as well.
Gareth Southgate will hope that the Englishman proves more adept at picking holes in a packed defence by the time the World Cup rolls around.