Man United secures Champions League return with 4-1 rout of Chelsea
MANCHESTER, England (AP) — Manchester United secured a return to the Champions League with a 4-1 win over Chelsea on Thursday.
Goals from Casemiro, Anthony Martial, Bruno Fernandes and Marcus Rashford ensured a victory that means a Premier League top-four finish is now certain in Erik ten Hag's first year at the club.
United moved up to third and two points above Newcastle going into the final game of the season.
United needed a point from its final two games to secure qualification to the Champions League and went ahead in the sixth minute when Casemiro headed in Christian Eriksen's free kick.
Mykhaylo Mudryk should have put Chelsea ahead before that, but the $108-million signing completely misfired with only goalkeeper David de Gea to beat.
Martial doubled United's lead in first-half stoppage time to put the home team in control going into the break.
Fernandes added a third from the penalty spot in the 73rd after being brought down by Wesley Fofana.
It got worse for Fofana and Chelsea when the defender's misplaced pass was seized on and substitute Rashford added a fourth five minutes later.
Another substitute Alejandro Garnacho hit the bar late on as United went in search of another.
Chelsea substitute Joao Felix scored a consolation in the 89th, but it was another miserable night for the Londoners, who have now lost eight of their 10 games under interim manager Frank Lampard.
One concern for United was a first-half injury to Antony, who looked in distress as he left the field on a stretcher.
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James Robson, The Associated Press