Manchester United secured Champions League qualification with a 4-1 win over Chelsea.

Manchester United moved up to third and confirmed their place in next season’s Champions League with a 4-1 win over Chelsea as Erik ten Hag urged the club to bring in “better players” to help mount a title challenge next season.

Casemiro headed in Christian Eriksen’s free-kick early in the game and Anthony Martial added a second from close range in first-half stoppage time. In between, Frank Lampard’s side squandered a series of excellent chances and their wastefulness was costly.

Bruno Fernandes won and scored a penalty before Wesley Fofana, the man who had conceded the spot-kick, proceeded to gift the Portugal midfielder the ball for the fourth, allowing him to set up substitute Marcus Rashford. It was wretched from Chelsea.

It is one win in 13 games for them now – 10 of them under Lampard. This was the youngest Blues line-up in Premier League history. Neither that nor Joao Felix’s late goal provide much consolation. Where they lacked conviction, Casemiro and the rest were decisive.

The only disappointment for United, who move above Newcastle, was a troubling injury to Antony. But it was an otherwise good night for Erik ten Hag’s team. They needed one point to end Liverpool’s hopes of catching them. They won all three in style.

It hinted at being a different game early on, Mykhailo Mudryk spurning the first opening of the game, measuring his shot well wide of the far post after fine play by Lewis Hall. Chelsea paid for their profligacy when Casemiro beat Fofana to the jump at the other end.

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The injury to Antony, on the receiving end of a robust challenge from Trevor Chalobah, may scupper his involvement in the FA Cup final. But here it only led to the introduction of the fit-again Rashford – and the stoppage time from which United made it two.

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