A defeat for the Blues ended their seven-game winning streak, but head coach Frank Lampard hinted that he's looking at the bigger picture after the defeat.
"I hate losing, we all do here, but it’s clear there is a big picture," Lampard said post-match.
Looking at the fixture schedule over the Christmas period heading into the New Year, Lampard has a point, and I agree with him. This result could be a blessing for Chelsea to continue their form in the Premier League and Champions League.
If the Blues had managed to get past Manchester United to set up a tie with Colchester United, it would have mean't Frank Lampard's side would have had 8 games in the space of 25 days, with a game on average every three days.
Chelsea don't have an easy period during the festive season, and the defeat to Manchester United allows the side to recuperate midway through December.
Aston Villa (h)
Wednesday 4th December
Saturday 7th December
LOSC Lille (h)
Tuesday 10th December
Saturday 14th December
CARABAO CUP QUARTER-FINAL
Tottenham Hotspur (a)
Sunday 22nd December
Thursday 26th December
Sunday 29th December
Albeit had Chelsea beaten Manchester United, it would have been Colchester in the next round, but that isn't the point.
Chelsea have been so unfortunate with injuries this term, and are unlikely to have a full squad at once. Frank Lampard will always have injuries, and despite it being a trophy, this is the last on the list in terms of priorities.
"I would have liked to give Jorginho in particular and Kovacic a rest tonight as well because of what they have been putting in, the endurance of the season, but I couldn’t because of N’Golo, Ross and Ruben out long-term."
But it isn't just the December period that the Blues will have a week off in between their Premier League fixtures with Bournemouth and Tottenham to rest, but in January when the FA Cup comes into full swing, the Blues have two less games to worry about, if they made it past the quarter-finals point in the Carabao Cup.
A two-legged affair against a likely good side would have strained the Blues, which could have cost Frank Lampard's side points in the Premier League for the hunt of a Champions League spot for next season.
Wednesday 1st January
FA Cup 3rd Round
Friday 3rd/Monday 6th January
Carabao Cup Semi-Final 1st Leg
Tuesday 7th/Wednesday 8th January
Saturday 11th January
Newcastle United (a)
Saturday 18th January
Tuesday 21st January
FA Cup 4th Round
Friday 24th/Monday 27th January
Carabao Cup Semi-Final 2nd Leg
Tuesday 28th/Wednesday 29th January
Chelsea have always competed in every single competition, and every single trophy that is available, but now the Blues are out, the positives have to be looked at, and the defeat has opened up gaps between fixtures which will allow Frank Lampard's men to rest and be prepared for the Premier League, Champions League and FA Cup.
Injuries won't have to be strained by rushing players back because we are short. We've already seen that with Emerson and N'Golo Kante this season - they shouldn't have played but Frank Lampard thought it was necessary.
Getting knocked out of a competition is never a good thing, but come December and January Frank Lampard could be thankful they did lose on Wednesday night should the Blues take advantage with their lighter schedule in the New Year.