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Match report: Chelsea 1-1 Manchester United

by Zoe Hodges

Manchester United held on for a draw against league leaders Chelsea at Stamford Bridge today in a feisty game which United had been given by many no chance of winning before they kicked off.

The first half was a dominant performance from the top of the table side. A chance for Chelsea came early on as Ziyech took a shot on the turn from a tight angle but it was well saved by David de Gea. Just a minute later, in the fourth minute Hudson Odoi found himself one on one with the keeper but again de Gea pulled off an incredible save to deny him.

United looked disorganised particularly at the back as they struggled to win the ball and keep possession.

However, that being said, United showed a desire to press Chelsea and try to win it back though they fell short of the task.

United were settling into the game though and at the twenty minute mark they showed their first quality run of play as they launched a counter attack but it ended when Fernandes, who had inspired the initial attack, swept it wide.

It was a half chance but they’d need to show more quality in the final third if they were to get anything out of this game. Meanwhile, the Blues were relentless in their attacks.

They rattled the crossbar in the 30th minute as Rudiger took a shot from outside the area. De Gea may have got fingertips to it but it was the woodwork that was credited for United still being in the game.

United showed the odd spark as they made good runs and counter attacks with Rashford and Sancho bursting forward on occasions, but it was all square at the break.

It had been a feisty game and it was no different in the second half. Marcus Rashford found himself in the book with an obvious challenge on Chalobah. James took the free kick, putting it into the box but what happened next had everyone gobsmacked.

A clearance from United found its way to Jorginho’s feet just past the halfway line. He miscontrolled the ball and seemingly didn’t realise Rashford and Sancho were charging at him in tandem. Sancho nicked the ball and the pair were away with no Chelsea player in sight. Sancho remained calm as he slotted it past Mendy.

United were rejuvenated and though Chelsea still had their moments (a series of corners generated nerves amongst United fans) it was United who looked a threat.

But then, a reckless clearance from Wan-Bissaka saw him kick through the back of Silva – penalty to Chelsea. Jorginho redeemed himself for the Blues as he converted and it was they who were on the front foot after that.

The substitutions made by Michael Carrick seemed bizarre as the two players who had pace, who sparked the counter-attack which led to the first goal found themselves sidelined with attacking work still to do for United.

The game was hanging in the balance, it could have gone either way but with corner after corner for Chelsea, it looked like it would be the home side who would take the points as we entered the final ten minutes.

A mistake from Mendy almost gifted United a goal as he passed it to Fred, however instead of playing it to Ronaldo who was waiting out wide he tried to chip it over the keeper. But it was an easy catch for Mendy, who had repositioned himself.

In the closing stages Tuchel was shown a yellow card as he raged about a corner given to United despite Ronaldo running offside. Nothing came of it except the booking for the incensed manager.

In the dying moments it was Rudiger who had the chance to win the game. He was unmarked as the ball was crossed into the box but he blasted it over the bar, falling to the floor in frustration.

Not a bad result for Carrick who sees himself unbeaten as reports of a new manager take shape.

Team: de Gea, Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Bailly, Telles, Fred, Matic, Fernandes (Van de Beek 89), McTominay, Rashford (Lingard 77), Sancho (Ronaldo 64)

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