Manchester United vs Chelsea Summary
A drab affair at Old Trafford that saw Manchester United remain winless at Old Trafford this season in a goalless draw with Chelsea. It seemed both sides could not afford to lose and while United tried to counter Chelsea, the back five Chelsea set out denied United most chances. Any that did filter through the defensive line, Mendy saved excellently. United were defensively strong and competent but it limited their creative output significantly. This is something that has to be worked on in the next few matches with good attacking teams such as Leipzig, Arsenal and Everton to come. How did the players fare? Who shone and who stuttered? Here is my take:
Manchester United vs Chelsea Player Ratings:
David de Gea 6/10
Had nothing to do! No dangerous shots on target and the only real worry he had was reacting to Reece James’ freekick but he dealt with it confidently. His distribution has improved too. First clean sheet of the campaign for De Gea.
Aaron Wan-Bissaka 6.5/10
Not much to do but what he had to do, he dealt with comfortably. I do think he should be getting forward more and creating more space for the other attackers even if not putting crosses in.
Victor Lindelof 8/10
Backed up a good display in Paris with a better one. Composed and confident on the ball and dealt with most of the problems he faced very well. Perhaps that would have been different if Giroud was on the pitch but take nothing away from Lindelof. He was very good yesterday.
Harry Maguire 7.5/10
He was just as solid as Lindelof. The reason his score is lower is because we should be expecting this from the Manchester United captain every game, especially in a big game against Chelsea. Nevertheless, a good game and a confidence booster. He could have given away a penalty but easily could have won one with a tussle with Reece James. Something that was not covered during or after the game on Sky…
Luke Shaw 4/10
I think the left centre back position suits him. Even as a left wing back he is very good as well. As a left back, I think he is done when United need to win the game. He had no attacking output at all. There were times James or Rashford was through down the left hand side and whether it was fear of a counter or lack of vision but he failed to play incisive passes forward. There were other times he failed to get into attacking positions, notably from a short corner with Bruno encouraging him to do so but Shaw refusing. Telles is breathing down his neck and why he didn’t feature is a shock to me but I do hope he plays against Leipzig because if he does, I don’t think there will be any reason for him not to start against Arsenal too.
Scott McTominay 7.5/10
He was solid defensively and prevented dangerous Chelsea attacks a few times and did get forward every now and then. I did think that as the RCM in a diamond when Pogba came on, he had to get forward more and push Chelsea back. If he had got forward more, he would have been MOTM. Came off for Greenwood after 83 minutes.
I am not sure about this one. I think Fred had a decent game because he broke up play and sat as the deeper of the midfield pivot. His passing was often safe and not incisive enough and without Pogba in the side, this limited United’s options. I would like to see Pogba and Fred play in the same game, hopefully against Leipzig.
Bruno Fernandes 6/10
Not great but not terrible either. He created some big chances and has now created the most chances in the league with a game less. His set-pieces were not great and he needs to get better or give them over. I hope he is rested against Leipzig and Van De Beek is given a start because we need him fresh and ready for Arsenal.
Juan Mata 6.5/10
Did cause problems but not really enough. He did not mirror his performance against Newcastle and was perhaps not the best player to have against Chelsea here. Nevertheless he forced a good save from Mendy. Came off for Pogba before an hour’s game time.
Daniel James 4/10
A bad one for James. He played well against Newcastle but really got stuck against Chelsea’s low block. He made some good runs early in the game but when he was not spotted, he gave up and tried to come short. I don’t think it was all his fault but he does need to be better if he is to feature more at this club. I don’t think he will start against Arsenal.
Marcus Rashford 7/10
Got into dangerous positions and did create chances too. He had a big chance to open the scoring twice but Mendy made big saves to deny Rashford MBE. He also set up Mata for the other big save Mendy made but failed to convert any of these chances. Rashford looked far more dangerous in the wide areas and while he is in good form, it may be in United’s best interest to rest him against Leipzig.
Paul Pogba 6.5/10
An argument to say he should have started would not be unreasonable. Controlled a lot of the play but no impact on the scoreline. Should/has to start against Leipzig.
Edinson Cavani 6.5/10
A decent outing for the Uruguayan. He got into some dangerous positions and had two chances to score on his debut. One was narrowly wide from his first touch and the other forced a great block from his former teammate, Thiago Silva. I hope he starts on Wednesday.
Mason Greenwood 6.5/10
Offered far more width on the right hand side than we had been seeing recently. Created one big chance but I do think he did not have enough time to make a big difference. I hope he is ready to feature more regularly.
Man of the Match: Victor Lindelof
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer – 6.5/10
I think there were questions raised over the lineup and I would also agree. I do not know why Telles did not feature in the 18 and Shaw should not play there for a while now. It was the right decision to start cautiously with the Chelsea counter posing a dangerous threat for United’s back four. James may not have been the best pick and the same could be said for Mata.
Nevertheless, United did create both more chances and bigger chances than Chelsea. Bringing on Pogba and Cavani were the right decisions and he was ruthless in doing so before an hour. I would say he did dally on bringing on Greenwood which I can only assume is due to fitness and give Ole the benefit of the doubt with that. While I do not agree with everything he did on Saturday, I do think for the most part, he got things right. What I would say, is that if the team that finished the game had started, United could have won based on how Chelsea played. But hindsight is a wonderful thing!