Manchester United vs Chelsea Match Analysis

Cristiano Ronaldo earned Manchester United a draw with his 17th goal of the season. Marcos Alonso gave Chelsea the lead in the second half, but within minutes United were level. The Blues pressed for a winner, however the game ended 1-1.

First Half: De Gea leaves Chelsea frustrated

Ralph Rangick had his side picked for him, after United were hit by an injury crisis. Jadon Sancho and Harry Maguire picked up knocks and added to the Reds long list of injuries. Marcus Rashford was the only change from the side, who fell to defeat at the Emirates.

The Red Devils began the game in a nervous manner with the visitors dominating the opening period. The home team simply could not cope with Chelsea’s wingbacks, who were causing Alex Telles and Diogo Dalot all sorts of problems. Reece James had the first real chance of the game, forcing de Gea into making a smart save.

James constantly found space on the right flank, causing United issues with his accurate deliveries into the box. With Rangnick’s men on the back-foot, Kai Havertz and Mason Mount began dictating things. Timo Werner constantly ran in behind Raphael Varane and Victor Lindelof with the away side looking to break the deadlock immediately.

United did show improvement from the Arsenal game, however they were still lacklustre compared to the visitors. Tuchel’s men were playing with conviction, tempo and urgency- three things United have lacked all season.

Lethargic United

Marcus Rashford did show some glimpses, when he had the ball and was running at the Chelsea backline, but he didn’t have any end product. Cristiano Ronaldo was the best player in red and white yet again, as he looked to take the game to Chelsea. Ronaldo was the most dangerous player for the Reds and he will be furious with himself for not hitting the target with his acrobatic effort.

Captain on the night, Bruno Fernandes, had half an opportunity at the end of the half. However, the Portuguese playmaker decided to slip in Ronaldo instead of shooting on his weaker left foot. Havertz had the best chance of the game, but couldn’t beat de Gea in a one on one situation. There was a sense of relief around Old Trafford when the whistle for half time, as the Reds were very fortunate to not be behind.

Second Half: Ronaldo rescues a point against Chelsea

United began the second half with a bit more intent. Nemanja Matic got to the byline and sent in an inviting cross. Ronaldo couldn’t get goal-side of Cesar Azplilicueta and the visitors were able to clear their lines.

The Blues then found their rhythm and began to put United under intense pressure. James put in cross after cross, with the home team hanging on with some last-ditch defending. But, Chelsea finally broke the deadlock as Alonso found the back of the net with a brilliant volley. Although, the Red Devils could have no complaints with the scoreline, Rangnick will be furious with the space afforded to the wing-back.

The Blues’s celebrations were soon halted, as Ronaldo got on the receiving end of a delightful pass from Matic and found the back of the new in emphatic fashion. The Old Trafford faithful came to life and the momentum began to change.

Chelsea had the next opportunity and it fell to James. The Englishman was unlucky to see his curling effort bounce back off the post. Let off for United. Ronaldo almost got his team a late winner but Edouard Mendy denied him.

The final whistle went and there was nothing to separate the two sides for the second time this season. Chelsea failed to secure the three points, but moved closer to securing a top-four finish. Manchester United remain sixth, five points behind Arsenal, although the Gunners have two games in hand. Rangnick will turn his sides attention to the Premier League encounter with Brentford on Monday night.

Author: Rajan Sangha