Manchester United and Chelsea cancelled each other out as David Moyes’ first Barclays Premier League home game in charge ended in a fascinating draw on a noisy evening at Old Trafford.
Wayne Rooney started for the first time this season and was lively as the fulcrum in Moyes’ new-look 4-2-3-1 formation, but Jose Mourinho’s side coped with everything in United’s armoury, even if they rarely threatened David De Gea’s goal themselves.
The Reds enjoyed the better of the first half but Robin van Persie’s fizzed shot into the side-netting was as close as the champions came to scoring. Chelsea, meanwhile, relied largely on the counter-attack and De Gea was twice called into action to thwart Oscar.
The pattern continued after the break as United played the more penetrative football but couldn’t prise open the visitors. Danny Welbeck bent the ball just wide from inside the box after good work by Rooney, while Tom Cleverley had a strong penalty appeal waved away after his shot appeared to hit Frank Lampard on the arm.
Chelsea finally added some directness to their play with the introduction of Fernando Torres but United weren’t unduly troubled and Moyes sought to make a breakthrough by bringing on Ashley Young and Ryan Giggs.
However, despite the best efforts of Rooney, whose arrowing 25-yard drive was tipped wide by Petr Cech, United couldn’t break the deadlock and the spoils were shared.