Match report: Chelsea 0 United 0
Manchester United drew 0-0 with Chelsea in Sunday’s Premier League encounter at Stamford Bridge.
It was a game that went back and forth with both sides enjoying spells on top, although neither could exert enough pressure to grab a breakthrough goal.
The match wasn’t notable for many chances, and the big talking point came in the first period when United could, and perhaps should, have been awarded a penalty for a handball inside the box.
FIRST HALF - VAR CONTROVERSY
It was a frenetic start at Stamford Bridge with end-to-end action, although there were few real chances to shout about in the first 10 minutes – the best probably coming from a Mason Mount effort that was closed down by Victor Lindelof.
Marcus Rashford registered the first shot on target from a free-kick on 12 minutes, which Edouard Mendy punched clear. From the save, the ball bounced in the box and appeared to be handled by Callum Hudson-Odoi, however, after being told to check the VAR screen, referee Stuart Attwell opted not to give the penalty.
Chelsea then registered their first shot on target via Hakim Ziyech, which was well saved by David De Gea, before Hudson-Odoi fired one wide.
Following a fast start, the pace of the game slowed dramatically after the first 15 minutes. It took until around the half-hour mark for the next chance, when Olivier Giroud thrashed over after latching onto a misplaced David De Gea kick.
A few minutes later, the Frenchman was inches away from connecting with Hudson-Odoi’s delicious cross into the box, but it was just ahead of the former Arsenal striker.
United ended the half on top and Fernandes saw his shot deflected wide on 40 minutes, before N’Golo Kante’s quick reactions denied Rashford a shooting opportunity in the box when he got a toe to the ball ahead of the United no.10, to wrap up the first period.
SECOND HALF - STAMFORD BRIDGE STALEMATE
Despite the Reds’ strong end to the first half, it was the hosts who started quicker after the interval. Within a few minutes, De Gea produced an excellent reaction save to deny Ziyech’s shot inside the area, and then Luke Shaw threw himself in front of substitute Reece James’s powerful follow-up strike.
While the Blues were on top, Thomas Tuchel’s men struggled to create many chances, with a few efforts snuffed out by United defenders. After weathering that spell, the Reds went close on the hour-mark from Mason Greenwood’s driven strike, but it sailed just wide.
Mendy was then called into action to make saves from McTominay and Rashford shots on target, not long before our no.39’s strike from outside the box was blocked by Antonio Rudiger.
United were now well in control, but finding it tough to get behind a stubborn Chelsea defence. Fred went close on 68 minutes from a curled effort at the edge of the box, before a rare Chelsea foray forward resulted in a Mateo Kovacic shot, which was comfortably held by De Gea.
As the game entered the latter stages, Victor Lindelof was on hand to steer a dangerous James cross wide of goal, while Timo Werner and Christian Pulisic had strikes on goal. United failed to make the most of one dangerous raid when Fred released McTominay as the Blues survived the breakaway opportunity.
Kovacic had a shot from distance in injury-time which failed to test De Gea and that was the final chance of the game, as both sides go home with a share of the spoils.
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Chelsea: Mendy; Azpilicueta, Rudiger, Christiansen; Hudson-Odoi (James 46), Kante, Kovacic, Chilwell; Mount, Ziyech (Werner 78); Giroud (Pulisic 65).
Substitutes not used: Kepa, Alonso, Emerson , Zouma, Jorginho, Havertz.
United: De Gea, Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Shaw; Fred, McTominay; James, Fernandes, Rashford; Greenwood (Martial 79).
Substitutes not used: Henderson, Bailly, Telles, Tuanzebe, Williams, Amad, Matic, van de Beek.
Booked: Fred, Maguire.