Manchester United 2 Chelsea 1

Wednesday 06 December 2023 22:30

Manchester United collected all three points from a cold midweek bout with Chelsea at Old Trafford, both goals in the 2-1 victory coming from midfielder Scott McTominay.

It was a lively affair in M16, with both sides trying to advance the ball with pace throughout the 90 minutes, but United clearly on top. 

McTominay's first goal rewarded the intense early pressure the Reds had put Chelsea under, putting to bed any doubts about the determination in this side and making amends for an earlier penalty from Bruno Fernandes that could only find Robert Sanchez's glove.

Our visitors levelled the game late in the first half, with a placed effort from Cole Palmer which squeezed just past the fingertips of Andre Onana. 

It was our no.39 though that popped up in the right place at the right time, as he so often does, to reinstate our lead in the 69th minute. The Reds remained in control for the rest of the game, deservedly keeping all three points in Manchester.


Erik ten Hag fielded a team containing four changes from the game against Newcastle United at the weekend. In attack, Rasmus Hojlund and Antony came in for Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford. Further back, Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Kobbie Mainoo made way for Diogo Dalot and Sofyan Amrabat.

The first shot at goal came courtesy of Hojlund in the third minute, latching on to a through ball from Luke Shaw on the left. The resulting drilled shot forced Chelsea goalkeeper Robert Sanchez into a low save. 

The Reds thought our relentless early pressure had paid off with five minutes played, as referee Chris Kavanagh was called over to the VAR monitor for a late challenge by Enzo Fernandez on Antony in the box, stamping on the Brazilian's foot. Kavanagh awarded the penalty, but Sanchez kept Bruno Fernandes at bay from the spot.

Both sides were going blow-for-blow following the penalty save, but it was McTominay who, once again, found himself in the right place to break the deadlock. 


Alejandro Garnacho provided the initial cut-back to a well-advanced Harry Maguire in the penalty area. His shot was deflected into the path of the Scotland international, who placed the ball out of the reach of an unsighted Sanchez. 

Ten Hag's side were piling on most of the pressure following the goal, with the visitors limited to adventuring forward in flashes. A deep cross from Fernandes on the half-hour mark met McTominay unmarked in the middle, but a quickfire double attempt from the goalscorer could only find the Chelsea goalkeeper at close range. 

On the brink of half time, and against the run of play, Palmer picked up the ball just outside our box and managed to squeeze an effort through the Reds' defence and into the bottom corner of Onana's net. Our keeper had earlier made a goal-saving stop to thwart Nicolas Jackson in a one-on-one opportunity, while Raheem Sterling was fortunate to award a booking after trying to win a penalty when challenged by Lindelof.

The half ended much as it had began, with both sides looking to advance forward as soon as possession was gained.

Scott McTominay blows a kiss to the fans after his two-goal show.


The two teams emerged from the interval just as energetic as they had left it. The Reds replaced Lindelof with Sergio Reguilon and our visitors swapped Marc Cucurella for Reece James.

Garnacho looked determined to maintain his recent goalscoring form, attempting another bicycle kick from a more difficult angle which this time sailed over the bar, drawing a wry smile from the winger. His effort moments later appeared much deadlier when it left his boot, curling just inches over the bar.

With the Reds asserting dominance on the hour mark, a driven shot from Shaw drew handball appeals following a block from Colwill, but it was judged to have collided with the defender’s thigh.

The goalscorer McTominay emerged once again, exactly where United needed him, to meet Garna’s cross at the back post. It was checked by VAR, who found that the contact on Colwill from our no.39 prior to the goal was clearly not sufficient to be ruled a foul.

Providing the assist for our second, Garnacho continued his quest for a goal of his own in the clash, with a one-on-one blocked well by James's tackle and a shot from our no.17 whistled just wide of the post moments later.

In the end, however, the McTominay double proved enough to supply United with a much needed and well-deserved three points at Old Trafford, meaning we are now only three points behind Manchester City in the table.

United back on the road in the cup


Why Reds fans are eagerly awaiting our opening game of 2024 already.


United: Onana; Dalot, Maguire, Lindelof (Reguilon 46), Shaw; Amrabat, McTominay; Antony, Fernandes (c), Garnacho (Evans 92); Hojlund (Rashford 84).

Substitutes not used: Bayindir, Wan-Bissaka, Mainoo, van de Beek, Martial, Pellistri.

Goals: McTominay 19, 69.

Bookings: Shaw, Garnacho, Dalot, Reguilon.

Chelsea: Sanchez; Disasi, Silva, Colwill (c), Cucurella (James 45); Caicedo, Fernandez; Sterling, Palmer, Mudryk (Broja 77); Jackson.

Substitutes not used: Petrovic, Gilchrist, Badiashile, Maatsen, Castledine, Matos, Washington.

Goals: Palmer 45.