United celebrate the equaliser.

Manchester United 1 Chelsea 1

Thursday 28 April 2022 22:05

Cristiano Ronaldo crashed in a second-half equaliser against Chelsea to earn Manchester United a point at Old Trafford in the Premier League

Chelsea had been the dominant side and took the lead in the 60th minute, through Marcos Alonso.

However, United refused to let the setback affect us and Thomas Tuchel's side could only enjoy the moment for two minutes before Ronaldo lifted the Old Trafford mood with a brilliant leveller.

It was his seventh goal in the last three home league matches.

Cristiano Ronaldo was on target again for the Reds.

FIRST HALF - REDS UNABLE TO GET FOOTHOLD BUT DE GEA IN TOP FORM

It was a ponderous start by the Reds against the current European champions with only Bruno Fernandes's weak header and a miscued Ronaldo over-the-shoulder acrobatic attempt to suggest Chelsea’s slick flow could be interrupted.

With United failing to get any real toehold in the first half, the visitors were able to dictate the tempo and dominated possession. The Blues stroked the ball around and then exploded into dangerous action.

At those points, it needed David De Gea to be in top form to ensure Chelsea didn’t turn their superiority into goals. Our no. 1 had double-fisted away a piledriver from dangerous raiding right back Reece James after only five minutes. The Spaniard then took a Kai Havertz shot from close range full in the chest after N'Golo Kante had put the German in after 28 minutes.

The two had combined previously in a dangerous combination that saw Havertz fire into the side-netting. The game was mainly being played out in United’s half and, after 36 minutes, Havertz again headed point-blank at De Gea from another James cross.

There was precious little for Old Trafford to get excited about but going into the interval with a clean sheet still intact was some cause for optimism.

SECOND HALF - RONALDO LEVELS FOR REDS

There were close chances for both teams at the start of the second half with Nemanja Matic's lashed low cross zipping through all the bodies. Similarly, a Mason Mount drilled centre saw Timo Werner inches away from a connection.

It seemed almost inevitable that Chelsea would be first to score and it was no surprise when James was involved. The wing-back's cross was met by Havertz’s header to deflect backwards perfectly to line up a volley for Alonso. The defender’s execution gave De Gea no chance of keeping the 60th-minute blockbuster out.

Now United had to show their mettle. Would they lie down or put up a fight?

Two minutes later, we had our answer as Matic chipped a gorgeous ball over Chelsea’s defence and Ronaldo took a sublime touch before smashing in the equaliser.

At last, the stadium was alive with positive noise as Old Trafford erupted.

Tuchel made a double substitution after 70 minutes bring on ex-Red Romelu Lukaku and Christian Pulisic for Havertz and Werner.

Ronaldo came close to putting United ahead in the 78th minute but his near-post blast was kept out by Edouard Mendy. Rangkick then made two changes with Juan Mata and Phil Jones replacing Rashford and Matic.

Chelsea were a whisker away from regaining the lead in the 80th minute when the ever-dangerous James curled a shot that had De Gea beaten but hit the upright.

There was a full debut for Academy product Alejandro Garnacho as he came on in added time to replace Anthony Elanga but there were no further goals and the game ended all square.

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MATCH DETAILS

United: De Gea , Dalot, Lindelof , Varane, Telles, McTominay, Matic (Jones 78), Elanga (Garnacho 90) Fernandes (c), Rashford (Mata 78); Ronaldo.

Subs not used: Heaton, Henderson, Bailly, Fernandez, Hannibal, Shoretire.

Goal: Ronaldo 62.

Chelsea: Mendy; James, Azpilicueta, Thiago Silva, Rudiger, Alonso; Kante (Loftus-Cheek 82), Jorginho; Mount, Werner (Pulisic 70), Havertz (Lukaku 70).

Subs not used: Arrizabalaga, Chalobah, Saul, Ziyech, Kenedy, Sarr.

Goal: Alonso 60.

Booking: Rudiger.

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