Talking Points: Chelsea 0 United 0
Manchester United were held to a goalless Premier League draw by Chelsea on Sunday.
In a tough clash at Stamford Bridge, neither the Reds or the Blues were able to find a way to the net. Scott McTominay and Fred both went close for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's men but both sides were unable to find a crucial winner.
But despite a lack of goals in the capital, there were plenty of situations to address after a highly contested battle between two top teams.
The game produced the season’s second goalless draw between these sides in the Premier League, copying the 0-0 result from back in October. This was the first time since the 1921/22 season that both league meetings between the clubs ended goalless. The result means that Ole's men remain second in the league and go a point clear of Leicester City in the table, following the Foxes' defeat to Arsenal earlier on Sunday.
Our club-record run of away matches unbeaten in the league continued in London. In fact, our run of matches earning points away from home started last February with a 2-0 win at Stamford Bridge, thanks to headed goals from Harry Maguire and Anthony Martial. Our 20-game streak features 13 wins and seven draws.
With the result, the Reds equalled Chelsea’s club record of unbeaten away matches in the league, which the Blues set between December 2007 and December 2008. Another away match undefeated would make sure United go level with Liverpool’s all-time away record, meanwhile Arsenal's “invincibles” hold the league record, with 27 away games in a row unbeaten.
Scott McTominay was back in the starting line-up after a spell on the sidelines due to injury. After three games out, the Scotland international wasted no time in showing his presence at the heart of midfield, getting stuck in with plenty of hefty challenges. On the hour-mark, our midfield powerhouse went close to sending United ahead, but Mendy in the Chelsea goal was equal to his driven attempt. Good to have you back, Scotty!
DAN THE MAN
At Stamford Bridge, Daniel James made his fourth consecutive start for United. Our Welsh wizard has been in fine form, scoring twice and assisting once in three starts against Real Sociedad and Newcastle leading up the encounter in the capital. As you may recall, our no. 21 made a dream debut for the club against Sunday’s opponents, when he scored our fourth goal in a 4-0 win against Chelsea in August 2019.
In the first half, one of the major incidents was a VAR call by referee Stuart Attwell. Following a Marcus Rashford free-kick in the 13th minute, the ball was punched out by Chelsea keeper Eduoard Mendy. Callum Hudson-Odoi then handled the ball inside the area in a duel with Mason Greenwood. However, despite a look at the pitchside monitor, a penalty was not given.
At the start of the second half, David De Gea produced an outstanding reaction save to deny Hakim Ziyech the honour of giving Chelsea the lead. The Spaniard, on his way down, managed to quickly get his right hand up to stop the ball from crossing the line. Our no. 1 also stood firm when the hosts tried their luck later on, as we claimed a well-deserved clean sheet.
OLE V TUCHEL
This was the fifth time Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Thomas Tuchel have gone head-to-head on the sidelines. The Chelsea manager was of course the Paris Saint-Germain boss for our Champions League meetings with the French outfit in 2019 and 2020. In each of the four encounters between United and PSG in recent years, the away side has come out on top. With no winner in London on Sunday, the record between the Norwegian and the German remains equal, with two wins, one draw and two defeats each.
LONDON CALLING… AGAIN
In midweek, United will make the journey to the capital again, as we take on Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park on Wednesday. Our encounter with the Eagles starts off a busy month ahead of the international break: we will play seven matches in the space of three weeks during March.