Premier League: Manchester United vs Chelsea 28/4/22– Full Match Report

Chelsea fail to capitalise on dominance as Cristiano Ronaldo salvages a point for the hosts.


Written by Yendi (@ftblYendi).

Edited by Ryan Bellenie (@BellenieSport).


Pre-game:

Having not won a game at Old Trafford since 2013, Thomas Tuchel and Chelsea travelled to Manchester on Thursday evening hoping to correct a record that has haunted them for just under a decade.


After playing out a 1-1 draw at Stamford Bridge back in November, the London club looked to pick up their first league victory over the Reds since November 2017. With United winning just one of their last six games (3-2 vs Norwich), the visitors surely fancied their chances of seeking revenge in the North-West.


Following Sunday’s narrow victory over West Ham, Thomas Tuchel made two changes to the his starting eleven with Antonio Rüdiger and Reece James replacing Trevoh Chalobah and Ruben Loftus-Cheek. Marcos Alonso made his 150th Premier League appearance for the Blues, whilst César Azpilicueta captained the club for the 200th time.

Ralf Rangnick made just one change from his side’s loss at the Emirates, with Marcus Rashford replacing the absent Jadon Sancho.


First half:

Despite something of a slow start, the Blues really got going towards the middle of the second half. Antonio Rüdiger continued to have success finding Reece James on the left-hand side, who time and time again was given the space he needed to be his industrious best.


The full back was able to test David de Gea with a stinging shot from outside the box, but the United shot stopper denied the opener by making the save. Just minutes later James played Werner through, but the German was unable to really test de Gea with from a wide angle.


United also had their chances in the first half. Alex Telles lofted a cross to Bruno Fernandes who headed straight into the arms of Édouard Mendy. Minutes later, following a case of pinball from a United corner, Cristiano Ronaldo miscued an overhead kick in the Red Devil’s only real other significanr attempt of the half.


For visitors, the chances were thick and fast, Kai Havertz and N’Golo Kanté repeatedly spurning easy chances by striking the ball straight at de Gea. Havertz had the biggest chance of the game as he was played one-on-one by Kanté, but the Chelsea forward was unable to guide his shot past the onrushing Spanish goalkeeper.


At the end of the half, Man United were frankly lucky to enter the break with parity intact.

Second Half:

Chelsea continued to dominate play at the start of the second half. However, a few chances for a breakaway slipped away from them due to poor interlinking play.


Mason Mount attempted to find Timo Werner by flashing the ball across the six-yard box, although the speedy German was unable to get there in time. On the hour mark, James once again was causing havoc for Manchester United down the right-hand side, and he was able to deliver a peach of a ball into the box that was met haphazardly by Kai Havertz.


Fortunately for Tuchel’s side, the ball fell to Marcos Alonso who hammered the ball into the bottom right corner for the breakthrough.

Less than two minute later, N’Golo Kanté was disposed in transition to former Blue Nemanja Matić. The Serbian then lobbed the ball into the path of the mercurial Cristiano Ronaldo, who fired into the top left corner in United’s only real ‘chance’ of the game.

Despite the introductions of Christian Pulisic and Romelu Lukaku, the game fizzled out for both sides after the equaliser. Once again, the sides couldn’t be separated as the match finished at one a piece.

After the Whistle:

A draw really can only be seen as a disappointment for the Blues.

Having dominated the ball, as well as the chances, the game really belonged to the side from London. However, on the day the team were unable to take their chances, which almost seems to be the story of Chelsea’s season. With all the commotion behind the scenes, this game could’ve proven to be a much-needed confidence booster and the perfect start to a run that would close out the season in style. Unfortunately, it wasn’t to be.


A positive that can be drawn was the performance from Reece James, who put on a clinic at wing-back whilst creating the goal. With the 22-year-old at his best in the squad, the future is always bright in South-West London.


Next up for Chelsea is a reunion with Frank Lampard on Sunday as the Blues travel to Goodison Park.


Manchester United on the other hand will host Brentford on Monday.


Final Score:

Manchester United 1-1 Chelsea.

- Alonso (60’).

- Ronaldo (62’).


BBC Sports Player of the Match:

Cristiano Ronaldo (Manchester United).


Line-ups:

Manchester United (4-2-3-1): de Gea; Dalot, Lindelöf, Varane, Telles; McTominay, Matić (79’); Elanga (90 +1’), Fernandes, Rashford (78’); Ronaldo.

- Subs: Mata (79’), Jones (79’), Garnacho (90 +1’).


Chelsea (3-4-1-2): Mendy; Azpilicueta ©, Silva, Rüdiger; James, Jorginho, Kanté (82’), Alonso; Alonso, Mount; Werner (71’), Havertz (70’).

- Subs: Lukaku (70’), Pulisic (71’), Loftus-Cheek (82’).


Referee:

Mike Dean.


Attendance:

73,564.


Possession:

Manchester United (35%) vs Chelsea (65%).


Shots:

Manchester United (6) vs Chelsea (21).


Shots on Target:

Manchester United (3) vs Chelsea (6)


Corners:

Manchester United (2) vs Chelsea (9).


Fouls:

Manchester United (9) vs Chelsea (12).

- (credit | BBC Sport).


Match Highlights:

- (credit | Chelsea Football Club).

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