Edouard Mendy managed to keep a clean sheet in his first two Premier League starts for Chelsea

Premier League: Defences Win in Soggy Manchester

Manchester United 0-0 Chelsea

Manchester United and Chelsea played out a goalless draw at Old Trafford tonight

in a rain soaked Manchester as defences dominated, while both teams tried desperately to create a winning spark.

Chelsea’s summer recruits have settled well into Premier League life but they struggled to create much against the Red Devils, who had the better of the chances but just couldn’t convert.

 

Highlights of the game

Both teams have been suspect at the back recently and it showed in the early exchanges as each defence looked well organised, and neither team committed too many players forward. Chelsea dominated the possession and the first quarter of the game was played in the Manchester United half, though there were no clear cut chances.

Then things began to warm up.

Chelsea should have had a penalty when Harry Maguire man-handled Cesar Azpilicueata  and Christian Pulisic, back from injury, was causing the Red Devils’ defence some problems, and he had a run into the area before pulling the trigger, but Victor Lindelof stuck out a foot to deflect the American’s effort wide.

Then, on 34 minutes Marcus Rashford had a golden opportunity when Juan Mata put him through on goal, but with a big target to aim for and the far corner calling, Rashford hit the ball too close to Edouard Mendy who saved with his foot. And the Chelsea keeper was alert again minutes later to tip a curling effort from Mata around the corner.

The second half began as cagily as the first and defences were on top. Chelsea almost created an opening when Pulisic combined with Kai Havertz to put Timo Werner through, but Maguire was there to block.

Manchester United are still winless at home this season in the Premier League

Edinson Cavani made his Premier League debut in Manchester United’s clash against Chelsea

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer played his cards on the hour, bringing on this two biggest names, Paul Pogba and debutant Edinson Cavani. And, with his first touch, the Uruguayan showed real class to flick a first time effort into the side netting. Then, Chelsea wing back Reece James sent over a brilliant cross which Havertz couldn’t quite convert.

Frank Lampard responded by bringing on Mason Mount and Tammy Abraham to replace the German duo of Havertz and Werner.

Looking back to the home bench; one of the Red Devils’ young stars has made more Premier League 2020 news headlines off the pitch recently. Young Mason Greenwood was awarded the Number 11 shirt at the club after impressing last term, but missed the games against Newcastle and PSG amidst rumours of poor time-keeping.

But he’s shown real potential on the pitch, when he’s had the chance, and Solskjaer brought him on with ten minutes remaining. And he was in the action immediately, getting to the bi-line and pulling the ball back for Cavani but Thiago Silva put in a great block to thwart the threat.

With the clock ticking down Rashford caught a shot sweetly but Mendy was equal to it, turning it around the post for a corner.

 

Key statistics

The pre-match Manchester United vs Chelsea betting odds had the draw at odds of 3.21; and that was about the right result, though the Red Devils had more chances, registering four shots on target to Chelsea’s one.

The head to head results remain at 26 victories to 24 in favour of Frank Lampard’s Chelsea, and the point took the Blues up to sixth in the table while Manchester United remain 15th, though only two points separate the two teams.

This was only the second 0-0 draw of the season, following the goalless stalemate between West Brom and Burnley last Monday.

 

What’s next?

The Red Devils sprung a surprise in Paris last week, beating PSG 1-2 in their opening Champions League fixture, and next they take on Red Bull Leipzig having given themselves a good chance of qualifying from a difficult group. Leipzig beat Istanbul Basaksehir 2-0 in their first game and came through a tough Bundesliga fixture today, beating Hertha Berlin 2-1 thanks to a late Marcel Sabitzer penalty.

After drawing with Sevilla in their Champions League opener, the Blues head to Russia to take on Krasnodar, who drew 1-1 away to Rennes in their opening match.

Back to domestic matters and next week United are at home to Arsenal in a game for SBOTOP Premier League fans to look forward to.

Meanwhile, Chelsea take a trip up north to meet Burnley. The Clarets have struggled so far but with some key players returning from injury they could pose the Blues some questions.

 

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