Man Utd and Chelsea fail to capitalise on Leicester’s defeat after stalemate
After seeing Arsenal defeat Leicester earlier on, this was a great opportunity for either Chelsea or Manchester United to take advantage of the Foxes’ result.
After securing a place in the round of 16 in the week, Manchester United travelled to the capital in a bid to end Chelsea’s unbeaten run under Thomas Tuchel.
A game that began with Chelsea dominating possession without posing any real threat suddenly came into life 15 minutes in, when referee Stuart Attwell stopped the game after being advised to review a potential penalty for the visitors, after Hudson Odoi’s hand made contact with the ball in the Chelsea box. A decision that continues to divide opinion went in the favour of Chelsea after Attwell reviewed the situation multiple times on the pitch side monitor.
Callum Hudson Odoi then tried to make his mark down the other end of the pitch soon after, when bright play from Chelsea concluded in the young England international striking a volley that went narrowly round the post.
The majority of Chelsea’s best attacking play came down the right flank as on the half hour mark, a lovely switch of play found Hudson Odoi again, who’s wicked ball was inches away from Olivier Giroud who looked a cert to head home the opener. Despite United growing into the game, Ole’s team didn’t have any clear cut chances in the first half.
After the interval, Chelsea came out of the blocks fast, just like the first half, when a brilliant run from Chilwell ended in him picking out Ziyech in the box who forced an incredible save from David De Gea.
After a dominant start to the second half from the hosts, United began to find some rhythm. Nice link up play between Greenwood and James resulted in Greenwood firing over the bar.
This gave United confidence who once again found themselves in and around the Chelsea box and it was Mctominay’s turn to strike, forcing Mendy to produce a smart save down to his left.
With United beginning to take a foothold in the game, spaces were left to exploit, if a Chelsea counter attack was to occur. And this is exactly what happened when a changeover of possession saw Mount running through on goal, looking certain to slot the ball past De Gea. However, the youngster opted to cut inside onto his left foot, but a last ditch challenge by Mctominay put an end to any danger. A huge change went missing for Tuchel’s men to break the deadlock.
With the game still goalless with 20 minutes to go, a much improved last 10 minutes saw Man United create a number of chances. Fred came the closest when he chose to strike from 25 yards out with his right foot which marginally went past the post. Mendy was beaten.
With Chelsea being unbeaten under Thomas Tuchel and United’s fine away record, it’s with no doubt both teams will be going away from the game disappointed not to take the 3 points. The race for top 4 remains well and truly on with 7 teams still battling out for Champions League football.
Mendy (7), Azplicueta (7), Christensen (6), Rudiger (7), Hudson Odoi (6), Chilwell (6), Kante (8), Kovacic (7), Mount (6), Ziyech (6), Giroud (6)
Subs: Pulisic (6), James (6), Werner (6)
De Gea (7), Shaw (7), Maguire (6), Lindelof (6), Wan Bissaka (6), Fred (7), Mctominay (6), James (7), Fernandes (6), Rashford (6), Greenwood (6)
Subs: Martial (5)
Chelsea head to Anfield on Thursday night to face the Champions in a game that could have so much significance on the top 4 standings come the end of the season.
For Manchester United, they’ll be back in the capital on Wednesday to face Crystal Palace.
Written by Thomas Barnes