Two superb saves from Chelsea’s goalkeeper Edouard Mendy denied Marcus Rashford from capping off a sensational week. Manchester United were held to a 0-0 draw by the Londoners in a dull encounter that only came to life with the introductions of Edinson Cavani and Paul Pogba on the hour mark.

Three players stood out as United needed defensive solidity to keep Chelsea out.

Victor Lindelof

When Lindelof stepped out from defence in the final 15 minutes, he helped create two decent opportunities for United. It was the final positive contributions in a good game from United’s oft-criticised centre-back.

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 24: Victor Lindelof of Man Utd during the Premier League match between Manchester United and Chelsea at Old Trafford on October 24, 2020 in Manchester, United Kingdom. Sporting stadiums around the UK remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors.
(Photo by Simon Stacpoole/Offside/Offside via Getty Images)

Although United will be frustrated with a draw, and rightly so, it was a cleansheet for Lindelof and his defensive colleagues against a Chelsea side who have scored more than two goals a game on average this season.

Lindelof coped well in the air, even after the arrival of Tammy Abraham off the bench, and was composed in defence. He was one of only four starting outfielders not to lose possession. His best performance for United this season.

Fred

Fred was the best Brazilian on the pitch against Paris Saint-Germain on Tuesday night.

And although Thiago Silva might have outperformed him on Saturday evening, Fred put in another very solid display.

 

He touched the ball 100 times and rarely lost possession and under pressure from N’Golo Kanté, one of Europe’s best ball-winners, he coped well.

Bruno Fernandes

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 24: Bruno Fernandes of Manchester United in action during the Premier League match between Manchester United and Chelsea at Old Trafford on October 24, 2020 in Manchester, England. Sporting stadiums around the UK remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors.
(Photo by Matthew Peters/Manchester United via Getty Images)

There was no goal or assist for Bruno Fernandes on this occasion. That’s not said that often. He was crucial for United still. In attack he provided what he always does, high-risk, high-reward passes that test the Chelsea defence.

Most of United’s chances involved Fernandes, as they always do. He made four key passes in total.

But it was his determination to help out in defence that was so important for United. He made two clearances, two blocks, two interceptions and two tackles.

Perhaps an even greater contribution was his ability to keep possession when under pressure in his own half. Fernandes might be one to give away the ball up the pitch but he showed on Saturday that that is a choice; a desire to create something. When in his own half against Chelsea, he shielded it well from Kanté, Werner and Havertz and helped United stay strong in defence.

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