Five things we learned as Manchester United draw 1-1 at Chelsea
Manchester United managed to produce a smash and grab performance to come away from the trip to Chelsea with a point in a 1-1 draw .
Here are five things we learned from the clash at Stamford Bridge…
Sign of things to come
Caretaker manager Michael Carrick made the bold call of leaving Manchester United’s talisman Cristiano Ronaldo on the bench against Thomas Tuchel’s side.
The club’s former midfielder opted to go with a forward three of Jadon Sancho, Bruno Fernandes and Marcus Rashford from the start.
With the protection of three defensive midfielders behind them, United’s attacking trio were able to go and press Chelsea’s defenders.
Ronaldo’s omission could be something we become more accustomed to seeing, if Ralf Rangnick takes the interim job and doesn’t see a way of fitting the legendary 36-year-old into his high energy and high pressing, all-action style.
De Gea comes up trumps again
After poor play from Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Victor Lindelof, Callum Hudson-Odoi was in on goal.
But Spanish Dave was on hand to toe the ball to safety in the fourth minute.
One area of de Gea’s game which is often questioned is his reluctance to come off his line.
But in the first half, de Gea sniffed out the danger quickly to race off his line and play the role of sweeper keeper.
De Gea was unable to improve on his recent resurgent penalty save record as Jorginho sent him the wrong way.
But with Raphael Varane and Harry Maguire absent, de Gea produced an assured and commanding performance which included punching away crosses into the box.
Sancho kicks on after Villarreal breakthrough
Fresh after scoring his first goal against Manchester United in the El Madrigal, Sancho announced himself on the Premier League stage.
The former Borussia Dortmund man pounced on Jorginho’s heavy touch to open the scoring against the Blues.
With Rashford square for a tap in, Sancho showed that his confidence levels are soaring by opting to shoot and slotting home after he fooled goalkeeper Edouard Mendy with a fake.
After an energetic 64 minutes, the weary looking Sancho was replaced by Ronaldo.
With United leading 1-0, Aaron Wan-Bissaka had a moment of madness when he scythed down Thiago Silva inside the penalty area to concede a penalty.
United’s right-back is known for timing his tackles, but it couldn’t have been a clearer foul on the Brazilian.
It was yet another tepid display from the former Crystal Palace man, as his search for consistency and confidence continues.
United’s number 29 did however produce a timely block to thwart Timo Werner who was in on goal and could have scored a winner if it wasn’t for Wan-Bissaka’s intervention.
Job done for Carrick
Charged with lifting the club’s spirits after the sacking of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, Carrick has steadied the tide.
If and when Ralf Rangnick takes the interim position, the German coach will be taking over at a club that has had back-to-back positive results.
Carrick hasn’t been afraid to put his own imprint on the team and his decisions and experiences in the last week or so could help Rangnick hit the ground running at the club.
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