Chelsea Hold United To Rare 0-0 Draw
Last night’s clash of the titans between Manchester United and Chelsea was a fairly tame game really and was played out to a very rare scoreless 0-0 tie which showed how well Chelsea defended to keep United off the score sheet – something which rarely happens.
The first half provided very few decent opportunities on goal for either side with Van Persie hitting the side netting with United’s best chance and Oscar having a good snap shot for the Blues from the edge of the box but unfortunately for the Brazilian it went straight down De Gea’s throat in the United goal.
Schurrle, preferred to Torres, playing up front on his own looked willing but was given poor service and rarely threatened for Chelsea. Rooney, playing as part of a three striker attack for United looked excellent all game and showed commitment and desire against the club trying to buy him and he was given a great reception by the United fans whenever he did anything. On the stroke of half-time he almost put Van Persie in on goal with a sweet through ball but slightly over hit the pass.
After half time Oscar went close to getting on the end of a good ball by Hazard but did not threaten the United goal. Torres came on for De Bruyne on 60 mins to offer Chelsea more options to bring Schurrle into the game but it was plain to see the need for Chelsea to sign a proper Drogba-esque centre forward or use Lukaku in that role. The only real thing of note from Torres really was him getting a yellow card for obstructing Cleverley.
David Moyes sent on his first sub on 70mins as Valencia was replaced by Ashley Young. Chelsea’s Ashley (Cole) then had a penalty claim turned down as he went down in the area while tussling with Phil Jones. Cole shouted at the referee to give him a yellow card if he did not get the penalty – claiming why else would he have gone down in the area. The referee seemed to get the call right in fairness and he did have a good game even in both managers’ opinions.
As the game went into the final 10 mins Rooney pushed up alongside Van Persie looking to help bring about a United goal but it was Chelsea who had the better of the last few mins but just could not find the killer ball to unlock the United defence.
Van Persie did go close in the last few mins with a right-footed volley but the just arrived Mikel blocked it with his arm but he was so close to the United player it could never have been a penalty.
Somewhat surprising was the fitness and commitment of Rooney on the night as he was arguably United’s best player and brought cheers from all the United faithful as he chased back like a demon to tackle Ramires and win the ball when he looked left for dead by the Brazilian late in the second half – Moyes’ decision to play him was clearly justified. He even ran all the way on the counter attack before going close with a volley which was blocked after United’s final corner in the dying minutes.
The other big surprise was that Mourinho kept Mata, Chelsea’s two time player of the year, on the bench – this can only add fuel to the fire that Mourinho is considering moving the awesome Spaniard even though the manager has denied it vehemently. Surely, Mata is just being rested and eased into the season after a busy couple of years and having been on national duty at the Confederations Cup in the summer or least we hope that is the case.
So all in all it was a tight cagey affair with neither team doing enough to find the opening for a goal but still a good result for Chelsea as they sit on top of the Premier League today with 7 points from a possible 9 points and remain unbeaten.