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Ratings: Mata and Shaw were the better players; De Gea howler cost Manchester United in 1-1 Chelsea draw

Manchester United drew 1-1 with Chelsea in their penultimate Premier League match at Old Trafford this season. Juan Mata opened the scoring for United in the 11th minute of the match and it seemed like United were up for the challenge of beating Chelsea. However, a poor David De Gea save cost United with Marcos Alonso scoring an equaliser.

United opened the scoring inside the 11th minute of the match after Romelu Lukaku fed the ball to Luke Shaw, who ran into the box and slid the ball to Juan Mata, who was waiting to strike towards goal. The ball slid past Kepa Arrizabalaga becoming Mata’s first goal against his former club. United had not previously scored a goal for four hours and 51 minutes before this one, eight hours and 58 minutes in open play.

Chelsea got themselves back into the macho just before half time with Antoine Rudiger striking a goalbound effort and David De Gea parrying it to his right. However, it was straight into the path of Marcos Alonso, who beat his compatriot from a tight angle to equalise for the visitors. De Gea will not be happy with that mistake and neither will Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. Something will need to give as it is clear that De Gea’s head is not in this.

Man of the Match: Juan Mata

Juan Mata played well against his former club, scoring the opening goal for his club. It is great to see the veteran attacking midfielder playing for United again, hopefully, they will retain him for next season as the experience he has will be beneficial to some of the younger players coming through the ranks, especially Angel Gomes, who is of a similar frame as the Spaniard. Mata should be utilised in the final two matches of the season, as should some of the talented youth.

Match Statistics:

Goals: Juan Mata 11′; Marcos Alonso 44′

Assists: Luke Shaw 11′

Manchester United: De Gea; Young, Lindelof, Bailly (Rojo 71′), Shaw; Herrera, Matic, Pogba; Mata (McTominay 81′); Lukaku, Rashford (Sanchez 65′)

Substitutes Not Used: Romero; Darmian; Pereira; Martial

Bookings: Ander Herrera 43′, Marcos Rojo 80′, Ashley Young 89′; Willian 52′, Mateo Kovacic 53′

Manchester United

1 David De Gea

The Spanish number one conceded yet another poor goal, parrying a shot from Antoine Rudiger, putting the ball into the path of Marcos Alonso who beat his compatriot from close range. De Gea will have regained some confidence after a gathered save from Willian around the hour mark of the match.

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18 Ashley Young

The veteran winger-cim-fullback started at right-back against Chelsea and played well at times. However, he is not the quickest player on the attack and United were reliant on him providing the width with Juan Mata playing just behind the forwards. Booked for dissent in the final minute of normal time. He’s not the major problem at United but he is a contributing factor. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer seems to think he’s one of the best at the club which makes me wonder about the level United are trying to reach.

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2 Victor Lindelof

The Swede had a good game against Chelsea and he was not really tested but the opposition, which shows the level of both clubs at this moment in time. Partnered with Eric Bailly, I had hoped that both players could form an impeccable partnership but an injury to the Ivorian ended that prematurely.

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3 Eric Bailly

The Ivorian central defender made his first start in almost two months and played well in defence. It was good to see him involved and at times, he was starting to gel with Victor Lindelof, which would keep the likes of Chris Smalling and Phil Jones out of the team. However, an injury approaching the 70th minute ended his game, maybe his season and he was replaced by Marcos Rojo.

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23 Luke Shaw

The left-back made his fourth assist of the season in the Premier League, playing the ball to Juan Mata, inside the box, in the 11th minute of the match. Shaw added width on the left and got forward a lot of the time and looked like he wanted to ensure United won this game. He should keep his place in this team, however, competition for him, whether bought in or provided from the academy would be good.

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21 Ander Herrera

It was good to see the Spanish midfielder back in the team after a long lay off through injury. Statistics state that when Herrera plays for United they either win or draw (more wins). United drew, so that stat continues. Herrera played well in midfield and will surely be a loos for the club if he does leave as a free agent in the summer.

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31 Nemanja Matic

The Serbian midfielder was perhaps lucky not to have been sent off after it appeared that he elbowed a former teammate and then fouled another by putting his arm across him. However, he was not booked at all. He had a presence in midfield but perhaps United need to find a solution for the future, allowing Scott McTominay to play in midfield now, seeing that a top four finish is even tougher than it was before this game.

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6 Paul Pogba

The Frenchman had a good start to the game and put in the effort in the key areas of the pitch. He played some smart passes and tried to get stuck in to this Chelsea side. During the second half, however, Pogba was poor, doing little to get United back in charge of the fixture, which shows that the hunger and desire to play and win for United may not actually be there. Two games to go, Pogba should not be involved in either as I don’t think he wants to play for this club.

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8 Juan Mata

The Spanish midfielder opened the scoring for United in the 11th minute, assisted by Luke Shaw. The veteran midfielder played well against his former club, using his footballing brain to push United forward show why he needs to be retained by the club. Imagine what he could teach Angel Gomes, who is of a similar frame as him.

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Romelu Lukaku

The Belgian had some influence in the game today and seemed up for the challenge of Chelsea. It did not work out for United but they played some good football from the start of the game but seemed to cool off after the break, with Chelsea taking charge of the game.

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10 Marcus Rashford

The England forward played well against Chelsea and used his pace to pressure Chelsea at times. However, he was not really involved in anything that could have put United ahead in the game. He was seemingly struggling with a shoulder injury and was replaced by Alexis Sanchez in the 65th minute.

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Substitutes

Alexis Sanchez

Replaced Rashford 65'. The Chilean's work rate is normally good when he comes on for United and he does put some effort into his running and find/creating space. However, I do not think what he offers is worth the money he is paid. United surely need to get him out of the door in the summer but it will be costly.

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16 Marcos Rojo

Replaced Bailly 71'. Booked for a rash challenge. Not a player that makes United supporters trust him, partly because of the rash challenges. This was his sixth appearance for United this season. However, he did have a headed effort on goal in stoppage time.

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39 Scott McTominay

Replaced Mata 81'. The academy graduate was brought on to add more protection to the midfield. Sending Paul Pogba into the position Mata was playing in. He was a presence in midfield for his club.

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