Manchester United drew 1-1 with Chelsea in the Premier League at Old Trafford. Marcos Alonso struck first in the 60th minute of the match before Cristiano Ronaldo scored his 23rd goal of the season to equalise two minute later. United were lucky as Chelsea had so many chances.
It was a mixed start for United in what should be a rise in stature for this team but it seemed very much that United were hiding on the pitch and not trying to turn their poor performances into something that would be celebrated. The season is already over for them.
This mean that they have given up and that, for a club like United is so weak. Mason Mount had a chance in the fourth minute of the match but it was blocked. In the next four minutes, Reece James had two chances – one saved and one blocked and Timo Werner saw a shot saved.
United got a chance in the tenth minute as Bruno Fernandes saw his effort saved before Cristiano Ronaldo two attempts in consecutive minutes – the first saved, the second blocked. Antonio Rüdiger and N’Golo Kanté both saw attempts blocked and saved.
Kai Havertz tried to break the deadlock in the 27th minute, missing the target then had another chance a minute later, which was saved. This match was just as boring as all the others in the last five months. United have some work ahead of them in the summer – those who remain anyway.
Rüdiger continued Chelsea’s authoritative drive in the match by testing his effort in the 29th minute, which missed the target. James then tried two through balls in two minutes, both seeing Werner and Mount offside. Chelsea were the better team in this clash – but it was not hard.
Havertz saw his latest next in the 36th minute saved as David De Gea showed his ability in keeping this United side in the game. Rüdiger then missed another chance a few minutes later as Chelsea tried to play a better brand of football, despite sitting pretty confident so far in the match.
Fernandes tried a through ball in the 40th minute but Ronaldo was caught offside. It might be time for Rangnick to look at the talented youth he has on the bench and maybe get them warmed up and involved in the match, instead of continuing with the same old player that keep failing?
There was no added time at the end of the first half with no goals scored and Chelsea having the lion’s share of the spoils, or at least what could be suggested were spoils from the half. United wold head into the dressing room frustrated – but that is nothing new, is it?
At the start of the second half, there were no substitutions or either team – but United should have looked to change the personnel, which might change the course of the match for them. The likes of Álvaro Fernández, Hannibal Mejbri, Alejandro Garnacho and Shola Shoretire could help.
Mount had a chance at the start of the half, provided the ball by Havertz but he missed the target. United were not going to keep getting these let offs but it did not seem they cared about it. This team has been an embarrassment this season. They deserve all that is coming for them, all of them.
Havertz tried a through ball in the 57th minute of the match but Werner was caught offside. Marcos Alonso opened the scoring in the 60th minute of the match, assisted by Havertz. It was a poor goal for United to give away. United needed to fight back in this match now.
Just two minutes later, Ronaldo equalised with a stunning finish, scoring his 23rd goal of the season – his first against Chelsea. Nemanja Matić got the assist for Ronaldo, his fourth assist of the season, which is his final season at the club.
Mount saw his attempt blocked in the 64th minute, as Chelsea looked to restore their lead and Jorginho missed his shot in the same minute, which could be something that Chelsea looks back and regrets later in the match if they failed to get the victory at Old Trafford.
Havertz saw yet another missed effort in the 69th minute, which was starting to look like it was never going to happen for him at the Theatre of Dreams on this Thursday evening. Chelsea then made a double substitution with Romelu Lukaku and Christian Pulisic replacing Havertz and Werner.
Ronaldo has scored eight matches in his last five Premier League appearances, missing two through injury and personal reasons. United had only scored nine goals in those seven matches, the other goal scorer being Fred. This team needs to hold themselves accountable for that.
Rangnick made a double substitution for United in the 79th minute with Phil Jones and Juan Mata replacing Matić and Marcus Rashford. At least one youth player should have been brought on but the German manager changed his formation a little, maybe to push for a victory?
In the 82nd minute of the match Chelsea made their final substitution with Ruben Loftus-Cheek replacing Kanté. It might be destined for this match to be a 1-1 draw, unless Chelsea, or even United could find the winner, which seemed unlikely at this stage of the match.
There was not a lot happening in the final stages but it seemed that Rüdiger has a high boot on Anthony Elanga’s head, with the Swedish forward on the floor needing treatment. No could was given and Elanga seemed able to continue the remainder of the match.
In the first minute of added time, Rangnick made his final substitution bringing on 17-year-old Alejandro Garnacho for Elanga. It was a momentous occasion for the young Spaniard. United won a corner in the last minute of added time with plenty of threat in the box.
The corner came to nothing and soon after, it was all over and United were lucky to get the draw that they achieved. I would have liked to see more youth players on the pitch, but seeing Garnacho made his debut was good enough for the evening. Brentford next in the last match at home this season.
David De Gea: If he was not at his best, United would not have gone into the break with a 0-0 scoreline. He made five saves in the first half. Alonso beat him but he had no chance with that. Without him, this season would have been so much worse. ★★★★★★★
Diogo Dalot: Seemed to struggle against Alonso, so the right-back position will need to be strengthened this summer. He’s a decent player but he needs a player to learn from to excel and United need to let him learn rather than expect it. ★★★★★
Victor Lindelöf: His positioning was not the best at times. I thought he was too loose at times. Chelsea dominated in the first half and perhaps he should hold his head high for what he did in the first half to head into the break with a 0-0 scoreline. ★★★★★★
Raphaël Varane: He’s not at full fitness yet following his latest injury. He was under the cosh at times and I though his gameplay was sloppy at times. Still, he’s probably the best defender at the club when fully fit and we should see how well he does in the next three matches. ★★★★★★
Alex Telles: Mount got the better of him at times, pulling him out of his left-back position. His defensive display was good at times but he needs more protection from his teammates, especially with Mount and James after him and getting an advantage. ★★★★★
Nemanja Matić: Put the effort in to shield the defence and at half time would have known he did a good job. He rallied at times and that was rewarded with the pass he played to Ronaldo just after Chelsea opened the scoring, getting his fourth assist this season. Replaced by Jones. ★★★★★★
Scott McTominay: Seemed to be the player that was not really in this match, despite playing in it. Kanté and Jorginho had the better of him from the start. Matić was exposed at times because of this. Parhaps he should have been off at half time. ★★
Anthony Elanga: Will be frustrated to see yet another team get the better of United so easily. It is early in his career for him to excel against a team like Chelsea, but he tried his best and could have got something from it all. Replaced by Garnacho. ★★★★★
Bruno Fernandes: Once again, his past form carries him and he just does not seem capable of finding that form he once had. I don’t know what happens from here. Perhaps it is time for him to be bench and allow youth to get a chance as United seek to end the season? ★★★
Marcus Rashford: It was not the best performance for him. He is devoid of form and his ability seems to be struggling to show through again. This has been a terrible season for him but only he can make it better. The bench beckons for him now. Replaced by Mata, ★★★
Cristiano Ronaldo: Scored his 23rd goal of the season as this 37-year-old once again showed his teammates how to do it. Ronaldo has scored eight goals in is last five Premier League appearances. Many say he’s the problem, but right now, he’s a solution to any problems. ★★★★★★★
Phil Jones: Replaced Matić 79′. Played a solid game after coming on. Better to see him not tired, as he was against Liverpool. Good to see him get more time on the pitch. Possibly more coming before the end of the season. He’s been a loyal player for United. ★★★★★★
Juan Mata: Replaced Rashford 79′. Brought some flair to the attack, which with other than Ronaldo, was not present until his introduction. He did more than Rashford with fewer minutes on the pitch. Might struggle in pace but his football mind is still very much there. ★★★★★★
Alejandro Garnacho: Replaced Elanga 90+1′. Came on with just over two minutes of added time remaining. Will have been proud to make his debut at home. Can he have more involvement against Brentford on Monday? He deserves to at this stage with United not impressing. ★★★★★
Goals: Cristiano Ronaldo 62′; Marcos Alonso 60′
Assists: Nemanja Matić 62′; Kai Havertz 60′
Manchester United: De Gea; Dalot, Lindelöf, Varane, Telles; McTominay, Matić (Jones 79′); Elanga (Garnacho 90+1′), Fernandes, Rashford (Mata 79′); Ronaldo
Substitutes Not Used: Heaton, Henderson; Bailly, Fernández; Hannibal; Shoretire
Bookings: Antonio Rüdiger 87′
Written by John Walker