Report: Manchester United robbed of a Stamford Bridge victory by stoppage time goal by Ross Barkley


Manchester United drew 2-2 with Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. Chelsea scored the first goal through Antonio Rudiger, a header from a corner. Ten minutes into the second half, Anthony Martial scored the equaliser. Martial then put United ahead in the 73rd minute. Six minutes of stoppage time were added and Ross Barkley scored an equaliser for Chelsea.

Jose Mourinho chose a more attacking line up against Chelsea with Juan Mata, Paul Pogba, Marcus Rashford, Romelu Lukaku, and Anthony Martial all players who will attack, if let off the leash. The big questions would be about United’s defence though, which has been changed again with Ashley Young, Victor Lindelof, Chris Smalling and Luke Shaw together as the back four, something which Gary Neville debated about on Sky Sports ahead of kick off.

United started the game well, as did Chelsea, who are currently unbeaten in the Premier League this season. The possession from Mourinho’s side in midfield and advanced areas was good as the Red Devils were seeking an opening goal. Mata’s ability to read ahead has helped United so far, although a goal was no closer to becoming an actuality for either team. In the ninth minute, Chelsea won a free-kick after Matic fouled Eden Hazard tactically on the edge of the box.

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Cesar Azpilicueta and Willian were both stood over the ball to take the set-piece, with the Brazilian taking it, hitting his effort well off target and over the crossbar. You cannot help feeling it was a huge let off for United there. United started to recover from giving away the free-kick, adventuring into Chelsea’s final third. Matic fouled Hazard once again, in the 13th minute of the match, earning the first booking of the game for persistent infringement.

United won a free-kick in the 15th minute of the match after Mateo Kovacic fouled Matic on the left flank, just on the edge of the final third. Young took the set-piece, sending the ball into Smalling inside the box, the ball finding its way to Shaw, who was out of the box, but a shot on goal was not as good as it could have been. United were looking confident in attack, with Pogba, Mata and Martial all working well together, earning a corner in the 17th minute.

Rashford took the corner, sending the ball into the box with a scuffle from both sides to get on it. Chelsea cleared the danger with United picking up possession once again, before losing it. Chelsea were starting to get stuck into the game and Hazard’s movement, both on and off the ball was world class. United gave away a corner in the 20th minute which helped Chelsea to find the first goal of the game with a header from Antonio Rudiger beating De Gea.

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United now needed to get stuck in and find an equaliser, or to get Chelsea pegged back into their own half, otherwise this was going to be just another defeat at Stamford Bridge. United were nearly caught out again after Kovacic ran through the defence and into the box before being dispossessed. It was another let off for United. In the 27th minute of the match, Ashley Young was the second United player to be booked, his second of the season so far. United needed to be careful for the remainder of the game now.

Rudiger was booked in the 30th minute for a foul. United looked to be gathering some momentum after that, seeking to get back into the game. Rashford was on the attack for his side and Hazard hooked him down, seemingly not allowing him to get into the box. The Belgian was booked, meaning both teams had two players on a yellow and United had a free-kick, which came to nothing. United were working harder towards the end of the half to get something back. There were two minutes of added time at the end of the half.

United had to start much better in the second half. There were no changes from either team. Chelsea had a chance to push United further away with Hazard beating Young on the left but his cross was caught by De Gea. Chelsea won a corner in the 51st minute. After some good interplay between David Luiz and Hazard, Smalling blocked the effort. Willian had a corner a minute later, which dipped onto De Gea’s head with the Spaniard palming the ball away to safety.

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In the 55th minute, United got a goal back through Martial. Shaw crossed the ball into Mata, who shot straight to Kepa Arrizabalaga, who then spilled the ball, Mata reacted quickly to cross the ball back in. Kovacic headed clear with Young latching onto the ball and firing back into the box, a deflection from Jorginho put the ball straight to the feet of the Frenchman, who took a touch before firing into the corner past Kepa.

Chelsea got straight back on the attack after conceding an equaliser. The United fans were the noisiest in the stadium though. Chelsea had a few good chances, some from corners, but United got themselves clear of conceding again. Lukaku found himself one-on-one with Luiz in the 62nd minute, receiving the ball from a low Pogba pass. The Brazilian refused to commit to a challenge, waiting for Lukaku to pass on his left, Luiz put the ball behind for a corner.

In the 67th minute, Mata was the third United player to be booked after a challenge on Azpilicueta. Chelsea made their first change two minute later with Ross Barkley replacing Kovacic. A minute later, the pace of the game was stepped up and it was down to United, surprisingly. Lukaku kept the ball, overcoming three challenges but Axpilicueta won the ball back for the hosts. Kante had a shot on United’s goal in the 71st minute, De Gea palming the ball away to deny the Frenchman.

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United took the lead in the game in the 73rd minute, through Martial, who is now on a hat-trick, assisted by Rashford. It is not often that United lead a game, or leave with three points in the bag at Stamford Bridge, but if that is how it ended today, we would all take that victory. Young looked down the line to Mata, who chipped the ball beyond Luiz, who was out of reach, finding Rashford who fed Martial at the edge of the box. His first touch let the ball run across the goal, beating Kept by finishing into the corner again.

United made a second change in the 83rd minute with Andreas Pereira replacing Martial. A minute later, Alexis Sanchez replaced Rashford. It was an edgy end to the game, with United 2-1 up and seeking a first victory over Chelsea, at Stamford Bridge since the 28 October 2012. Six minutes of added time were to be played at the end of the game. Sanchez saw himself in the book for a challenge four minutes into added time. Pereira was also booked five minutes into stoppage time.

United’s win was not to be. Ross Barkley scored deep into stoppage time, which saw nearly 100 minutes of football played today. Chelsea fans erupted like they had won the match. Someone from the Chelsea bench, seemingly a coach, not a player, said something to Mourinho after the goal has been scored. He then ran down the tunnel with Mourinho visibly angry at whatever was said to him. I guess that is the Chelsea mentality, shout your mouth off before running away. Now we move onto Juventus on Tuesday.

Goals: Antonio Rudiger 21′; Anthony Martial 55′, 73

Assists: Willian 21′; Marcus Rashford 73′

Manchester United: De Gea; Young, Lindelof, Smalling, Shaw; Mata (Herrera 75′), Matic, Pogba; Rashford (Sanchez 85′), Lukaku, Martial (Pereira 84′)

Substitutes Not Used: Romero; Bailly, Darmian; Fred

Bookings: Nemanja Matic 13′, Ashley Young 27′, Juan Mata 67′, Alexis Sanchez 90+4′, Andreas Pereira 90+5′

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