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Football | Man United and Chelsea share the spoils at Old Trafford

It was a case of a share of the spoils as Manchester United and Chelsea played out a scoreless draw at Old Trafford.

The 0-0 stalemate sees the Red Devil’s pick up their first league point at home after having lost their previous two league home games against Spurs and Crystal Palace.

This was a game that had very few chances, but the best ones fell to Marcus Rashford. The England striker was denied twice by Edouard Mendy as the Chelsea 'keeper produced two excellent saves, including one in stoppage time to earn the Blues a point as relentless rain dampened proceedings on what could have been a very enjoyable spectacle.

Neither side deserved the three points that were on offer, therefore making a draw the fairest of results in Manchester. United were looking to win three consecutive top-flight meetings against the Blues, a feat they last achieved way back in September 1965 when United were under the leadership of Sir Matt Busby.

Chelsea are now winless in their last eight meetings against the Red Devils (D5, L3), which is their longest run without a top-flight win at Old Trafford since a 16-game streak between September 1920 and January 1957.

Their last win against United at Old Trafford when former Chelsea player now current United player Juan Mata strike gave the Blues a victory over United back in 2013.

Both managers made some changes coming into today's proceedings with United boss recalling Harry Maguire into the fold as one of three changes. The centre back started alongside Victor Lindelof in exchange for Axel Tuanzebe, who dropped to the bench. Daniel James and Juan Mata also got the nod in the middle of the park in place of Alex Telles and the suspended Anthony Martial. Edison Cavani started on the bench alongside Paul Pogba and Mason Greenwood.

Chelsea boss Frank Lampard made only one chance following their draw against Sevilla in the Champions League earlier this week. Mason Mount dropped of the line-up to the bench and was replaced by Cesar Azpilicueta, therefore allowing the Blues to shore up their backline with a three-man unit consisting of Kai Havertz, Timo Werner and Christian Pulisic.

Neither side created many chances in the opening half, but there was a potential penalty claim for the Blues when Azpilicueta was adjudged to be fouled by Harry Maguire, the Chelsea skipper felt hard done by as when you look at it Maguire clearly had two hands wrapped around him but referee Martin Atkinson didn’t agree with the Chelsea skipper and nothing more came of it.

Truth speaking there were not that many positives to take away from today's game, but both sets of defenders were well on top in a very poor spectacle.

Over the course of the ninety minutes, Chelsea would feel to be the happier of the two sides as they kept a second clean sheet in a row, and their third in four games.

As for United, they have spared their blushes from the agony and despair of potentially losing their first three home fixtures for the first time since 1930. On the other hand, this is the first time that the Red Devil’s have failed to win any of their first three home games, a run that dates back all the way to 1972.

United have finished the day in fifteenth place on seven points, while Chelsea are in sixth on nine points.

Johnny O’Connell

 

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