After blaming a lack of fortune for Man United's problems, David Moyes made his own luck in an improved second half on Tuesday. More of the same is required...
...and they did. David Moyes can afford to smile a little after his United side got noticeably stronger over 90 minutes. That's not happened enough times this season...
Draws have a bad reputation yet Americans' incestuous slur - that they are like kissing your sister - is belied by their dramatic potential, given the right context. Think England's cricketers against Australia at The Oval in 2005; or the football team in Rome in 1997; or Rocky Balboa and Apollo Creed failing to get up off the canvas in Philadelphia in 1976.
Draws are the strangest results in league football. In defeat and victory, whatever the bluster that can greet the former, you know where you stand. With draws it really is all down to interpretation and that can shift very easily.
When Chelsea drew at Manchester United it sent the world to sleep, but some suggested the result was decent enough for both new managers. 'Rival bosses Jose Mourinho and David Moyes draw comfort,' said the Express. 'Mourinho will be happier with the point,' said the BBC. 'Manchester United vs Chelsea felt like a win for David Moyes' was the online headline on Oliver Holt's Mirror piece.
Chelsea then lost on penalties to Bayern in the Super Cup, lost at Everton and were shocked at home by Basel - and suddenly a point at the champions became part of a four-match winless streak and the worst start to a season under Roman Abramovich. Mourinho was well entitled to laugh this off when victory against Fulham took Chelsea top on a Saturday night but that positive draw had been all-too easily held against him.
How does the Old Trafford draw look for Moyes now? Even allowing for the basis of Holt's thesis - that by selecting Wayne Rooney, a Chelsea target staying at United, the Scot had shown he was not going to be pushed around by the Portuguese - the result is now firmly part of the club's worst start to a season since 1989. Manchester United have looked impotent too often since their new manager's first home game (with the exception of Rooney, it's true, giving Holt if not Moyes a fig leaf for respectability) for the result not to count against him. Look at those charts of 'mini-leagues' showing United played three, won none after games against Liverpool and City.
One accusation has been that United now resemble Everton. Moyes's former club started the season with not one draw but three, 2-2 at Norwich and then goalless at home to West Brom and away to promoted Cardiff. Against a backdrop of a disappointing transfer window, Roberto Martinez's beginning at Goodison Park was not greeted with widespread fervour, even if there was plenty of patience on offer. James McCarthy arrived on deadline day to add to the recruitment from a side relegated in May but Marouane Fellaini departed a club who spent the international break in 15th.
Yet on the return to action, Chelsea were beaten at Goodison and West Ham were downed at Upton Park. Fulham came from behind to win the Capital One Cup tie but those three opening draws are now part of the last unbeaten run in the Premier League and victory at home to Newcastle tonight would take Everton up to fourth.
Draws should be scarce; mercifully Everton are the only team in the Premier League with three of them. Arsenal (W5, L1) are happy without any, even though Palace (W1, L5) wouldn't mind a couple. In Rocky II, Balboa beat Creed. Soýme draws deserve to be forgotten as matches - and that one at Old Trafford was just such. But even that draw deserved its changing afterlife as a statistic given shifting significance. Draws are definitely not pointless.
I (being a Chelsea fan) was very disappointed in the way Chelsea approached the game at Old Trafford. They showed them far too much respect. I am sure that had the fixture been set in next 2-3 weeks, then Chelsea would have set up in a far more attacking way. Jose still had thoughts of Sir¿s great United sides. Rather than Moyes decidedly average one. (relatively speaking...).- cozens