Chelsea 1-1 Manchester United: Jorginhollercoaster

Matt Stead

Manchester United put in a spirited performance to hold Premier League leaders Chelsea to a 1-1 draw at Stamford Bridge.

In their first domestic game since the 4-1 humbling against Watford that cost Ole Gunnar Solskjaer his job as manager, Manchester United were much improved away at their in-form counterparts.

Michael Carrick dropped Cristiano Ronaldo to mark what could be his only game in interim charge, with the appointment of Ralf Rangnick as head coach until the end of the season expected in due course.

The German might have been impressed with the performance from the visitors, who were far better defensively and much improved in the press.

After a goalless first half, Jadon Sancho capitalised on a Jorginho mistake on the halfway line to open the scoring and threaten an unlikely result.

Jorginho and Jadon Sancho

But the Chelsea midfielder atoned for his error by equalising from the penalty spot after Aaron Wan-Bissaka fouled Thiago Silva.

Both sides pressed for a winner thereafter, with Hakim Ziyech coming close, Fred failing to punish an errant Edouard Mendy pass and Antonio Rudiger skying a volley over the bar in stoppage-time, but even with Ronaldo introduced just after the hour and Romelu Lukaku coming on with ten minutes remaining, neither could find the breakthrough.

Manchester United set up well without the ball early on, looking to shut off Jorginho’s supply lines. The Blues skipper managed to break free of that squeeze, but United certainly appeared a tighter unit.

Callum Hudson-Odoi put Ziyech in behind only for his shot to be deflected and lose power. Marcos Alonso’s header then had Hudson-Odoi threatening but the finish let him down.

Left wing-back Alonso was wrong-footed by Wan-Bissaka failing to clear Reece James’ hanging cross, allowing another opening to slip by. before Antonio Rudiger thundered a 20-yard shot against the crossbar.

Silva’s fine tackle launched another raid, but Timo Werner could not generate enough space to avoid a block on his shot.

Bruno Fernandes was hugely fortunate to see Hudson-Odoi’s drive deflected after a horrid pass across the face of goal.

At the end of the half James’ whipped free-kick evaded everyone in the box, forcing David De Gea to palm around the post after the ball whipped up on the bounce.

One lapse of concentration after half-time was all it took for United to take the lead.

Jorginho failed to control Fernandes’ hanging clearance as Chelsea’s last man after a corner and the loose ball fell perfectly for the onrushing Sancho.

The former Borussia Dortmund man coasted in on goal and slipped the ball home, not even needing the lurking Marcus Rashford.

Chelsea upped the ante straight away in seeking an equaliser, but Ruben Loftus-Cheek could not pick out Werner on the break.

Werner then wasted a glorious chance, lashing wide under no pressure after Alonso’s corner deflected off Wan-Bissaka’s back.

Chelsea’s pressure finally told, however, as Wan-Bissaka clipped Silva in the box after another corner, with a penalty the only outcome.

The ice-cool Jorginho stepped up and buried the spot-kick, dragging Chelsea level and making up for his earlier error.

While Chelsea pressed for a win at the death, a stray pass from Mendy begged for a finish, only for Fred to chip the ball straight into the grateful Blues keeper’s arms.

Rudiger could have pinched the win for Chelsea but instead volleyed over the bar when unmarked at the far post.