Missing out on a chance to maintain their three-point buffer at the top of the table, Chelsea had to settle for a point on Sunday afternoon as they played out a 1-1 draw against Manchester United at Old Trafford.
Although many might have expected them to lay down what could have been a real marker in west London, the Blues have now played out back-to-back stalemates on home soil after another 1-1 draw against Burnley before heading into November’s international break.
With United managing to find some kind of Premier League boost as Michael Carrick once again found himself in the dugout, we have taken a look at the main talking points as the two English giants faced off on Sunday afternoon.
A disappointing afternoon for Chelsea
Storming their way to a 4-0 romp against Juventus in midweek while on Champions League duties, there is no doubt that Thomas Tuchel’s side made their return to Stamford Bridge on Sunday confident of laying down another marker in the capital.
However, while Hakim Ziyech and Callum Hudson-Odoi might have forced David de Gea into
a pair of early saves after they come flying out the traps, the former Borussia Dortmund boss saw his side fail to find a similar clinical edge that has seen them gain a host of plaudits since opening the 2021/22 campaign.
Left stunned after Jorginho’s dreadful mistake on the halfway line just five minutes after the break, it is hard to argue that Chelsea weren’t more than worthy of their point, despite their struggles in the final third.
Watching their Italian midfielder redeem his earlier mistake as he converted from the penalty spot following Aaron Wan-Bissaka’s reckless challenge 19 minutes after United’s opener, the Blues were handed a golden late chance to snatch maximum points.
With the ball falling nicely to defender Antonio Rudiger following Christian Pulisic’s cutback in the final minute of injury-time, the German defender failed to keep his cool as he blazed his effort high and wide.
United must take the positives
With almost everyone around Stamford Bridge left stunned by the news that Cristiano Ronaldo was having to settle for a spot on the bench, Manchester United will be desperate to take the positives away from what was a largely rugged display in west London.
On what has been another rollercoaster week at Old Trafford, the struggling English giants were making their first Premier League appearance since Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was given his marching orders after their woeful 4-1 defeat against Watford last weekend.
Picking up a much-needed 2-0 win away at Villarreal on Champions League duties in midweek, the arrival of Ralf Ragnick on a six-month deal was finally announced on Monday morning.
With their new boss almost certainly watching on, the former RB Leipzig manager will still
know that he has quite the job on his hands after arriving at Old Trafford.
Failing to keep hold of their shock lead after Jadon Sancho opened the scoring five minutes after the half-time break, Sunday’s guests still offered little in the final and remain in an uphill battle to clinch a top-four finish this season.
What’s next for both?
Now having to settle for back-to-back 1-1 draws at Stamford Bridge on either side of the international break, Chelsea will be heading into a stacked Christmas schedule hoping to maintain their spot at the top of the table.
While Manchester City’s 2-1 victory against West Ham earlier in the day might have cut their buffer to just a single point, Tuchel’s side will be smelling the chance to make an immediate return to winning ways when they face off against London rivals Watford on Wednesday night.
As for United, while Carrick’s temporary squad might have managed to hang onto a point at Stamford Bridge on Sunday, the Reds will be desperate to try and find some sort of form now Ragnick has arrived.
Sat down in eighth and already 12 points adrift of top spot, United will be next seen on Tuesday night when they welcome Arsenal to Old Trafford.
Chelsea: Mendy, Chalobah, Rudiger, Silva, Alonso, James, Jorginho, Loftus-Cheek, Ziyech, Hudson-Odoi, Werner
Subs: Lukaku, Mount, Pulisic
Manchester United: De Gea, Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Bailly, Telles, Fred, Matic, McTominay, Fernandes, Sancho, Rashford
Subs: Lingard, Van De Beek, Ronaldo
Goals: Chelsea: Jorginho (Pen) 69’ – Manchester United: Sancho 50’
Yellow Cards: Chelsea: James, Jorginho, Tuchel (not on pitch) – Manchester United: McTominay, Rashford, Telles
Red Cards: N/A
Referee: Anthony Taylor