Late drama galore as Manchester United pegs back Chelsea
LONDON -- Chelsea and Manchester United battled to an entertaining draw at Stamford Bridge amid late drama galore.
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A late Jorginho penalty looked to have won the three points for Chelsea but Casemiro’s header deep into stoppage time just crept over the to grab United a deserved point.
Graham Potter’s unbeaten run as Chelsea boss has been extended to eight games in all competitions, while Erik ten Hag will be delighted with this side backing up a win against Tottenham with this battling point at Chelsea.
With the point Chelsea have 21 on the season, one point ahead of Manchester United.
What we learned from Chelsea vs Manchester United
Chess match ends even: This was an intriguing tactical battle as both managers teased the other to try and be more attack-minded. United and Chelsea both tried to leave as many forward players forward as possible and it turned the game into a bit of a stalemate. Potter’s decision to bring on Kovacic after 35 minutes gave Chelsea the control they wanted as they switched to a back four and went to a 4-2-3-1. It worked. Erik ten Hag then replied early in the second half by bringing on Fred to solidify midfield and move Eriksen further forward. United won the first half. Chelsea won the second. There was no check mate this time.
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Casemiro and Eriksen class gives United sturdy foundation: The experienced duo of Eriksen and Casemiro got United off to a fine start as they ticked things over nicely in midfield and gave United a foundation to get something from the game. It wasn’t their fault Antony and Marcus Rashford missed chances. The way Eriksen and Casemiro were so calm under pressure was incredible to watch up close and their movement off the ball makes everything look so easy when they’re on it. And then of course Casemiro had the quality to finish when it mattered most.
Rashford, Aubameyang struggle: The forwards on both teams struggled to have an impact and perhaps both Chelsea and Manchester United will be better without a true No. 9? Their fluid attacking systems rely on speed and movement and having a static forward just sees everything break down. Aubameyang and Rashford were isolated for most of this match and that meant Mount, Sterling, Sancho and Antony couldn’t build off them and combine in the final third.
This was a tactical journey. United dominated midfield early on and got the ball to Sancho, Bruno Fernandes and Antony often and Chelsea couldn’t get going. Both teams tried to press high on the other from goal kicks but United played out better than Chelsea. Then came the big switch. Kovacic on for Cucurella as Potter went to a back four and an extra man in midfield. It worked a treat and helped Chelsea grab a point.
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Stars of the show
Mateo Kovacic: His clever movement and forward passes got Chelsea going after he was brought on.
Casemiro: Silky on the ball, shut Chelsea’s attacking lanes down in the first half and then popped up with the equalizer when United needed him most.
Trevoh Chalobah: Fantastic display as he bullied Marcus Rashford, was calm on the ball and his positioning was excellent.
Luke Shaw: Great to see him in full flow like this. Flashed a shot just wide in the first half and great cross to set up United’s equalizer.
Chelsea head to RB Salzburg on Tuesday in the UEFA Champions League and then head to Brighton on Saturday, Oct. 29. Manchester United host Sheriff Tiraspol in the Europa League on Thursday and then host West Ham on Sunday, Oct. 30.
Graham Potter reaction: On tactical switch, why Kovacic didn’t start
from Joe Prince-Wright at Stamford Bridge.
“The first 30 minutes, I thought Manchester United were better and forced us back, we had to adjust a little bit there and get an extra player in the midfield and put a little bit more pressure on them. From that point I thought we did well in the game. We are disappointed to concede late but over the course of the game I think a point is about right for us. I don’t think we can sit here and say we deserved to win because we didn’t perform. We didn’t do enough to win the game but effort wise what the boys put in was amazing.”
"[Kovacic] has been nursing a knee all season pretty much and then you look at the schedule, it’s Sunday, Wednesday, Saturday -- it is impossible for him to start all the games. We had planned for him to have less time on the pitch but things have conspired.”
How to watch Chelsea vs Manchester United live, stream link and start time
Kick off: 12:30pm ET, SaturdayTV Channel: NBCOnline: Stream via NBCSports.com
Chelsea vs Manchester United live analysis! - By Joe Prince-Wright at Stamford Bridge
GOALLL! Casemiro. I don’t believe it. What a header. It hits the post, bounces over the line and Kepa tried to keep it out. But it went in. Sensational drama.
GOALLL! Chelsea 1-0 up as Jorginho slots home. McTominay with the assist...
PENALTY TO CHELSEA! McTominay hauls down Broja. What a ridiculous decision.
Armando Broja and Chukwuemeka on for Sterling and Loftus-Cheek. Last throw of the dice for Chelsea.
CROSSBAR! Trevoh Chalobah heads onto the top of the bar as he towers above Fred.
Chelsea have had the better of the play in the second half. The ball just hasn’t dropped to Raheem Sterling in the right areas on a few occasions. United are trying to get back into this game but Chelsea are dominant.
Raphael Varane is off with what looked like a knee injury. He was down for a while and looked to be in tears but then refused the stretcher to carry him off and walked around the pitch pretty easily. His reaction said a lot. He reacted like someone who thinks they might not be going to the World Cup due to injury.
Fred is on for Jadon Sancho. Bruno Fernandes is out on the left now.
Second half is underway here at Chelsea. Fred is getting instructions from Erik ten Hag as United will make an early change. His channeling his inner Graham Potter.
Chelsea’s young American goalkeeper, Gabriel ‘Gaga’ Slonina, is here at Stamford Bridge. He was chatting with Peter Schmeichel at half time and is over on a trip to London. Chelsea signed him in the summer and he’s been on loan back at Chicago Fire.
🧤Goalkeepers union in the press room here at Chelsea.— Joe Prince-Wright (@JPW_NBCSports) October 22, 2022
Lovely to see 🇺🇸 #USMNT rising star Gabriel Slonina, 18, chatting with Peter Schmeichel and Hilario.
After his loan back to Chicago Fire in #MLS, Slonina spending a bit of time in London and getting settled in. pic.twitter.com/p01hXw3bck
HALF TIME: Chelsea 0-0 Manchester United - Not a classic 45 minutes but very intriguing tactically.
CHANCE! Huge chance missed for Manchester United by Antony. He is played clean through and Thiago Silva does just enough to put him off as Antony drills the effort wide. He can’t believe it. The United bench here at Stamford Bridge are equally stunned.
CHANCE! Another great opportunity for Chelsea as Mount finds Sterling and his touch towards Aubameyang is too heavy. Chelsea much more dangerous now.
CLOSE! The sub has already had an impact. Kovacic finds Sterling and the loose ball is swept towards goal by Aubameyang but it’s just off target.
Kovacic comes on for Chelsea. 35 minutes in. This is needed. Chelsea have no control. Cucurella off. Chelsea have gone to a back 4 with the trio of Kovacic, Jorginho and Loftus-Cheek in midfield. Intriguing. Potter was not liking what he was seeing.
SAVE! Great stop down low by Kepa. Marcus Rashford surged towards goal but his powerful shot across goal is pushed away.
It’s all United at the moment...
It has all calmed down a bit now. Only three total shots so far. Slow burner.
Casemiro and Eriksen playing some lovely passes to get United out of midfield. They ooze class and experience.
At the other end a magnificent sliding clearance from Varane with Aubameyang lurking. This is opening up now. Lovely stuff.
SAVE! Kepa with a good stop down low as Antony curls an effort from the edge of the box. United look dangerous going forward.
This is like a chess game. Erik ten Hag and Graham Potter both trying to draw the other out.
Chelsea are lining up in a 3-3-1-3 formation when Manchester United have goal kicks. Trying to push high and stop United building out of the back. Didn't work that time as United just played it out and Shaw fired just wide with Azpilicueta caught out. #CFC 0-0 #MUFC #CHEMUN— Joe Prince-Wright (@JPW_NBCSports) October 22, 2022
Antony clattered by Cucurella and the Brazilian wasn’t exactly delighted with it. We are right behind the bench here and Erik ten Hag is demanding more from his team. Lots of gesticulating going on.
“Just like London, your city is blue!” sing the Chelsea fans to Manchester United. Terrific banter.
KICK OFF: We are underway here at the Bridge! A clash of new managers and a clash of styles between two Premier League giants. This should be epic.
Teams are out warming up here at the Bridge and Bruno Fernandes is having a lovely time whacking balls into the net. Casemiro just scored a lovely header too. At the other end Christian Pulisic is slapping Broja on the head after he messed up with the keppy-ups.
There is optimism surrounding the Manchester United camp here in west London. Putting the Cristiano Ronaldo ridiculousness to one side, they were very good against Spurs in midweek. Can they match that intensity again?
Team news is here! Four changes for Chelsea with Chilwell, Sterling, Aubameyang and Thiago Silva all coming in. Looks like Azpilicueta at right wing-back with Chilwell at left wing-back and Cucurella at left-sided center back. United make one change with Eriksen coming in for Fred. United’s bench is looking pretty weak...
Welcome to Stamford Bridge! It is lovely and warm for late October here. And this rivalry has been very heated over the years. Chelsea are unbeaten under Graham Potter and Erik ten Hag’s Manchester United also look like a team who believes in what they’re doing. Obviously, no Cristiano Ronaldo today given his antics in midweek but there are still so many superstars who are set to dazzle.
The Blues look much better defensively and are clicking through the gears in attack. Potter has had to deal with injuries to Fofana, Kante, Gallagher and James but Chelsea’s squad is deep and they look like they will easily finish in the top four and challenge to win trophies. Going forward they are now more dangerous with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Mason Mount and Raheem Sterling providing balance and Havertz, Broja and Pulisic are also being rotated in. However, Chelsea haven’t won any of their last nine Premier League games against Manchester United as the Red Devils have become a bogey team for the Blues.
As for Manchester United, yet another Cristiano Ronaldo saga has dominated the last few days as he walked off early against Tottenham after being an unused sub and will not be in the squad to face Chelsea. On the pitch Erik ten Hag’s side were excellent in their home win against Spurs and they have now won six of their 10 games this season and there is a real togetherness about this squad.
In-form players to keep an eye on
Mason Mount has been in fine form for Chelsea as he scored twice at Villa last weekend and is looking really sharp in the run of play. Kepa Arrizabalaga has kept five clean sheets in a row in all competitions and made some superb saves against Villa and Brentford as he’s keeping Edouard Mendy out of the team. As for United, Bruno Fernandes is getting back to his very best, while Casemiro has added extra steel in midfield and Antony is delivering real quality each and every game.
Chelsea team news, injuries, lineup
Wesley Fofana, Reece James and N’Golo Kante remain long-term injury absentees for Chelsea, while Conor Gallagher came off in the first half of their midweek draw at Brentford due to illness but is available for this clash. It will be intriguing to see what formation and personnel Potter goes with as he’s been mixing things up pretty much every single game. Aubameyang, Sterling and Mount all start in attack, while Thiago Silva comes in at center back and Ben Chilwell starts.
Manchester United team news, injuries, lineup
Cristiano Ronaldo won’t be appearing for United after his actions in midweek, while Harry Maguire and Anthony Martial are working their way back to fitness but won’t be ready for this. Donny van de Beek, Brandon Williams, Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Axel Tuanzebe remain out. After a gruelling week, Erik ten Hag only makes one change with Christian Eriksen coming in for Fred in central midfield.