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Poor finishing proves costly for the Blues & 5 things we learned after Manchester United hold Chelsea to draw

Poor finishing proves costly for the Blues & 5 things we learned after Manchester United hold Chelsea to draw

Chelsea vs Manchester United

Chelsea and Manchester United played out the marquee Premier League clash of the weekend a short time ago.

The two sides headed into the match having enjoyed pretty contrasting starts to the campaign.

Chelsea, for their part, began the day top of the Premier League and would regain their three-point lead atop of the table with a win on Sunday.

Manchester United, on the other hand, were languishing down in 9th, having lost four of their last five league matches.

So, it was not too surprising to see Thomas Tuchel’s men come away with the victory on Sunday.

Jadon Sancho was able to open the scoring for Man United after 49 minutes, capitalising on a Jorginho error:

Chelsea, though, somewhat deservedly, equalised with just over 20 minutes to play after Aaron Wan-Bissaka gave away a penalty, which Jorginho converted.

But Chelsea could not find a winner and were eventually forced to settle for a share of the spoils, despite probably being the better side on the day and Antonio Rudiger smashing an effort over 96 minutes in, despite being unmarked in the box.

Here are five things 101 learned from the tie.

Cristiano Ronaldo benched vs Chelsea

The main taking point prior to kick-off was, obviously, Cristiano Ronaldo being benched vs Chelsea.

The Portuguese is Manchester United’s top scorer this term and is, despite his age, still one of the best players in the world.

However, there has already been some chatter regarding Ronaldo’s playing time going forward following the news that Ralf Rangnick, known for his pressing game, is expected to take charge of United for the remainder of the season.

Now, after being benched by Michael Carrick on Sunday, that chatter is only likely to increase.

But, to be fair to Carrick, the logic behind benching Ronaldo was seemingly there.

The veteran forward is not an avid presser, hence the concern about Rangnick’s arrival. But, when playing a team as good as Chelsea, you cannot really afford to have one of your players, even if it is a striker, not pressuring their players.

So, on paper, Carrick opting to start Jadon Sancho and Rashford up top over Ronaldo did make some sense.

Rangnick already having a say?

But whilst the Ronaldo benching decision may have been made by Carrick, could it also have been made by the incoming Rangnick?

Though not confirmed yet, it does look as though Ralf Rangnick will become United’s interim manager and the former RB Leipzig man, judging by United’s overall game vs Chelsea, does appear to be having some sort of say at Man United.

Ronaldo being dropped, though purely speculation, seems like something the pressing-orientated German would do in a big game such as Sunday’s.

Then, as soon as the game began at Stamford Bridge, Man United’s front three of Sancho, Rashford and Bruno Fernandes were pressing the Blues’ backline heavily.

Given Man United have not really been known as a pressing side under Solskjaer over the last three years, could this be Rangnick having an impact on the team already?

Wan-Bissaka needs some proper coaching

Aaron Wan-Bissaka would sign for Manchester United in the summer of 2019.

When he first arrived in Manchester there was an acceptance that the right-back was not the most astute at attacking, but his defensive work was superb and the attacking side of his game would be improved upon during his time at Old Trafford.

However, it is fair to say that Wan-Bissaka remains poor going forward and, perhaps more concerningly, seems to have become worse defensively.

This was once again on show vs Chelsea, with the Englishman dragged all over the place by Chelsea’s marauding wing-backs and their cross-field balls.

AWB also gave away a penalty 67 minutes into the game, wiping out Thiago Silva when attempting to clear the ball.

The 24-year-old has shown obvious talent over the years, but he appears to be one of the players suffering most from the overall mess Manchester United are as a club currently. Can United’s incoming interim manager help save his career in Manchester?

Sancho finding his feet?

Following Ole Gunnar Solskjaer departing Manchester United, Jadon Sancho has finally begun to find his feet at United.

In his first 14 games as a Red Devil, Sancho did not provide a single goal contribution.

However, Sancho would net his first goal for the club in midweek vs Villarreal. Then, after pressing Jorginho well, he burst into the Chelsea box on a counter and slotted past Edouard Mendy.

Of course, Sancho finally starting to score as soon as Ole leaves could be just a coincidence, but Man United fans will no doubt just be glad the 21-year-old appears to be finally finding his feet.

Timo Werner remains goal-shy

Throughout Romelu Lukaku’s time on the sidelines, Chelsea actually did not struggle for goals too much.

This, though, was largely down to some impressive showings from the now-injured Ben Chilwell and Reece James.

Now, with both Timo Werner and Lukaku back, Chelsea fans were likely hoping to see the goals flowing in the coming weeks. However, Werner was in from the off on Sunday and his display was not great.

The 25-year-old would once again produce some pretty poor finishing vs Manchester United, with his display no doubt leaving Chelsea fans wondering if Werner will ever find his goal-scoring boots for them.

Could Chelsea have won the tie if Werner was not struggling so much in front of goal?

Read more:

Why the possibility of Paul Pogba extending Manchester United stay has grown

Marcus Rashford in trouble? The bizarre reason incoming Manchester United boss Ralph Rangnick avoids players with tattoos

 


This article was edited by Ben Browning.

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Premier League table

# Team MP D P
1 Manchester City 23 41 57
2 Liverpool FC 22 39 48
3 Chelsea FC 24 30 47
4 Manchester United 22 6 38
5 West Ham United 23 10 37
6 Arsenal FC 21 8 36
7 Tottenham Hotspur 20 2 36
8 Wolverhampton Wanderers 21 3 34
9 Brighton & Hove Albion 22 0 30
10 Leicester City 20 -3 26
11 Aston Villa 21 -4 26
12 Southampton FC 22 -8 25
13 Crystal Palace 22 -3 24
14 Brentford FC 23 -12 23
15 Leeds United 21 -16 22
16 Everton FC 20 -11 19
17 Norwich City 22 -32 16
18 Newcastle United 21 -22 15
19 Watford FC 20 -17 14
20 Burnley FC 18 -11 12

Premier League 21/22

Topscorers
Disciplinary
Assists
Player Team Goals
Salah, Mohamed Liverpool FC 16
Jota, Diogo Liverpool FC 10
Vardy, Jamie Leicester City 9
Antonio, Michail West Ham United 8
Dennis, Emmanuel Watford FC 8
Ronaldo, Cristiano Manchester United 8
Son, Heung Min Tottenham Hotspur 8
Smith-Rowe, Emile Arsenal FC 8
Raphinha Leeds United 8
Mane, Sadio Liverpool FC 8
Mount, Mason Chelsea FC 7
Fernandes, Bruno Manchester United 7
Gallagher, Conor Crystal Palace 7
Maupay, Neal Brighton & Hove Albion 7
Sterling, Raheem Manchester City 7
Silva, Bernardo Manchester City 7
Bowen, Jarrod West Ham United 6
Mahrez, Riyad Manchester City 6
Saka, Bukayo Arsenal FC 6
Maddison, James Leicester City 6