Cristiano Ronaldo equalized Marcus Alonso’s volley opener as Manchester United and Chelsea played a 1-1 Premier League draw at Old Trafford on Thursday night
Thomas TuchelThe team of had the better of the opening phase and if it hadn’t been already David de Gea, should have been in the lead at the break. The Spaniard looked confident at United’s net as he was called up several times – his denial Kai Havertz The most important moment in the otherwise normal first 45 minutes was certainly the one-on-one game against the German.
However, after almost an hour of play, the game exploded to life. First, Chelsea deservedly took the lead Markus Alonsowho blasted home a back-post volley after Havertz caught a glimpse of a clipped cross from Reece James.
Cristiano Ronaldo then met an almost immediate response, collecting Nemanja Matic’s loop pass before passing the unlucky Edouard Mendy. James then missed a golden opportunity to win the contest when his sweeping left foot shot hit the outside of the post.
Here, mirror football Rate the winners and losers of Old Trafford…
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The returning Chelsea right-back was a constant threat, running all night over United left-back Alex Telles. James’ strength, pace and movement were too much for the Brazilian, who kept getting out of position.
Had Havertz been more clinical, James could have racked up a couple of assists in the first half. All of Chelsea’s good work came from the right and in particular from the 22-year-old who was instrumental in Alonso’s opener.
Liverpool’s Trent Alexander-Arnold has been the England right-back stealing the headlines in recent weeks but James once again underscored what a full-back he is during a dominant performance at Old Trafford. Man of the match, without a doubt.
David de Gea
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The Spain stopper admitted this week he has felt “embarrassed” and “terrible” on countless occasions while playing for United this season. However, he should be very proud of his individual performance on Thursday night.
De Gea made the difference for the Red Devils in the first half and almost single-handedly kept his side in the game. The 31-year-old made a crucial save of Havertz in a first-half one-on-one – one of several times he was challenged in the opening 45 minutes.
United’s star-studded squad have struggled significantly this season but De Gea has been one of the few exceptions. On Thursday night at Old Trafford, the goalkeeper did his bit again to avoid further humiliation.
Michael Steele/Getty Images)
When Ronaldo scored United’s equalizer at Old Trafford, he broke his Chelsea curse. As of Thursday night, the Portuguese superstar had not scored in any of his previous 11 appearances against the Blues.
However, with a deft touch and a rifle punch, the 37-year-old put an end to his blues hoodoo. The strike means Ronaldo has now remarkably scored eight of United’s last nine goals.
Returning to United this season has been far from ideal as the Red Devils continue to lag far behind theirs First League rivals. However, Ronaldo should be proud of his efforts as he scored his 16th goal of the league season.
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With Luke Shaw out injured, Telles had another chance to impress. However, the left-back proved to be one of United’s weakest links.
The Brazilian was constantly thrown out of position as the always dangerous James took advantage of the space behind him. Telle’s attacking tendencies were exploited and it was not surprising that Chelsea’s opening goal came from the bottom right.
Before kick-off, Ralf Rangnick warned his United players that new manager Erik ten Hag would be watching and Telles will have done little to impress his new manager with that performance.
Chelsea could have been comfortably ahead at half-time had Havertz shown a more ruthless side. The German missed several chances in the opening 45 minutes, including a tame header, a miss into the sidenet and a poor strike in the one-on-one against De Gea.
Tuchel looked visibly frustrated as the 22-year-old missed Chelsea’s best first 45 chance and it was no surprise he was sent off after 70 minutes. In his place came Romelu Lukaku.
Havertz has been the Blues’ regular for many times this season, scoring all sorts of important goals and showing everything Lukaku was lacking. However, Thursday just wasn’t to be his night.
Marcus Rashford, who has hardly been used by Rangnick since his arrival, was given a rare start as United’s injuries took their toll. Both Edinson Cavani and Jadon Sancho were unavailable, giving the 24-year-old a golden opportunity to show his current manager what he’s been missing.
However, things didn’t go according to plan. Rashford continued to look lacking in confidence and remained anonymous throughout much of the competition.
The England star appears to be in dire need of a summer break and a chance to write off this season. A fresh start under Ten Hag is badly needed.
https://www.mirror.co.uk/sport/football/news/winners-loser-man-utd-chelsea-26827099 Three winners and three losers in a Man Utd-Chelsea tie in top four