Manchester United’s hopes of playing Champions League football next season were shattered following a stalemate against Chelsea. The Red Devils were three points off 4th place before the game and a win would have taken them level on points with the blues, giving them a great chance of qualifying for Europe’s elite competition.
Manchester United started the game with great intensity and looked much more comfortable in keeping the ball than in their previous two games. The return of Ander Herrera and Nemanja Matic in midfield helped them dominate possession in the middle of the park and control the tempo of the game. It was all Manchester United in the first 10 minutes and their early dominance paid off when Juan Mata scored the opening goal of the match following a wonderful move. The Red Devils continued to dominate the proceedings and had a couple of opportunities to put the game to bed, but failed to make the most of them. The Red Devils conceded just before half-time following a horrendous mistake from David de Gea. The second half had nothing to offer in terms of goals and the game ended 1-1 at the end of 90 minutes.
The hosts will be extremely disappointed not to win the game despite a dominant display. We pick 3 reasons why Manchester United drew against Chelsea at Old Trafford.
#3 Couldn’t capitalize on first-half dominance:
The Red Devils were completely dominant in the first 45 minutes and were very unlucky not to go into the half-time with a lead. If we take David de Gea’s mistake out of the equation, United were almost perfect in every department on the pitch in the first half. They were creating opportunities, enjoyed loads of possession in midfield and kept Chelsea’s talisman Eden Hazard quiet in the first half. However, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men failed to take their chances and left the game open for Chelsea. Their inability to capitalize on their dominance in the first half might have cost them all three points.
#2 Lacked urgency in the second half:
Manchester United started the game with great intensity and moved the ball forward with great one-touch passes, but they failed to replicate the same in the second half. They moved the ball in and around the midfield area and seemed happy to not take any risks The Manchester United players looked wary of Chelsea’s ability to hit them on the counter and threw bodies forward only after the 80th-minute mark. This helped the Blues grow into the game and led to them enjoying much more possession in the second half.
#1 David de Gea’s mistake:
The recent performances of David de Gea are something that has caught everyone by surprise. The Spaniard is regarded as one of the best goalkeepers in the world but has been in dreadful form this season. He looks deprived of confidence and has made some huge blunders off late.
De Gea was responsible for another howler against Chelsea and his mistake this time might have cost Manchester United a place in the Champions League next season. He spilled a long-range shot from Antonio Rudiger which fell straight into the path of Marcos Alonso, who made no mistake and put the ball into the back of the net with a sublime finish. The 28-year-old looks lost at the moment and it might be time for Solskjaer to consider resting him till the end of the season.