Manchester United 0, Chelsea 0
Edinson Cavani made his debut for Manchester United but the Reds were held at home by Chelsea in a drab goalless draw.Embed from Getty Images
And the Reds had also failed to score for the first time in 30 games in all competitions since February as they couldn’t get past Chelsea keeper Edouard Mendy when they eventually did get a sight of goal.
They also rode their luck as Harry Maguire’s clumsy challenge on Cesar Azpilicueta somehow escaped a strong penalty shout for Chelsea at the end of the first half.
The draw left the Reds with just seven points from five Premier League games in 15th place.
Reds manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was grateful for the point after a hard week but wished that United fans were at Old Trafford to see the United debut of ex-Paris St Germain striker Edinson Cavani.
He said: “We wanted to win but it was a solid performance when you consider the week we’ve had.
On “Edinson had a nice run to the near post and flick and almost had one but for a block by Tiago Silva.
“I wish we had the Stretford End full, we miss them a lot. The edge has gone, I can’t wait to get the fans back.”
And Solskjaer admitted that United might have got away with Chelsea’s penalty claim, adding: “You always take a chance if you touch another player. Harry shouldn’t have his arms around him.”
It was a conservative game of few chances, with Chelsea deploying a 3-4-3 formation to close down Juan Mata in a rain filled evening.
Chelsea might have been solid defensively but they lacked a spark going forward, however Cesar Azpilicueta might have won a penalty when he was hauled down by Harry Maguire who had his arms around the Blues captain’s neck as both went up to challenge fa ball ino the area just before half time.
The United captain was reprieved despite a brief VAR check.
And despite few chances for either side Chelsea were indebted to their goalkeeper Edouard Mendy for shutting the Reds out.
Cavani, 33, came on in the 58th minute for his United debut, along with Paul Pogba, and almost had a dream start when he flicked a Fernandes cross into the side netting.
And Mendy made an injury time save to deny Marcus Rashford’s fierce shot to earn Chelsea a second goalless draw in a row as Frank Lampard looked to tighten up his leaky defence at a rainswept Old Trafford.
MATCH STATS – Manchester United 0, Chelsea 0
Man Utd: De Gea, Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Shaw, McTominay (Greenwood 83), Fred, Mata (Pogba 58), Fernandes, James (Cavani 58), Rashford
Man Utd subs not used: Henderson, Matic, van de Beek, Tuanzebe
Booked: Shaw, Fred, Rashford
Chelsea: Mendy, Azpilicueta, Thiago Silva, Zouma, James, Jorginho, Kante, Chilwell, Havertz (Mount 72), Pulisic (Ziyech 81), Wener (Abraham 71)
Chelsea subs not used: Caballero, Rudiger, Kovacic, Giroud
Referee: Martin Atkinson