Chelsea 1, Man Utd 1
Jorginho’s penalty ensured spoils were shared after Chelsea cancelled out Jadon Sancho’s opening goal for Manchester United at Stamford Bridge.
The result left United languishing in 8th place – outside of the European slots – while Chelsea went a point clear of Manchester City in second place in the table.
Michael Carrick took charge for Manchester United for the second, and possibly final, time before the highly anticipated appointment of German Ralph Rangnick.
Carrick took responsibility for the decision to bench Ronaldo – declaring that likely new manager Rangnick didn’t have any influence in benching the talismanic striker.
He said: ”I’m slightly disappointed, we came here to win the game, and we knew it would be tough.”
After the encouraging win at Villarreal in midweek, Carrick made four changes.
Harry Maguire was suspended and United had a host of injuries including Paul Pogba, Raphael Varane and Luke Shaw out of their back four.
Cristiano Ronaldo was surprisingly left out of the starting line-up at Stamford Bridge as Carrick opted to protect the depleted back line with all three senior United midfielders playing – Fred, Scott McTominay, and Nemanja Matic.
Maguire, Donny van de Beek, and Anthony Martial were also left out as Eric Bailly, Nemanja Matic, Bruno Fernandes, and Marcus Rashford came into the side.
This side was built for solidity and hard work at Stamford Bridge but they had to fight to stay level after the home side hit shot after shot rained in on the United goal.
Victor Lindelof offered little resistance as Callum Hudson-Odoi evaded him and got a shot in on David De Gea’s goal which the Spaniard kept out.
Antonio Rudiger hit the crossbar with a curling effort and De Gea saved from Hudson Odoi after Bruno Fernandes’ misplaced pass fell to the Chelsea man while Reece James fired wide as the Reds were forced onto the back foot in a one side first half.
There was a glimmer of hope for United as Jadon Sancho almost got on the end of a long ball up field from Fred at the end of the first half.
Marcus Rashford chopped down Trevoh Chalobah early in the second half but a terrible touch by Jorginho after the Blues wasted the resulting free kick gifted possession to United who broke with Sancho and Rashford.
Sancho didn’t need to pass to his team mate as he completed his solo run from his own half with a shimmy and smart finish to the delight of the travelling fans.
It was Sancho’s first Premier League goal of the season and his second goal in as many games for the Reds.
Sancho was replaced by Ronaldo, who had been stewing on the United bench, after 64 minutes.
But Chelsea continued to squeeze the Reds until Aaron Wan-Bissaka brought down Tiago Silva in the area with a clumsy challenge.
Jorginho went on to redeem his earlier error with the equaliser from the penalty spot, sending De Gea – who had saved twice from the penalty spot against Watford recently – the wrong way.
Werner and James were wasteful as Chelsea looked for a winner, Fred’s tame shot was too easy to save for Edouard Mendy.
But when Pulisic’s cross reached Rudiger, in plenty of space deep in injury time, the Chelsea defender got a rush of blood and lashed it over the crossbar with the goal at his mercy as the home side rued 24 shots on the United goal to three shots on the Chelsea goal for the under pressure Reds.