Chelsea 1, Manchester United 1
Casemiro rescued an injury time point for Manchester United at Chelsea but an injury to Raphael Varane put his World Cup at risk.Embed from Getty Images
Reds boss Erik ten Hag paid tribute to United’s resilience after a tough series of games against Omonia Nicosia, Newcastle United, Spurs, and Chelsea – including their best performance in years after the Spurs game on Wednesday.
He said: “It was a great finish. The team fought back after the fourth game in ten days and showed how they deal with set backs.”
“I saw the body language of my players – they found the spirit to fight back and get a well deserved point.”
The Dutchman added that United would have to wait for the swelling to go down before making any judgements on the injury to Varane.
He added: “We have to wait a minimum of 24 hours – even longer for that kind of injury.”
United were without Cristiano Ronaldo who was being punished for leaving Old Trafford early during the win over Spurs and the only change that Ten Hag made to the team was to bring in Christian Eriksen for Fred.
Luke Shaw, Marcus Rashford (twice) and Antony wasted great chances to take the lead while Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang went close in a first half that United initially dominated.
In the tactical battle between the two managers Chelsea boss Graham Potter blinked first, switching to a back four by bringing on Mateo Kovacic for Marc Cucurella to even up the odds in midfield.
The game became more even but the Reds were hit by a potentially devastating injury blow for United and France.
Varane fell awkwardly in the second half after trying to tackle Aubameyang and walked off the pitch in tears with the World Cup a month away.
It looked bleak for United after Trevoh Chalobah hit the crossbar with an effort before Chelsea substitute Armando Broja was rugby-tackled to the ground by Scott McTominay – a clear penalty.
With just 3 minutes to go it looked like the home side would nick the points after Jorginho sent David De Gea the wrong way from the penalty spot.
United would have more embarrassing questions to answer for not having Cristiano Ronaldo as an option off the bench having had problems in front of goal again.
But Casemiro proved he was more than just a defensive midfielder when he headed home Shaw’s cross from the left four minutes into injury time.
Arrizabalaga got his fingertips to the ball but couldn’t keep it out of his goal as it was adjudged to have crossed the line after going in off the post with the Spanish desperately jumping on it.