Manchester United were held to a 1-1 draw by fellow Premier League top four hopefuls Chelsea, with David de Gea guilty of another big mistake in a big match.
Manchester United’s hopes of ending the 2018-19 season with a top four finish in the Premier League took a big hit on Sunday, when they were held to a 1-1 draw by rivals Chelsea at Old Trafford.
With Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal both losing their matches at the weekend, Manchester United had a great chance to capitalise on the situation and move up the Premier League table and they did start well, with Spanish playmaker Juan Mata getting them off the mark against his former club, after some fine work by Romelu Lukaku and Luke Shaw.
Chelsea grew into the game with time and found a way to equalise out of nowhere close to half-time. Antonio Rudiger struck an effort from distance at Manchester United’s goal, which David de Gea spilled right into the path of onrushing Marcos Alonso, who prodded home to make it 1-1.
The second half went by without any major chances for either sides until the stoppage time, when substitute Marcos Rojo’s header from a corner was cleared off the goal-line by Pedro, before Chelsea striker Gonzalo Higuain was denied by de Gea in the final seconds of the game as both the teams shared the spoils.
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) April 28, 2019
The result meant Manchester United continue to remain sixth in the table, three points off of fourth-placed Chelsea with only two matches left in the season. Here’s how we rated the Red Devils’ performances on Sunday.
David de Gea: 4/10
The Spaniard had very little to do for most of the first half, until that fateful moment when he spilled a straightforward save from Rudiger’s shot, allowing Alonso to equalise. Did make a crucial save to deny Higuain late on, but another mistake in a high-profile game from de Gea, after his errors against the likes of Arsenal, Barcelona, Manchester City will have shattered his confidence.
Ashley Young: 6/10
A much-improved display from the Manchester United captain in comparison to his recent showings. Looked to get forward when the opportunity presented itself and managed to deliver a number of inviting crosses into the box. Defended fairly well against the lively left flank of Chelsea.
Eric Bailly: 6.5/10
Returning to the starting lineup after having recovered from his head injury, the Ivory Coast international had a solid game at the back. Had made the most number of tackles by an United player until his day had to be cut short by a season-ending injury. Came close to scoring with a header from Young’s corner prior to that in the game.
Victor Lindelof: 7/10
Another steady and composed display from the Swedish international. Had little trouble dealing with Higuain who hardly offered any threat on the day. Used the ball well when in possession.
Luke Shaw: 7.5/10
A performance filled with energy and purpose from the Manchester United left-back. Ran up and down the left flank and set Mata up for the opening goal with a darting run and a neat pass for the Spaniard. Defensively assured and reliable as well.
Nemanja Matic: 6/10
Back into the starting lineup after being dropped for the derby earlier in the week, the Serb put in a much improved shift in comparison to his disastrous outing against Everton. Kept things in check in the midfield, circulated the ball well, although could have shown more adventure with his passing at times. Lucky to have gotten away with a flailing elbow on Cesar Azpilicueta.
Ander Herrera: 7/10
Recovered from a hamstring problem to return to the side after missing out for close to two months, the Spaniard’s energy in the midfield was clearly something that Manchester United were missing big time. Pressed the opponents hard, went into challenges strongly and distributed well when in possession. Losing him to PSG would be a blow for Manchester United.
Paul Pogba: 6/10
A bit of a hit and a miss for the Frenchman on Sunday. Showed his quality on the ball and caused Chelsea some problems while on a number of occasions he was also guilty of holding on to it too much and trying do all by himself. Pushed hard in search of a second goal after the break but couldn’t inspire a win.
Juan Mata: 7/10
Scored the only goal of the game for Manchester United with a neat finish in the 11th minute. Adds that creative spark to the Red Devils’ attack that they seem to lack so much, but his influence waned as the game wore on. Taken off for Scott McTominay.
Romelu Lukaku: 7/10
One of his better displays in recent memory, the Belgian striker caused a lot of problems to the Chelsea backline with his strength and movement. Missed a chance early on, but made amends with a lovely pass to Shaw in the lead-up to the goal. Seemed to have ran out of steam in the second period, though.
Marcus Rashford: 5/10
His pace was a problem for the Chelsea centre-half duo of Antonio Rudiger and David Luiz, but Rashford’s end product and decision making in the final third left a lot to be desired again. Playing through a shoulder injury, he was taken off a little after the hour mark.
Alexis Sanchez: 5/10
Replaced the injured Rashford a little after the hour mark. Did little to impact the proceedings once again, but worked hard.
Marcos Rojo: 5/10
Came on for the injured Bailly in the 71st minute. Could have easily been sent off for a rash challenge on Willian but got away. Unlucky not to have scored in injury time.
Scott McTominay: N/A
Replaced Mata in the 81st minute. Added energy.