Edouard Mendy and the entire defence were the only positives for Chelsea as they were held to a 0-0 draw with Manchester United at Old Trafford.
Chelsea’s winless run continues after they played out a 0-0 draw with Manchester United on Saturday, at Old Trafford. It was a must-win game for the visitors, who were coming on the back of two successive draws, with Southampton and Sevilla.
Ahead of the game, manager Frank Lampard had stressed the importance of improving the club’s defensive record and keeping a clean sheet. And although the Blues did manage one against Manchester United, the offensive unit misfired horribly as the game provided very little quality in terms of attacking endeavours.
— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) October 24, 2020
Yet, it was Harry Maguire’s wrestling manoeuvers on Cesar Azpilicueta that became the biggest talking point, as VAR Stuart Atwell decide not to award a penalty. On the flip side, the Red Devils did create more chances but were repeatedly denied by the Chelsea goalkeeper. Here, at The Hard Tackle, we will run the rule over the Chelsea players following their draw with Manchester United.
Edouard Mendy: 8/10
Edouard Mendy was by far the best performer for Chelsea in this fixture. The Senegalese international may have been culpable for almost scoring an awful own goal, but he made amends with some of the finest saves we have seen from a Chelsea goalkeeper in a long time.
In particular, Mendy’s save to deny Marcus Rashford during the final moments of the game helped him secure a point for his side and most likely nail down his status as a first-choice goalkeeper for the Blues this season.
⛔️ ⛔️ ⛔️
— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) October 24, 2020
Cesar Azpilicueta: 7/10
Azpilicueta had a slow start to the game, though the experienced defender eventually settled himself in the back three. He was quite competent in dealing with the wide threat of Rashford, although the Englishman’s pace was a challenge for him, at times. Close to winning a penalty, meanwhile, when he was involved in a clash with Harry Maguire inside the Manchester United box.
Thiago Silva: 7/10
Following a rusty start to his Chelsea career, this performance should give a lot of confidence to Thiago Silva. The Brazilian marshalled the backline well, using his experience and intelligence to keep the Manchester United attack at bay. Silva was particularly excellent in one-on-one duels.
Kurt Zouma: 6.5/10
With Azpilicueta and Silva not being the most physically and aerially astute defenders going around, Zouma’s imposing presence at the back was a vital aspect in Chelsea’s collective defensive effort in this fixture. The Frenchman could have done a better job with his distribution, though.
Reece James: 7.5/10
James was one of the better performances for Chelsea at Old Trafford as the young Englishman proved himself to be a key attacking outlet for the Blues out wide. It was his cross that almost found Christian Pulisic, in what was one of the best chances of the game.
Defensively, James did a great job of holding back Luke Shaw and provided support to Azpilicueta whenever it was necessary. A good, all-round display from the right wing-back.
Once again starting ahead of Mateo Kovacic in central midfield, Jorginho continued his good run of form this season with an excellent defensive performance in the first half. He was calm and composed with the ball and used his ability to read the game to cut off passing lanes from the opposition.
Unfortunately, there was much left to be desired from the Italian’s offensive work and his passing was surprisingly off. One could even argue that he should have been subbed off in favour of Kovacic in the second half.
N’Golo Kante: 6/10
Kante did what he does best – hustling and hurrying the opposing ball carriers and winning back possession for his team. That said, the Frenchman’s struggles in providing the creative support continue and the player himself might have preferred a more attack-minded midfield partner.
Ben Chilwell: 6.5/10
Chilwell’s solid start to his Chelsea career continued as the English international was once again solid down the left flank. Unfortunately, the former Leicester City man provided very little going forward and could have been a little more effective in his forays down the flank. An upgrade over Marcos Alonso nonetheless.
Kai Havertz: 3/10
Havertz was the most disappointing player for Chelsea in this fixture as the German international once again struggled to make things happen in the final third. He simply wasn’t involved enough to make a difference and while his work-rate did improve in the second half, Havertz just wasn’t tidy enough to have a good chance to breaching the United backline.
Kai Havertz highlights Vs Manchester United. 1080p. The greatest German player ever?? https://t.co/bWTV4AiabH
— . (@drippybergwijn) October 24, 2020
Christian Pulisic: 6.5/10
Pulisic’s clever runs into the box were always a threat for the Manchester United defence. But it was still a frustrating night for the American international, even though he was the most lively attacker for Chelsea. Had an excellent opportunity to score in the second half but he couldn’t reach the cross from James.
Timo Werner: 5/10
It was another sub-par performance from Werner, who did not have adequate supply to feed off of. The German forward also could not utilise his pace against the Manchester United defence, ultimately making way for Tammy Abraham during the final phase of the game.
Tammy Abraham: 5/10
Failed to make any difference after replacing Werner in the 71st minute. He needs to improve his game in order to stand any chance of competing with the German striker.
Mason Mount: 5/10
Offered some energy in the first line of press after coming on for Havertz. But much like his German teammate, Mount was ineffective going forward.
Hakim Ziyech: N/A
A late replacement for Pulisic. Didn’t play enough to warrant a rating.