Cristiano Ronaldo was once again Manchester United’s saviour as they managed to hold Chelsea to a 1-1 draw at Old Trafford on Thursday.
Coming into the game on the back of consecutive defeats to Liverpool and Arsenal, Manchester United were put under severe pressure by Chelsea in the first half. David de Gea had to make several stops in the first period as he kept out Reece James, N’Golo Kante and Kai Havertz on two different occasions, while the German also hit the side netting once when he should have done better in each of the three situations.
At the other end, Manchester United hardly posed any threat apart from a headed effort from Bruno Fernandes, which was straight at Edouard Mendy. The scoreline stayed 0-0 at halftime, but Chelsea continued to their dominance in the second half and finally found a breakthrough in the 60th minute, with Marcos Alonso thumping home a volley.
The lead did not last for long, as Manchester United were able to level things within three minutes, with Cristiano Ronaldo firing a thunderous effort from inside the box after being set up by Nemanja Matic. After losing their lead, Chelsea pushed for the winner and came close to scoring, only to see James’ effort bounce off the woodwork as the two teams ended up sharing the spoils at Old Trafford.
The result leaves Manchester United five points shy of Arsenal in fourth place, with Ralf Rangnick’s men having played two games more. It means any lingering hopes of an unlikely top-four finish are over. As for Chelsea, they have a six-point lead over the Gunners, strengthening their bid for a third-place finish.
Here are our player ratings for both sets of players.
Manchester United Player Ratings
David de Gea: 7/10
The Manchester United goalkeeper was once again key to them being able to salvage a point as he made several key stops in the first period, including denying Havertz on two different occasions. However, he had no chance against Alonso’s opener.
David de Gea has made 121 saves in the Premier League this season, only in 2018-19 (122) has he made more stops in a single campaign #mulive [bbc]
— utdreport (@utdreport) April 28, 2022
Diogo Dalot: 5/10
The Portuguese international never really looked comfortable coping with Marcos Alonso’s forward forays and lost the Spaniard for Chelsea’s only goal of the game. He also did not offer much in attack.
Victor Lindelof: 5/10
Another disappointing display from Lindelof as Havertz constantly had the beating of him in the first half, with the Swede’s positioning all over the place. There were slight improvements as the game wore on, but not good enough and was sloppy with his passing.
Raphael Varane: 5/10
The former Real Madrid may have fared slightly better than his defensive partner on the night but a lot more is expected from a player of his experience and calibre.
Alex Telles: 4/10
The Brazilian was brutally targeted by Chelsea on Thursday night as Mason Mount dragged him out of position to create space for James to run into and hit crosses into the box. There were occasions during the first period when he was completely overwhelmed while the Blues’ goal was also created from his flank.
Scott McTominay: 4/10
Another sloppy performance from the Manchester United academy graduate, who was easily bypassed by the Chelsea midfield unit. The Scottish international never really managed to get into the game, leaving his midfield partner completely exposed.
Nemanja Matic: 6/10
"Man Utd will stay forever in my hearts." ❤️
"I'm sure better times will come." 🤞
Nemanja Matic's immediate reaction after a 1-1 draw with Chelsea at Old Trafford. pic.twitter.com/DCWsVIjmyW
— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) April 28, 2022
The Serbian international was left with everything to do in the middle of the park due to McTominay’s ineffectiveness. He tried hard to keep the visitors at bay but was not always successful. But Matic produced a sublime lofted pass to set Ronaldo up for the equaliser.
Anthony Elanga: 5/10
Apart from a mazy run late in the second half, the Swedish youngster offered little on the night as he never really managed to get a foothold against a much superior Chelsea side.
Bruno Fernandes: 5.5/10
Manchester United’s captain on the night, Fernandes showed some urgency and intent on the pitch, although it did not always manifest into anything productive for the team. He should have done better with an early header.
Marcus Rashford: 4/10
Another anonymous display from the Manchester United academy graduate, whose confidence looks completely shot. Rashford hardly did anything of note and did not offer any threat before being taken off.
Cristiano Ronaldo: 7/10
👀 Most @premierleague goals this season against the current top 5:
8️⃣ – Cristiano Ronaldo
4️⃣ – Mohamed Salah
4️⃣ – Sadio Mane
4️⃣ – Odsonne Edouard
4️⃣ – Diogo Jota
— Sky Sports Statto (@SkySportsStatto) April 28, 2022
Another game, another match-saving contribution from the 37-year-old superstar. A brilliant first touch and a powerful strike into the roof of the net from Ronaldo to salvage a point for Manchester United. Continues to defy his age and silence his critics.
Phil Jones: N/A
On for Matic with a little over ten minutes left.
Juan Mata: N/A
Mata replaced Rashford in the 79th minute and added some attacking spark in the latter stages.
Alejandro Garnacho: N/A
The youngster came on for Elanga in stoppage time to make his debut for United and drew loud cheers from the fans.
Chelsea Player Ratings
Edouard Mendy: 6/10
Apart from saving an early header from Bruno Fernandes, the Senegalese international was largely a spectator for most of the game until Ronaldo produced a thunderous strike for the equaliser.
Cesar Azpilicueta: 6/10
Slotting in as the right-sided centre-back, the Chelsea captain ensured that Rashford never really threatened the goal, keeping him quiet for most of the night. However, Azpilicueta was guilty of playing Ronaldo onside for the equaliser.
Thiago Silva: 6.5/10
Another solid display from Silva, who was not asked to do much but was alert whenever needed, making important interceptions at the back. However, he lost Ronaldo for the goal.
Antonio Rudiger: 6.5/10
Back into the lineup after recovering from his injury, Rudiger was his usual aggressive self at the back, going into tackles strongly while taking aim at the goal from distance at times. Booked and could have risked a sending off with some strong challenges.
Reece James: 8/10
Reece James is a special talent ✨ pic.twitter.com/3TfL3tkTmI
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) April 28, 2022
Reinstated to his right wing-back position on his return on Thursday, the Chelsea academy graduate was the best player on the pitch as he made constant marauding runs on the flank and sent teasing crosses into the Manchester United box. James even forced a save from de Gea and then hit the woodwork late on.
N’Golo Kante: 7/10
A much-improved display from the Frenchman compared to some of his recent performances. Kante was a bright spark in the opening exchanges as he forced mistakes and won back possession in midfield. He also played some eye-catching forward passes, twice setting Havertz up for chances. He also had an opportunity to score himself but fired his effort straight at de Gea. However, Kante gave away the ball twice in the lead-up to United’s goal, which cuts his rating.
A steady display from the Italian international who had no major problems, as he helped Chelsea bypass the United midfield with intelligent passing without really stamping his authority on the game.
Marcos Alonso: 7/10
Marcos Alonso now has 3 G/A in his last 6 games for Chelsea…
𝐈𝐧𝐞𝐯𝐢𝐭𝐚𝐛𝐥𝐞 at wing-back. 🔥 pic.twitter.com/gyJj2WYyHG
— LDN (@LDNFootbalI) April 28, 2022
While most of Chelsea’s attacking threat came from the right side, Alonso was no slouch and kept Dalot busy on his flank. The Spaniard came up with the goods when his team needed it, producing a fine finish to make it 1-0 in the second half.
Mason Mount: 6.5/10
Given a free role in the final third, Mount caused problems for the home team as they found it hard to deal with his movement, while it also helped him create space for James on the right. He could not make any goal contribution on the night but created a couple of chances, including the one from which James hit the post.
Timo Werner: 6/10
Not much of a goal threat as in recent games, but Werner made up for it with his efforts off the ball as he constantly put the United defenders under pressure with his pressing and intensity. Werner was inches away from getting on the end of a fine cross from Mount in the second half.
Kai Havertz: 5/10
Thomas Tuchel on Kai Havertz after yesterdays game. pic.twitter.com/rrmTq73eX2
— Frank Khalid (@FrankKhalidUK) April 29, 2022
The German international had three great chances in the first half but failed to take them. Havertz hit the side netting after being played through by Kante and then could not beat de Gea in a 1v1 situation before sending a header straight at the Spaniard.
Romelu Lukaku: 4/10
The former Manchester United striker was greeted with boos when he came on for Havertz in the 70th minute. Lukaku did little of note.
Christian Pulisic: 4/10
On for Werner in the 71st minute. Pulisic could not repeat his heroics from the West Ham clash.
Ruben Loftus-Cheek: N/A
Came on for Kante with less than ten minutes left.