United started the better of the two sides and they deservedly took the lead after ten minutes through Juan Mata. Luke Shaw broke in behind the Chelsea defence after an intricate pass from Romelu Lukaku and the left-back laid the ball on a plate for Mata who calmly stroked the ball home.
The hosts continued to control the remainder of the first half, but Chelsea were able to snatch an equaliser just before the interval, courtesy of yet another mistake from De Gea. The Spaniard fumbled Antonio Rudiger’s tame effort and Marcos Alonso reacted quickest to convert a rebound from close range.
The second half was much less eventful, with neither side being able to fashion any clear cut opportunities. Marcos Rojo went closest to finding a winner late on, but his goal-bound effort was cleared off the line.
Check out the full breakdown of the clash below.
Key Talking Point
There were a few minor improvements from ?United’s performance against Manchester City in midweek, but there was no getting around the fact that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side were still well below par – raising serious doubts over their pursuit for a top four finish.
The Red Devils started brightly and their early goal seemed to indicate that they were going to exercise the ghosts of the past few weeks. Unfortunately, the Chelsea equaliser knocked the stuffing out of them and all the aggression and energy that underpinned their performance during the opening exchanges appeared to dissipate.
The other question to stem from the result is the form of De Gea, who made yet another mistake. With two crucial games still to come in the race for the top four, would it be wise for Solskjaer to take him out of the firing line?
Starting XI: De Gea (4); Young (6), Bailly (6), Lindelof (6), Shaw (7); Herrera (7*), Matic (6), Pogba (6); Mata (7), Rashford (6), Lukaku (6).
Substitutes: Sanchez (5), Rojo (6), McTominay (N/A).
Star Man – Ander Herrera
?Herrera’s contract situation has been rumbling on in the background for quite some time and, on the evidence of his performance in this one, the Red Devils will seriously miss him if he does depart Old Trafford this summer.
The Spaniard put in a disciplined performance in the middle of the park, freeing up ?Paul Pogba to venture further forward, whilst simultaneously providing support for Nemanja Matic during defensive transitions.
It’s unlikely that one performance will change his current situation, but you can never be certain what will happen in the transfer market when it comes to United.
The team is playing so much better with Ander Herrera in midfield. What a surprise.
— Liam Canning (@LiamPaulCanning) April 28, 2019
Ander Herrera & Eric Bailly should not be sold at any cost. These two will play with all they’ve got. Fully deserve a chance next season.
— * (@UtdInMyBlood) April 28, 2019
Key Talking Point
With both Tottenham and Arsenal slipping to defeats this weekend, ?Chelsea came into this one knowing that a win against a struggling United side would seriously boost their top four aspirations.
The Blues haven’t been in brilliant form recently and they were rather underwhelming in this one, failing to match United’s intensity during the opening exchanges. It took a huge slice of luck for them to draw level and, although United were noticeably fading as the game went on, the Blues failed to ask enough questions in the final third.
Chelsea have two tough fixtures against Watford and Leicester still to come in the Premier League, so they are going to have to dig deep if they are to book their return to the Champions League next season.
Starting XI: Kepa (6); Azpilicueta (5), Rudiger (5), Luiz (5), Alonso (6); Jorginho (6), Kante (6), Kovacic (5); Willian (5), Hazard (6*), Higuain (4).
Substitutes: Christensen (6), Loftus-Cheek (6), Pedro (N/A).
Star Man – Eden Hazard
Not a sparkling display by any means from ?Hazard, but he was Chelsea’s brightest performer on an otherwise frustrating evening.
He was a threat down the left flank, causing all sorts of problems for Ashley Young, but he simply didn’t receive enough support from the rest of his teammates. He was particularly frustrated with Gonzalo Higuain, who was never on the same wavelength as the Belgian.
He couldn’t influence the game with any goals or assists, but it’s not necessarily through any fault of his own.
If I had a dollar for everytime Hazard put his hands in the air looking for his teammates when he’s on the ball I’d be rich enough to buy Chelsea.
— Mod (@CFCMod_) April 28, 2019
Hazard and Pogba playing well. Zidane smiling
— Tobi (@od_tobi) April 28, 2019
United are back in Premier League action against Huddersfield next Sunday, while Chelsea will now switch their attentions to their Europa League semi-final clash against Eintracht Frankfurt on Thursday evening.