Manchester United and Chelsea played out an entertaining draw on Sunday afternoon, leaving much to discuss at the final whistle.
In a game neither team could afford to lose, a draw was a fair result. Louis Van Gaal seemed the more disappointed of the two managers, you could see where he was coming from too after his United side seemingly buckled under late pressure from Chelsea and gave the game away in the final moments of the tie.
Chelsea remain undefeated under Guus Hiddink and will take heart from their performance, turning the tide of a game that they seemed likely to lose but the game came with casualties as Kurt Zouma was stretchered off with a knee injury, a nightmare considering the ties that are coming up for the West Londoners.
With impressive displays from a number of players as well as various talking points, Football Fanzone’s Jason Cundy broke down the game for us, giving us the lowdown on the main talking points from a Chelsea perspective:
I feel the game was pretty even over 90 minutes, United dominated the start, Chelsea dominated the closing and it was pretty back and forth in between. United’s good start could be put down to how Chelsea’s midfield set up. As expected Mikel started and the addition of Matic to the mix was meant to add further steel. Cesc was employed further ahead in a 3 behind Costa but the space he left allowed United to dominate especially with Juan Mata playing in that #10 role, pulling strings.
Cesc dropped deeper after around 30 minutes and the holes soon disappeared and Chelsea got a foot hold in the game. Both sides had chances and fortunately we took ours when we were on top rescuing a point. A draw was a fair result I’d say.
One of the games downers was the injury sustained by Kurt Zouma. He had been impressive beside John Terry and drew praise from Thierry Henry prior to the game. As he landed awkwardly, jarred his knee and howled in pain it was easy to fear the worst but talk from the club is that the injury may not be as bad as initially thought. Of course you immediately thought he had done ligaments, but it could be cartilage damage which, whilst still bad, isn’t as bad as if he has done ligaments. Of course there are still scans to be done, but fingers crossed we see the youngster back sooner than expected.
Diego Costa continued his impressive return to form with a late goal that spared Chelsea’s blushes. He looked isolated early on as United dominated the chances and possession, but he was still running and putting himself about. As we got into the game he came to life, linking up with the floating 3 behind him, making a nuisance of himself and troubling United’s back line and goalkeeper David De Gea.
He saw a chance flash across the face of the goal but stuck at it and when his chance came, in the 91st minute, he took it. Played onside by Cameron Borthwick Jackson, Costa rounded De Gea and put into the net. He could have won the game late on too but De Gea was equal to his effort.
It’s was said that Chelsea would need their star players performing if they were to get themselves out of the mess they were in when Hiddink took over, and so far these players have stood up; none more so than Costa who has 7 goals since then with point rescuing equalisers against Watford and United and a winner against Arsenal.