Chelsea managed a draw at Old Trafford on Sunday, extending their lead in the Premier League in the process. It was the sort of performance from Jose Mourinho's side that neutrals don't tend to love, with the visitors staying compact and disciplined in defense, willing to wait and strike when the United defense inevitably left an opening.
Twice, David De Gea stopped golden opportunities for Chelsea to open the scoring, as Didier Drogba couldn't beat the Spanish keeper midway through the first half, while Eden Hazard couldn't beat him one on one just before Drogba wound up opening the scoring. Assigning Rafael to mark Drogba on a corner is a ridiculous mistake though, and even De Gea couldn't bail them out from that one.
Unfortunately, Robin Van Persie managed to bury a rebound late in stoppage time to rescue a point for United. It's still a good result for the Blues, but it really should have been three points instead of one. Chelsea are now six points clear of their nearest actual title rival, with their two toughest away fixtures of the Premier League season already played.
- I was glad to see Mourinho being a bit cautious with Diego Costa today. It's a long season, there's just no reason to take too many risks this early. Besides, who didn't see a Drogba goal coming?
- Manchester United did a pretty nice job defending set pieces in the first half, even if they probably should have conceded a penalty when Chris Smalling tackled Branislav Ivanovic. Can you imagine the scoreline if Chelsea had that many set pieces against a side like Arsenal?
- Did I say something about United defending set pieces well during the first half? Didier Drogba is laughing at me.
- Phil Dowd was just terrible today. It seemed like he was just guessing on every decision.
- Unlike Dowd, Thibaut Courtois was very, very good.
- I would have liked to see Chelsea trying to force the ball to Eden Hazard far more often after Rafael was booked just minutes into the game.
- With Drogba playing a lot of minutes today, I'd imagine he won't be starting against Shrewsbury. With Remy out and Diego Costa unlikely to be risked for the full 90 minutes, it could be Dom Solanke's big chance.
- We've got a big cushion for the start of November now (thanks, City). Considering the way recent Novembers have gone for Chelsea, that's a very good thing.