Chelsea were distinctly second best in the opening 45 minutes, with Manchester United playing with more confidence and more quality. And they probably should’ve taken the lead before half, with Antony wasting a great chance and Kepa saving twice from Marcus Rashford.
At the other end, Chelsea had one chance on the counter, when Varane made a goal-saving clearance on a Mount cross looking for Aubameyang, but otherwise the action was tilted largely in the visitors’ favor.
A tactical and formation change just past the half-hour mark, going from 3-4-3 to a 4-3-3 helped Chelsea gain a better foothold in midfield, and we started the second half in a much more positive fashion, though without creating too much danger — a poor touch from Raheem Sterling letting our greatest opportunity pass by without even a shot.
United were forced into a couple changes early in the second half, with Fred on as a tactical switch and Maguire on for an injured Varane, and as we headed into the final half hour, Chelsea finally started exerting some real pressure on the United penalty area. Trevoh Chalobah hit the crossbar from one of several corners won by the Blues.
As the game wore on, it became increasingly likely that one goal, one mistake, one piece of skill might make all the difference, and that one mistake did arrive late on, when McTominay hauled down Broja in the area on a corner. Jorginho, in turn, made no mistake, hammering home with all the pressure and not one eye on the ball. Amazing.
Unfortunately, we chose a terrible time to then end our clean sheet streak, in added-on time.
- Not necessarily our strongest starting XI, but Potter rotating back to the likes of Silva, Chilwell, Sterling, and Aubameyang, with Koulibaly missing out due to a knee concern. Kova starts on the bench but is called upon in the first-half once again.
- Back-three with wing-backs initially again, but more defensive injuries and a tactical necessity forcing a back-four.
- No recognized striker for a few minutes, with Pulisic, Mount, Sterling rotating through, then youngsters Broja and Chukwuemeka added to the fray with Pulisic and Mount in support.
- 8 unbeaten now. But it’s also 10 winless against United in the league (7 draws, 3 defeats), including five draws on the bounce.
- Chelsea stay fourth, but Newcastle could go above us if they beat Spurs tomorrow.
- Next up: Salzburg away in the Champions League on Tuesday