We were looking for a continuation of our play against Brighton, but it was much closer to what we saw against Newcastle United instead, especially in the first half (not that the second half turned out to be all that much better).
“Crisis club” Manchester United threatened to completely run us off the pitch in the first 15-20 minutes, and it was only some heroics from Robert Sánchez that prevented things from getting entirely out of hand. While he couldn’t do much about McTominay’s goal, he did save the penalty from Bruno Fernandes, in addition to making excellent stops from Antony and Garnacho.
Unfortunately, McTominay’s goal in the 20th minute only served to increase the level of chaos in the game, and both teams wasted absolutely glorious opportunities (Sánchez making a few more saves of note, including point-blank from McTominay). Chelsea weren’t showing much coherent attacking play, but United left themselves open counters all the time. We just didn’t take advantage: Mudryk, Jackson, Sterling all guilty of making an absolute mess of things.
Ironically, after all that chaos, a bit of control and coherent passing would lead to Chelsea’s equalizer just before the half: Silva finding Mudryk turning in midfield and playing through to Palmer, who danced around two then precisely slotted the ball into the bottom corner, between legs and glove and post.
The second half continued in much the same fashion as the first, the teams trading sloppy plays, sloppy passes, and even sloppier finishes. But United slowly established more and more control, and that pressure would pay off just past the halfway point of the half, McTominay scoring his second with a free header at the far post.
United wasted several opportunities to put the game out of reach, but we did not make them pay for them. Enzo came close on a cross from James, but he whiffed on his fancy backheel flick attempt, and Broja hit the post late on from a tight angle.
A thoroughly chaotic, uncontrolled, incohesive 90+ minutes. E for Effort.
- Two changes from Sunday, with Palmer in for the suspended Gallagher and Cucurella starting at right back: Badiashile dropping out. James on for Cucurella at the half, unsurprisingly.
- United with 29(!) shots, 19 in the first-half alone
- Next up: Everton away on Sunday