Manchester United got a late equalizer to draw with Chelsea in a big Premier League tie. Chelsea scored in the 53rd minute and looked to hold onto that lead but the home side were able to equalize in the third minute of extra time off of a very controversial free kick that saw Chelsea go down to 10 men. The draw was a big momentum booster for the Red Devils as they have gotten off to a slow start to this campaign.
Coming into this match, both clubs had some big injury and suspension concerns. United were missing Wayne Rooney to a suspension and Falcao missed this one through injury, while Chelsea again missed Diego Costa through injury and Cesar Azpilicueta missed he match through suspension. The Blues came into the match leading the Premier League and yet to lose with Manchester coming in at 8th but playing much better as of late.
Many previous teams managed by Jose Mourinho, both at Chelsea and other clubs, have been known to be more defensive sides who are not the greatest in possession, but this year’s Chelsea side are not like that at all. The match started with Chelsea possessing the ball more but United getting some good chances on the counter attack.
The first really good chance for either team came in the 23>rd minute when Robin Van Persie slipped past the Blues defense and got right in front of the goal but was met by Thibault Courtois who made a very good reaction save. Nearly a minute later Van Persie got another chance that nearly opened the scoring when he flicked an awkward header onto goal. All the possession Chelsea had not turned into many chances until around the 40th minute when Oscar centered the ball for Didier Drogba but his shot took an excellent save from David De Gea to deny him. United had one last chance right before the half when a tackle just outside the 18 yard box set up a free kick in a very good position, but the chance was wasted by Juan Mata who got a free shot on goal but missed well wide.
With the match tied at 0-0 at half the teams opened the second half much like the first half with Chelsea possessing more but United looking better on the counter attack. It was not long into the second half before Chelsea opened the scoring through a Drogba header from a corner. The corner was set up by an excellent chance for Eden Hazard who got by all the Manchester defenders but was stopped by a great De Gea save. The save set up the corner that Drogba got on the end of and powered into the top left corner of the net to put the Blues up 1-0.
Throughout the night Chelsea’s physical play began to rack up a lot of yellow cards and that would eventually come back to bite the away side. After the opening goal United were able to get more possession and looked much better in attack as the Blues looked to sit on their lead. In the last 10 minutes of regular time the home side really turned on the pressure and started to really test Courtois. Van Persie had a shot that took a nice save and Di Maria had a long-range daisy cutter that nearly beat the Belgian keeper.
Manchester United was able to equalize in the 93rd minute in very controversial circumstances. Di Maria was driving down the left flank when Branislav Ivanovic seemingly tackled him from behind but did not actually even touch the Argentine who went down very softly and won a well positioned free kick. Di Maria took the free kick and put it in a perfect spot and it took a save from Courtois but Van Persie got on the rebound and finished it off ending the match in a draw.
A late Manchester United equalizer earned them a dramatic 1-1 draw with Chelsea at Old Trafford. For Chelsea it was not the worst result as they still remain unbeaten and will stay atop the table. For Manchester on the other hand even though it will only get them one point the result could be just what they needed to right the ship of their slow start and get back to winning ways.
Commentary By Max Petkevicius