At Stamford Bridge on Saturday, Chelsea and Manchester United played in a hard-fought 1-1 Premier League tie. Jorginho scored a penalty to put the visitors ahead, but Casemiro scrambled a header over the line to snap Kepa Arrizabalaga’s streak of more than 10 hours without allowing a goal, giving the Red Devils a well-earned share of the spoils. For the best sports betting casinos on the market, feel free to explore our pages!
For the two clubs on the table, everything is as it was, with the Blues in fourth place and United in fifth, separated by just one point.
A stunning headed equalizer against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge four minutes into stoppage time was Casemiro’s debut goal for Manchester United.
Following a clumsy foul by Scott McTominay on Armando Broja in the 87th minute, Jorginho’s penalty appeared to have earned Chelsea a victory that their performance hardly merited. Casemiro, a Brazil international who cost Real Madrid £70 million in the summer, saved a point for United by outrunning McTominay to a cross and headed the ball beyond goalkeeper Kepa after he had pushed it onto the post.
Despite Kepa’s best efforts, the goal was awarded after the Hawk-Eye system determined the ball had just crossed the line.
Marcus Rashford and Antony missed excellent scoring opportunities as United dominated the chances and possession at Stamford Bridge, but Jorginho appeared to have sent them to their fourth league loss of the year when he sent goalkeeper David De Gea the wrong way from the penalty spot. In front of referee Stuart Attwell, McTominay had carelessly wrestled Broja to the ground, forcing the official to hand out a penalty.
It made a poor day even worse for United, who lost defender Raphael Varane in the second half to what seemed to be a serious injury. Also absent from United’s trip to Stamford Bridge was Cristiano Ronaldo, who had been benched by manager Erik ten Hag for his refusal to enter the game against Tottenham on Wednesday as a substitute. But just when it appeared like the game was over, Casemiro’s late header earned him a point.
The adage that football teams are a reflection of their managers’ personalities is true, and even though Ten Hag has only been in charge of Manchester United since the summer, his players are already feeling the effects of his roughness and abrasiveness.
Since Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement in 2013, United has been a bit soft on the field, with opponents all too frequently winning the physical war over the course of 90 minutes. However, it’s evident that Ten Hag has a prickly personality, and the players he’s brought into the team since taking over have given United the physical edge they’ve been lacking for far too long. Against Chelsea, Casemiro, Antony, and Lisandro Martinez all showed a hard edge, perhaps going too far in their challenges on the opposition.
In the first half, Antony, who had worked with Ten Hag at Ajax Amsterdam, was penalized for a foul on Jorginho, and Martinez got into a fight with Mason Mount when the Chelsea player made a late challenge. Additionally, Casemiro showed his expertise by committing a number of tactical fouls that prevented Chelsea assaults.
Although few fans cheer for this aspect of the game, Ten Hag has given United’s team some grit after years of lacking it.
Given Chelsea’s lack of midfield depth, last week’s announcement that N’Golo Kante’s hamstring injury will now keep him out for four months was a crushing blow.
Jorginho and Ruben Loftus-Cheek had trouble having an influence in the middle of the field against United. In order to give his squad the extra legs they needed to stop the red tide in the first half, manager Graham Potter had to change his team’s formation, substituting Mateo Kovacic for Marc Cucurella after just 36 minutes.
The six-week World Cup break will benefit Chelsea because it will shorten the period they will be without a midfielder, but their issues won’t go away in the absence of new players.
While Kovacic, at the age of 28, is perhaps past the height of his career, Kante and Jorginho are both in their 30s. The heavy workload that all three players have endured during their careers is the cause of Chelsea’s midfield’s lack of vitality. After a brilliant season on loan at Crystal Palace, Conor Gallagher has been brought back to Stamford Bridge, but he isn’t the answer to Chelsea’s midfield problems, therefore they will need to go elsewhere.