Manchester United 1-1 Chelsea: 5 Things We Learned

REUTERS/Phil Noble

Manchester United’s top four hopes may be all but over, as Chelsea were able to rob a precious point from their Old Trafford encounter, the final scoreline sitting 1-1.

An early goal from Juan Mata set the stage for a rejuvenated United side, but Chelsea were able to capitalize on an awful David De Gea error to score via Marcos Alonso, and then denied the home side any more chances.


1. Top 4 Race In Turmoil

At the end of this gameweek, each of the four sides vying for the top-four position have lost points, with Tottenham and Arsenal losing, and United and Chelsea sharing the spoils. It is daunting to think that this has occurred, with the outcome holding the potential to have been decided at least two weeks ago.

The criticism from all their supporters has been clear. Now, for United to qualify for Champions League football, either of Chelsea, Spurs, or Arsenal must lose both of their remaining games while the Red Devils excel in theirs. Not a tall order given the state of the table in these weeks.


2. Streaks and Drought Broken

With the draw, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will at least be able to breathe a little easier. The result on Sunday brought an end to United’s losing streak, which had been going three games strong.

More importantly, Juan Mata’s goal was able to break a similar three-game goal drought for the Red Devils. This has been the sort of poor run that the club hasn’t had in decades altogether.

However, their rejuvenated early intent and creativity aside, the supporters and management certainly won’t be elated at this result either.


3. Birthday Boy With the Goal

Former Chelsea player and the birthday boy found his name on the scoresheet and that too with a beautiful goal. While it was undeniably the splendid efforts of Luke Shaw in the build-up to that goal that were key to the result, the Spaniard’s finish holds merit nevertheless.

Interestingly, he may be one of the many players to depart the Mancunian giants come summer. Given that he is a fan-favorite and the oldest signing from the post-SAF era to still play for the club, such performances will certainly make that imminent departure all the more hard.


4. David De Gea

The Spaniard has been horrible at dispensing his duties as of late. Solskjaer went out of his way to express confidence in De Gea and rubbished claims that his poor form was due to the contract negotiation standstill, maintaining that the keeper was far too professional for those sort of antics.

That certainly begs the question as to what precisely is flawed with the once unbeatable shot-stopper at the moment.

The mistakes he has made in the recent have single-handedly been expensive for the Red Devils, with 13 whole games having transpired in all competitions without him having kept a clean sheet. Gone in the summer?


Player Ratings: Manchester United 1-1 Chelsea

5. Higuain Sent Packing?

While Maurizio Sarri has maintained that even if the London giants fail to achieve a top-four finish this season, he would have still had a great debut stint in-charge of the Premier League giants. However, it seems highly unlikely that his favorite striker will play any role in his second season.

Higuain has failed to make an impact since his loan move from Juventus, not finding the back of the net especially against top-six opponents – a task he was chiefly signed to fulfill.

At Old Trafford, he was in all kinds of troubles, repeatedly being caught offside and not showing any real threat. While Sarri and company may be tempted to send him back in the summer, will their transfer ban give them that luxury?