Manchester United settled for a point against Chelsea and ended the visitor’s eight game winning run away from home with a 1-1 draw on Thursday night.
Ralf Rangnick’s men, after their humbling at Liverpool and Arsenal, showed more intent and aggression against the Blues, especially after Marcos Alonso’s opener in the second-half.
But they were outplayed yet again, and apart from Cristiano Ronaldo’s equaliser and Alejandro Garnacho’s debut, there wasn’t anything else to celebrate for supporters, who held a protest outside Old Trafford before kick-off.
1. Only One Goal Scorer
Ronaldo once again saved his side’s blushes by smashing Nemanja Matic’s defence splitting ball into the back of Edouard Mendy’s net.
While Matic bagged his second assist in as many appearances, Ronaldo became the joint-second top scorer with his 17th Premier League goal of the season.
The 37-year-old is showing no signs of slowing down, and was even praised for his defensive output by the interim manager. He has scored eight of the club’s last nine goals in the league, highlighting an alarming dependency of the Red Devils on one man.
2. Garnacho’s Debut
On the day, the Portuguese icon, at the tail end of his career, was the difference for his side, fans were also given a glimpse of an Argentine prodigy with a potential to lead the club’s frontline for years to come.
Alejandro Garnacho made his senior debut, replacing Anthony Elanga in the 91st minute. His maiden first-team appearance comes after a string of impressive displays for United’s youth sides.
As per PA’s Simon Peach, Harry Maguire and Richard Arnold both went straight over to congratulate the 17-year-old’s family after the full-time whistle.
3. Frustrating Return for Lukaku
Romelu Lukaku returned to the Theatre of Dreams for the first time since he was allowed to move to Inter by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in 2019.
He replaced Kai Havertz in the 70th minute and received a hostile reception from home fans. Despite Chelsea dominating late in the game, the Belgian striker struggled to have any effect and failed to silence United supporters.
In fact, he is going through one of the worst phases of his career. The Chelsea’s record signing hasn’t scored a league goal in 2022, vindicating Solskjaer’s decision to let him leave.