Manchester United maintained their unbeaten run against Chelsea with a stoppage-time equaliser at Stamford Bridge.
The Red Devils started the game on the front foot on the back of a dominant win over Tottenham Hotspur but failed to find a go-ahead goal this time. Chelsea were rewarded for holding their ground after a foul on Armando Broja by Scott McTominay led to a late spot-kick for the hosts.
Jorginho made no mistake from 12 yards and appeared to seal all three points, only for Casemiro to rattle Kepa’s net right at the end to ensure away supporters return home with something to cheer.
Here are the three talking points from yet another stalemate – the fifth on the bounce – between the two sides.
1. Potter’s Bold Change
United were all over the Blues in the opening 30 minutes and would’ve, in all likelihood, had a lead heading into halftime if not for Marcus Rashford and Antony’s poor finishing, and Graham Potter’s bold move in the 35th minute.
Casemiro, Christian Eriksen, and Bruno Fernandes enjoyed territorial and possessional dominance against the Jorginho-Ruben Loftus-Cheek pivot, forcing Potter to hook Marc Cucurella in favour of Mateo Kovacic.
An extra midfielder allowed Chelsea to have a free receiver in the middle of the park more often and made the affair more balanced.
2. United’s Finishing
Ten Hag’s side only managed two goals from their 28 attempts against Spurs and headed to the tunnel on Sunday evening with not much to show for their dominance in the first half. Rashford and Antony both fluffed multiple chances to register a second straight win against a Top 6 rival.
Meanwhile, Sky Sports pundit Roy Keane was quick to suggest that Cristiano Ronaldo may have done better in front of the goal. Although to Ten Hag’s credit, there are clear improvements in the side’s build-up play in absence of the Portuguese.
Irrespective of what his plans are for Ronaldo and injury-prone Anthony Martial, the former Ajax boss could do with a new striker in January, or else the lack of a reliable frontman might end up costing United a place in the Top 4 come the end of the season.
The Brazilian has been the difference in midfield for United in recent games after a slow start under Ten Hag.
The Everton game outlined both his weaknesses and strengths, as Casemiro lost the ball under pressure before dispossessing Alex Iwobi to play a quick through ball for Ronaldo to score.
Against Spurs, he rarely put a foot wrong and received a standing ovation from the Old Trafford crowd for outmuscling Conte’s men.
In the very next fixture, Casemiro – a player used to stepping up on big occasions – showed just why United spent big bucks on him. The 30-year-old was their most composed player at a tough away ground, thwarting multiple counter-attacks from Chelsea. No player managed to dribble past the veteran.
He capped off a brilliant display by rising the highest to rescue a point with a stunning header.