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Manchester United 0-0 Chelsea: Hits and Flops from dour draw at Old Trafford | Premier League 2020-21

Manchester United and Chelsea shared the points in an underwhelming 0-0 draw at Old Trafford
Manchester United and Chelsea shared the points in an underwhelming 0-0 draw at Old Trafford
Vaibhav Joshi
ANALYST
Modified 25 Oct 2020, 00:58 IST
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A Premier League debut off the bench for summer arrival Edinson Cavani was arguably the most notable highlight from a fairly uneventful draw between Manchester United and Chelsea at Old Trafford on Saturday.

The Uruguayan striker, who joined United on a free transfer over the summer, almost scored with his first touch after coming on with half an hour to go. But both sides effectively cancelled each other out in the pouring rain in Manchester.

A sluggish first half that saw the visitors dominate possession came to life in the latter stages, with Chelsea keeper Edouard Mendy forced into a few smart saves to deny Bruno Fernandes, Marcus Rashford and Juan Mata.

At the other end, David de Gea was less busy, but was perhaps lucky not to be facing a penalty after Harry Maguire’s clumsy challenge on Cesar Azpilicueta in the box was contentiously deemed fair by the referee.

The home side put in a better showing in the second half but failed to really trouble Chelsea’s defence. The visitors were also unable to create any opportunities of note at the other end.

A spectacular diving save from Mendy kept out Rashford in injury time, and this was the closest either side came to breaking the deadlock, as the points were eventually shared.

Despite keeping their first clean sheet of the season, United's draw against Chelsea means that they are now winless in five league games at Old Trafford. This is their worst run since February 1990, and doesn't bode well ahead of RB Leipzig’s visit to Manchester in midweek.  

In the other camp, Chelsea played out their second successive 0-0 draw ahead of a midweek trip to Russia to take on Krasnodar in the Champions League on Wednesday.

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With that in mind, here’s a look at the hits and flops from United and Chelsea’s goalless draw at Old Trafford.


#1 Hit: Edouard Mendy

Mendy has been impressive in goal for Chelsea since his summer arrival
Mendy has been impressive in goal for Chelsea since his summer arrival

One of the major causes of concern for Chelsea over the course of last season and for parts of this has been their precarious goalkeeper situation, which has led to them being extremely vulnerable at the back of late.

With Kepa Arrizabalaga woefully out of form and Willy Caballero not a viable long-term option, Frank Lampard brought in Edouard Mendy from Rennes late in the transfer window in an attempt to fix his side’s issues at the back.

Although it is early days yet, Mendy’s arrival seems to have brought some much-needed calmness to the Chelsea backline. It is no coincidence that the Blues have kept three clean sheets in the four appearances the Senegalese international has made for the club.

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Mendy extended his record of not yet conceding a goal in the Premier League with a series of fine stops during the course of this match to keep United at bay. 

Having made a nervous start to the match by almost mis-kicking a pass into his own net, Mendy made a string of smart saves to close out the first half. He then denied Marcus Rashford with a spectacular diving save in extra time in the second half.

The 28-year-old seems to have established himself as Frank Lampard’s first-choice option between the sticks already, and will hope to have many more impressive performances like this one in his Chelsea career.


#2 Flop: Timo Werner

It was a frustrating evening for Chelsea frontman Timo Werner
It was a frustrating evening for Chelsea frontman Timo Werner

One of several high-profile arrivals at Stamford Bridge over the summer, Timo Werner took a few games to get used to the English game.

After opening his Chelsea account in the Carabao Cup, the German striker notched up his first goals in the Premier League for the Blues with a brace against Southampton last weekend.

As such, Werner was expected to continue his scoring run against a United defence that was suspect at the start of this season, especially at home.

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Unfortunately for Chelsea, Werner ploughed a lone furrow up front as he was well marshalled by a combination of Victor Lindelof and Harry Maguire. 

United’s central defensive duo was successful in snuffing out any chances that might have fallen Werner’s way, prompting the German's substitution with just under twenty minutes to go following a largely anonymous showing.


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Published 25 Oct 2020, 00:58 IST
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