Our long run without a win against Manchester United continued on Saturday night at Stamford Bridge with a pair of late split goals and here we use match stats to reflect on the main talking points…
No Premier League game has been drawn as often as Chelsea v Man United and that has been confirmed again with the 26th tie between the two teams, including seven of the last nine meetings.
The 1-1 final score also extended our winless streak against the Red Devils to 10 games; only against Blackburn Rovers (12 from 1992 to 1998) and Arsenal (19 from 1995 to 2005) have we had a longer streak without a win.
Casemiro was the man to steal a point from the visitors in stoppage time with a looping header to end Kepa’s 623 minutes without conceding, after Jorginho deftly converted a penalty three minutes from time.
Proactive problem solving
The Blues were under pressure for much of the first half as United’s power play advantage in midfield meant the visitors could overrun us and strangle our ability to play from behind. In the opening 36 minutes, before Potter’s decision to swap Marc Cucurella for Mateo Kovacic and move to back four, United had 57 per cent possession and completed 178 of our 129 passes.
Their supremacy was clear, but not on the scoresheet, as they took six shots on goal in that span, four of them on target. After the adjustments were made, Erik ten Hag’s side only managed two more shots on target in the game and the ball split was much more even as well.
This was due to the arrival of Kovacic in a diamond from the midfield, which allowed Chelsea to take the upper hand in the center of the field. Ben Chilwell and Cesar Azpilicueta were used as full-backs but were still given the license to bomb forward.
Trevoh Chalobah’s role in the team also changed, going from right centre-half in a back three to partnering Thiago Silva in a two, and the 23-year-old put in a terrific performance to keep United at bay during almost the whole game.
His pace and anticipation were important attributes against the tricky forward line of Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Antony, with our number 14 recording two interceptions, three clearances and three successful aerial duels.
With the ball, he was also one of our most dominant players, finishing with more touches and passes than any team-mate, while he nearly broke the deadlock with a header from a corner. Mason Mount who bounced off the top of the crossbar.
In what was his 25th Premier League appearance for the Blues, the defender remains unbeaten (W16, D9), a run that stretches into every game he has started in all competitions for his boyhood club.
Despite the delay and drama, Jorginho remained so typically cool in the build-up to his converted penalty and nonchalantly spread the effort in his inimitable style, taking him to 19 Premier League penalty goals since joining the club.
That’s more than any other player in that period, with 90% of all the Italian’s league goals in England coming from 12 yards.
Away from the spot, the Italian displayed a loaded midfield and no player on the pitch improved on his five successful tackles, while only two had more than his 70 touches.
United finished with 13 shots to our six but with a lower xG due to our penalty. Six of them were off target and one was blocked, while Chelsea only netted two on target.
The draw keeps Potter unbeaten as Chelsea manager and extends that streak to eight games, our best streak since a 14-game run from January to March earlier in the year.