An inspired performance from Wayne Rooney was not enough to give Manchester United all three points against Chelsea as they drew a blank in David Moyes’ first home game in charge of the Red Devils.
Rooney returned to the United fold for the first time this season and did not disappoint, looking the most threatening player on both sides throughout the evening.
Surprisingly Jose Mourinho opted to play without a striker, with recognised strikers Fernando Torres and Romelu Lukaku on the bench.
More of a shock was the fact Spanish playmaker Juan Mata was on the Chelsea bench. Mata had scored in each of his last three appearances against United prior to this game.
Moyes made one change from his side’s emphatic 4-1 win away to Swansea on the opening weekend of the season, with veteran Ryan Giggs dropping to the bench paving the way for Rooney to return.
Interestingly Moyes was the last manager to get a draw in a Premier League match at Old Trafford when he was Everton manager 16 months ago.
After just five minutes Rooney illustrated the combative and tireless nature he brings to the United team, chasing down Chelsea left-back Ashley Cole before knocking John Terry in the neck after jumping for a header against him.
In what was a dull first half there were very few openings with Oscar’s first-time effort on goal comfortably saved by David de Gea, and Robin van Persie’s audacious effort for United from a tight angle finding the side netting on 22 minutes.
The second half wasn’t much better but United showed more initiative going forward, with Rooney’s precise through ball finding Danny Welbeck on 55 minutes, who huffed and puffed but fired over after rushing his shot.
Rooney was again the orchestrator as his long-range effort brought a smart save from Petr Cech in the 77th minute, although it looked as though it was going just wide of goal.
But the home side failed to make the breakthrough with Mourinho no doubt the far happier manager after the game, returning to West London with a creditable point at the home of the champions.
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