Jose Mourinho would have left Old Trafford the happier manager, having come away with a point against the reigning champions in what can only be described as a dull affair between two of England’s biggest clubs.
The biggest talking point was the future of Wayne Rooney, who started against the club who are reportedly looking to buy him. Rooney was arguably United’s best player in the game, hassling defenders and doing more than his fair share of tracking back in a typically bullish performance.
Interestingly, Chelsea started without a recognised striker in the line-up, Andre Schurrle being preferred to lead the line in the place of Fernando Torres, who looked a solemn figure on the Chelsea bench.
The talented quartet of Schurrle, Oscar, Eden Hazard and Kevin de Bruyne failed to create any chances of note. Oscar’s fizzing shot from range was the only real trouble caused to
David de Gea’s goal in the first half, which the Spanish goalkeeper dealt with easily. At the other end, United came marginally closer to breaking the deadlock, with Robin van Persie rippling the side-netting, and Rooney forcing Cech to make a save low down.
The second half threatened to open the game up, with slightly more emphasis on attack from the home side; Rooney teed Danny Welbeck up in the area, only for the finish to sail harmlessly high and wide.
United also had a claim for a penalty turned down when Tom Cleverley’s shot hit Frank Lampard on the hand, but it was deemed accidental by the referee.
The game fizzled out towards the end, with Rooney’s acrobatic effort in the dying moments the only real action to speak of.
All in all, a point this early in the season against another championship contender would have contented both managers, but David Moyes will know that he has to prove that he can win these games if he is to truly fill the void left by Sir Alex Ferguson’s departure.
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