For the neutral, it was an uninspiring 90 minutes, Edouard Mendy making a fine save in injury time to deny Marcus Rashford.
Ironically, the Chelsea goalkeeper was also guilty of the most heart-raising moment of the whole game when he passed across his own goal and nearly committed a howler.
Ultimately, though, the Red Devils failed to find a breakthrough even with Edinson Cavani, Paul Pogba and Mason Greenwood all coming on.
The Uruguayan, signed from Paris Saint-Germain this summer, nearly made an immediate impact when he latched onto Bruno Fernandes' ball and sent his first touch into the side netting.
Yet those substitutions meant that there was no place for Donny van de Beek, who cut a forlorn figure on the bench.
The 23-year-old has not started a league game since arriving at Old Trafford despite his obvious potential.
More than that, many United fans felt the Dutchman changed the game in the 4-1 win over Newcastle last week.
Once again, the midfield was lacklustre against Chelsea and there was nobody to set the pace in the manner that the young midfielder can.
His continued exile is getting more perplexing by the week and it's no wonder social media was awash with supporters sympathising with Van de Beek.
What can have been going through his mind as his former Ajax teammates won 13-0 against VVV in the Eredivisie...?
'He will get his games'
For most of the summer, the £35 million man was the only real reason to be optimistic about United's window.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has insisted the player needs time to adapt to English football, but he has been impressive whenever he has been given a chance.
The United boss was pressed on his decision not to bring him on after the stalemate, but he defended the decision.
"Don't worry about that, he will get his games," the Norwegian said.
"It is easy to say who should be playing, more difficult to say who shouldn't."
That argument will not wash with many supporters, particularly the one who phoned up BBC 5 Live shouting "free Donny!" and demanding that Solskjaer is sacked.
Not all United fans will agree with that perspective, though there will be plenty of fingers being pointed after the club failed to win any of their opening three league games for the first time in almost half a century.
As long as United struggle creatively, Van de Beek's absence is going to serve as further ammunition against Solskjaer.
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