GMS Academy member Sri Hari takes a look at the five biggest talking points from Manchester United's 0-0 draw with Chelsea last night.
Rooney looked like a man on a mission
Right from the first minute to the last, whether it was raking cross field balls or eye of the needle through balls, Wayne Rooney looked like he was a man on a mission and was central to any Manchester United attack. He displayed intensity right throughout the game and put on a show, that included covering every blade of grass whether that meant providing a cross for Van Persie from the right flank or making a slide tackle to stop a Chelsea attack from near his own corner flag, Rooney did it all and some more.
United unable to provide the final ball
Moyes started the game with Welbeck, Rooney and RVP and was almost rewarded with a win in his first home game as Man United manager. But, unfortunately, although the trio showed great awareness, pace and skill, none of them could manage to provide the perfect final ball, barring a couple of chances, which were spurned by Welbeck. With Kagawa on the bench, having returned after the Confederations Cup, hopefully this will be solved, else United need someone, in the mean time, to fill this void.
Chelsea need a striker
It was not until the hour mark when Torres came on, that Chelsea actually had a recognised centre forward on the pitch. As Mourinho tried to put one over Moyes, he started the game with Oscar, De Bruyne, Schürrle and Hazard as the front four, without a focal point in attack. Although it showcased a plethora of riches in midfield, it was a damning indictment of the strike force that not even one of them was in the starting line up.
But the plan badly backfired, as there was no one capable of stretching the United defence and going in behind them to create space. As a result, the middle of the park was congested and Chelsea were pretty poor, especially in the first half and it only got marginally better as the game went on, as play was stretched out.
Mourinho is back and so are his tactics
There aren’t a lot of teams who could afford leaving their best attacking player of the previous two seasons on the bench and not even bring him on, especially when your side are struggling to put a few passes together and attack. But, then again, if your name is Mourinho and if the player in question is Mata, then chances are, that you might do just that. Mourinho started this game by saying “I don't come with a defensive team. But instead of one target man I play with four attacking players.”
But Mata wasn’t one of the four and never got off the bench, as Chelsea struggled to string a few passes and maintain possession, in the absence of their main man, who might as well be leaving the club. And although, he came into the game with four attackers, he got just what he wanted, not a defeat.
Moyes can take a lot of heart from the game
Although this game wasn’t probably the best advert for the league, Moyes can certainly be proud of his players, especially Rooney, for putting on a show for the home faithful. Even though, it was frustrating at times, it was not due to a lack of trying and if the players can get their final passes right, then United would have had a lot more than just a couple of half decent chances to score and claim a victory from this game. The defence too, although it wasn’t tested, looked solid and didn’t show any lapses in concentration. All of which bodes well for the future of the Moyes era.
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