A Decent Draw
By Gary Watton
April 28 2019
Chelsea gained a valuable point and inched closer to a place in next season's Champions League, courtesy of a draw at Old Trafford. Both teams had their moments, but it's very apparent that either protagonist looks likely to challenge the top two any time soon. Fortunately Arsenic were thumped at Leicester City, thereby leaving Chelsea's fate in their own hands. Two wins in the final two league matches will earn qualification. Anything less relies on our rivals to also continue to haemorrhage points. However while ManUre's last two fixtures look fairly straightforward, Chelsea's encounters with Watford and at Leicester City look decidedly tricky, to put it mildly.
As for the match itself, Chelsea's approach play was once more impressive, but yet again when they reached the edge of the penalty area, there was a marked reluctance to pull the trigger, all the more baffling when one considers how fragile De Gea's confidence is. In fact Chelsea's goal did result from a rare, speculative shot. Regrettably the Blues, for all their counter-attacking prowess, failed to work the hosts' goalkeeper. Instead the visitors persisted in trying to walk the ball into the net. Someone would run into space and then pass to a team mate who would run into space, and then seek someone else running into space. The consequence of this was merely an exercise in passing the buck, as well as passing the ball. This ploy of trying to pass the ball into the net is impressive when it works, but more often than not, it's just a frustrating waste. Small wonder that Chelsea struggle to score in such matches.
Hopefully Giroud will be drafted into the starting line up for the crucial trip to Eintracht Frankfurt. A place in the Europa League final is there for the taking, but there definitely needs to be less faffing about when the team gets near the opposition penalty area.
Manchester United 1 CHELSEA 1; half time: 1-1
CHELSEA: Arrizabalaga; Alonso; Azpilicueta; Luiz; Rudiger; Jorginho; Kovacic; Higuain; Hazard; Willian; Kante. Used substitutes: Christensen; Loftus-Cheek; Pedro
CHELSEA goal scorer: Alonso
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