By Paul Lagan at Old Trafford
Edouard Mendy was in top form to deny Manchester United the three points as the Blues came away from Old Trafford this evening with a creditable 0-0 draw.
The Senegal stopper produce a sensational save in the last minute to deny Marcus Rashford and he was pivotal in Chelsea’s solid defensive display.
Head Coach Frank Lampard opted for a five man defence with the sole intension of nullifying the home side’s counterattacking treat.
It worked to perfection.
Chelsea started off well, keeping possession among the midfield and defence without troubling the Man Utd rearguard at all.
The Blues dominated then opening exchanges – at times racking up 80 per cent of the ball, but whenever then creative attackers had it, like Timo Werner of Kai Havertz, they were quickly closed down.
The first actual shot, directed on either goal, came on 29 min utes when a misdirected Reece James free-kick on the left, fell invitingly into the palms of David De Gea.
United almost scored a bizarre goal when on te byline, Kurt Zouma passed across the line to Edouard Mendy, who tried to knock the ball onto Cesar Azpilicueta, however the Senegal stopper almost slide the ball into his own goal, missing it by inches.
This game U tied more confidence and Bruno Fernandes, struck a forced right-footed drive on 31 minutes. Thankfully Mendy had recovered and snaffled the goal-bound effort.
Christen Pulisic tried a shot, but it was soft, not troubling De Gea at all at is near post.
United had a. Great chance on 35 mi utes when Marcus Rashford beat the offside trap and raced clear. But his edge of the penalty area shot was hacked away by mendy for a corner.
As the game opened up towards half-time, Mendy was again in action, thwarting a curling left footer by Juan Mata around the post.
However VAR was called into action when N’Golo Kante and Rashford clashed in the penalty box, but it was dismissed. But VAR didn’t even have a second look after Harry Maguire appeared to be giving Cesar Azpilicueta a hug – both his arms wrapped round the right back’s body.
There were no changes by ether side at half time
Fred had the first chance after the restart, his curling left-footer from the edge of the area, went well wide of Mendy’s right post.
With Chelsea looking to take control again, United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer decided to bring on Paul Pogba and Edison Cavani on 55 minutes.
Cavani’s first touch almost resulted in a goal, as he flicked the ball into the side netting.Chelsea hard coach saw Tammy Abraham and Mason Mount replace Werner and Havertz with 19 minutes left on the clock.
Lampard’s final substitution saw Hakim Ziyech replace ineffectual Pulisic on 80 minutes.
Mendy produced the save of the match on 90 minutes tipping around his left post a sensational curling right-footer from Rashford.
That was the last action of the night in a game devoid of much attacking play, but when it was called upon, Mendy was on hand.
Chelsea: Mendy, James, Azpilicueta, Silva, Zouma, Chilwell, Jorginho, Kante, Pulisic, Havertz, Werner
Subs: Rudiger, Abraham, Caballero, Kovacic, Giroud, Mount, Ziyech
Man Utd: De Gea, Wan-Bissaka, Maguire, Lindelof, Shaw, Fred, McTominay, Mata, Fernandes, James, Rashford
Subs: Henderson, Tuanzebe, Matic, Pogba, Van de Bees, Greenwood, Cavani
Referee: Martin Atkinson
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