BrotherCristiano Ronaldo was only a substitute when Man Utd drew the host Chelsea 1-1, in the 13th round of the Premier League on the evening of November 28.

Not Ronaldo, but Jorginho is the main character of the match. The Italian midfielder made a mistake that led to Chelsea’s goal, then he took the penalty to save a point at Stamford Bridge. The slip leaves Chelsea just one and two points ahead of Man City and Liverpool, respectively. And Man Utd jumped two places to eighth place.

Match statistics show the superiority of the host, when they shoot and take corners eight times more than Man Utd. Acting coach Michael Carrick also directed his students to defend and counter-attack, with a low and middle block formation. Man Utd’s defensive play is shown by Ronaldo as a substitute, while three defensive midfielders, Nemanja Matic, Fred and Scott McTominay, are the main kick. This is only the fourth match in the past nine years in the national leagues, Ronaldo is on the bench.

Sancho (left) scores his first Premier League goal. Photo: Reuters

Chelsea pressed the pitch from the opening, with the opportunity to face Callum Hudson-Odoi early in the game, but goalkeeper David de Gea saved the visitors with his foot. In the 31st minute, midfielder Antonio Rudiger suddenly fired a long-range cannon and sent the ball to the crossbar. Chelsea continuously bombarded the goal, while Man Utd only finished once in the first half.

Carrick’s army showed no signs of being able to score, but Chelsea suddenly gave the opponent a goal early in the second half. From a situation where Bruno Fernandes cleared the ball after a Chelsea corner, Jorginho caught the ball and let it go too far. Sancho jumped up to steal the ball and swooped down to face the keeper, with Rashford at his side. Sancho pretended to pass to Rashford, causing goalkeeper Mendy to miss, before shooting into the near corner to open the score for Man Utd.

Scored in the first goal-directed phase, but Man Utd had to return to the state of being pressed. At this time, Carrick decided to bring in Ronaldo to replace the opener Jadon Sancho. But, the situation is not better with the away team.

After a series of missed opportunities, Chelsea again scored from the opponent’s mistake. Defender Aaron Wan-Bissaka was about to clear the ball but hit Thiago Silva’s leg. Referee Anthony Taylor immediately blew the penalty, giving Jorginho a chance to redeem. Despite receiving advice from Ronaldo, De Gea still fell in the wrong direction of Jorginho’s 11m shot, accepting the goal.

Jorginho rejoices after making atonement.  Photo: PA

Jorginho rejoices after making atonement. Photo: PA

Both teams have a chance to win in the remaining minutes. The first is Man Utd with Fred’s unbelievable miss. Mendy passed straight up to Fred’s feet, helping Man Utd three hit two. Instead of passing it to his teammates, Fred tried to hit the ball over the goalkeeper’s head but the ball went straight into Mendy’s hands.

More opportunities come to Chelsea, especially the last shot. Christian Pulisic hung the ball for Rudiger to shoot in an empty position in the penalty area, but the ball shot up into the sky when the Chelsea player held his head in regret.

A point from Stamford Bridge is a likely outcome for Man Utd, compared to two defeats against Liverpool or Man City. Ahead of Man Utd is still a difficult match against Arsenal at Old Trafford on Thursday night December 2. And Chelsea as a guest on Watford’s field a day earlier.

Hoang An


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