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Manchester United stumbles against Chelsea but pulls out a point

By JJ Pavlick 10/22/22

Today's match was a big one for the Manchester United side, the goal was to get two performances in a row that produced points for the 1st time this season. Chelsea was coming in looking to pressure the top 3 squads in the league and maintain their top 4 standing in the Premier League.

The Red Devils came out strong to start the match and held Chelsea in check with ease. United's backline and midfield shined brightly today including a healthy Luke Shaw. However, the club was once again let down by their Striker and central forward. We all understand why Erik Ten Hag suspended Cristiano Ronaldo, but unfortunately without the G.O.A.T. of soccer, the club struggles to net goals consistently. That was evident again today when Rashford blew 2 grade-A chances at goal and Anthony missed a golden opportunity that most youth players convert with both eyes shut. Ten Hag has a big problem, and he needs to solve it quickly. He needs to either figure out how to please the club legend at striker or use the winter transfer window to bring the club a young deadly striker it needs for Ten Hag's system. CR7 still can score in big chunks but Hag's system isn't a good fit for the aging superstar who is slower now. There is no easy answer for United, they wanted to send Ronaldo off like the legend he is, but so far, he and Ten Hag this season have done nothing but antagonize each other and try to push the other down. Ronaldo is not a player easy to move right now with his salary and transfer fee, not to mention he only wants to play for a Champions League side which drastically reduces the landing zones for the megastar. The winter transfer session is going to be a big factor for where this club falls come season's end.

In today's match instead of leaving with a 3-1 victory or better, the side left with a 1-1 tie which wasn't easy to reach. Chelsea earned a rather soft penalty kick in the 87' which there is no argument for or against. At this level of play, the type of hold called in the box for the penalty goes unpunished 99.99% of the time. Is it a foul, yes 100% it is, then again, no referee in the Premier League has ever been caught dead calling it before today in a top 5 game with so much on the line. However, like I said he called it, and we all have to deal with it, we have no argument to overturn it. Bruno Fernandes spoke with his keeper De Gea for a good bit before Jorginho took to the spot. Unfortunately, whatever advice the captain gave was for not as Jorginho beat De Gea with ease going far left while the keeper went far right in his attempt to stop the penalty kick. It looked like Chelsea was about to steal all 3 points from United, but the Reds wouldn't go quietly as Casemiro heads in a perfectly placed ball over the goal line by the smallest of margins in the 90'+4. Pulisic came on for Chelsea in the 2nd half at the 74' where he played well but didn't take over the game like his manager had hoped he would.

United should've come away with 3 points and jumped into the 4th position in the standings but with Rashford and Anthony being relied on it wasn't to be. The inconsistencies of both have been alarming this season for the club. If Ten Hag is going to continue to butt heads with his star Ronaldo, he's going to need another player to step up big. Chelsea took advantage of the gift they were handed by McTominay, we all know that hold is a norm at this level, but he needs to be better, he needs to do better. For Pulisic with the World Cup approaching at an alarming rate, he is still underperforming for his club side in the Premier League. The fans in America want to see their captain in the starting XI more but he still is remaining inconsistent at Chelsea. He didn't play badly by any means, but he also didn't take the match over like he is expected to. Captain America hopefully will work out the kinks in his game and get back to his top form before the international break. The standings remain the same after the match, Chelsea stays in 4th and United stays in 5th. Both will be battling for that coveted slot come the season's end.

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