Chelsea and Manchester United settled for an entertaining 2-2 draw during Saturday’s early Premier League kick-off at Stamford Bridge. Antonio Rudiger handed the early breakthrough for the Blues via a corner and the hosts held onto the lead heading into the half-time interval. However, following the break, United made a stunning comeback with a brace from Anthony Martial but they were eventually left disappointed after Ross Barkley netted a 96th-minute equaliser to deny them a rare league win at the Bridge.
Two things we learned:
Anthony Martial continues his upturn in form: During the backend of last season, the Frenchman found himself regularly starting from the bench with Alexis Sanchez being afforded a regular role on the left side of the attack. However, with the Chilean struggling to make a notable impact, Martial has been offered his chance of late and he has taken the opportunity with both hands. The attacker netted a key equaliser during the 3-2 comeback win over Newcastle United before the international break and he carried on from that performance at the Bridge where he surprise the hosts with two second-half goals in the space 18 minutes. Surely, the 22-year-old has now firmed his starting position and it remains to be seen whether his current form encourages the hierarchy to dish out a new contract which has regularly been talked out over the past year.
Manchester United’s lack of game awareness: United’s defensive setup has been a disappointment since the start of the campaign and they continued with the same trend on Saturday with another two goals shipped. The opening goal conceded came via a simple corner from Willian where Paul Pogba was unable to prevent Antonio Rudiger from getting his head onto the delivery. Thereafter, there were a couple of occasions where the backline appeared to lack coordination and they were eventually pegged back in the dying seconds of the game where they were involved into another shambolic bit of defending. None of the players shown the intent to close down Marcos Alonso’s long-range shot which slammed off the cross-bar and thereafter, Victor Lindelof reacted slowly to the deflected shot which eventually allowed Ross Barkley to bag the equalising goal for the Blues.
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