London, Feb 28 (efe-epa).- Chelsea and Manchester United fans were lucky on Sunday in that – due to coronavirus gathering restrictions – none of them could be on hand to watch the two teams wrestle with little enthusiasm or verve to a scoreless draw at Stamford Bridge Stadium, a result that didn’t help either squad.
The match was pretty even all the way through, with each team maintaining ball control for exactly half the playing time. Man U took a few more shots on goal than did the home squad, but it was all for nought.
Throughout the first half, there was little to rave about with very few chances manufactured by either team, although Chelsea had a few tense moments over a potential penalty kick on a handball by Callum Hudson-Odoi, but a VAR review eliminated the possibility.
Just after the break, Chelsea had a bit better luck, although – again – nothing developed as David de Gea saved a point-blank shot on goal from the left by Hakim Ziyech with the ball rebounding to Reece James, who fired only to have the potential tally blocked by Luke Shaw.
Chelsea managed to muster a series of pretty good chances late in the match, trying in a rather lackadaisical manner to see if a “W” would fall from the tree with a little breeze, but again nothing developed.
Man United’s Scott McTominay also swooped into close range but was unable to capitalize on his strike thanks to Mendy and Fred tried a curving shot that hit the post, but the squad didn’t really seem to be trying and a draw was all they managed to secure.
For the match, Chelsea coach Thomas Tuchel took Marcos Alonso, Jorginho and Timo Werner out of the starting lineup, inserting Ben Chilwell, N’golo Kante and Ziyech instead.
Man United remains in the No. 2 spot on the Premier League table, one point ahead of Leicester City, but 12 behind Man City, while Chelsea is in fifth place, trying without success so far to catch up to West Ham United.
Chelsea: Mendy; Chilwell, Rudiger, Christensen, Azpilicueta, Hudson-Odoi (James, m.46); Kovacid, Kante, Ziyech (Werner, m.78), Mount and Giroud (Pulisic, m.66).
Manchester United: De Gea; Shaw, Maguire, Lindelof, Wan-Bissaka; Fred, McTominay, Fernandes; Rashford, James and Greenwood (Martial, m.79).
Referee: Stuart Attwell yellow-carded Chilwell (m.62) for Chelsea and Fred (m.50) and Maguire (m.79) for the visitors.