Chelsea and Manchester United played out a goalless draw in the Premier League on Sunday afternoon.
The game certainly didn’t lack entertainment, with nearly 30 shots attempted on goal. However, the biggest talking point was Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men being denied a first-half penalty.
In previous tactical affairs between the Norwegian coach and Thomas Tuchel it was the away side leaving the happier, but the spoils were shared on this occasion.
Here’s how the players rated at Stamford Bridge:
Edouard Mendy – 7 – Aside from a rasping Rashford free kick in the first half, United rarely forced Mendy into making any uncomfortable saves.
César Azpilicueta – 6 – Never stopped barking orders and willing his team onwards. Azpilicueta’s wealth of experience shone through in this meeting against the Premier League’s two most decorated clubs.
Andreas Christensen – 7 – A calming presence in Chelsea’s back-three. Christensen completed his 73 attempted passes, making him the only player from either side to boast a 100% record when it was all said and done.
Antonio Rüdiger completed all three of his take-ons in the first half.
No Manchester United player completed more than one. pic.twitter.com/QuXjB56k9w
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) February 28, 2021
Antonio Rüdiger – 6 – Rejuvenated under Tuchel’s leadership. Rüdiger proved his worth in possession as well as taking up a more proactive leadership role with Thiago Silva still on the sidelines.
Callum Hudson-Odoi – 5 – Had a heart-in-mouth moment when it seemed as if he gave away a penalty. A few minutes later the Chelsea forward, now utilised as a right wing-back, struck a volley past David de Gea’s goal before producing a scintillating cross which a diving Giroud could not meet. Came off at half-time for Reece James after picking up a knock.
N’Golo Kanté – 6 – Tasked with keeping an eye on United’s talisman Bruno Fernandes, which to an extent he did reasonably well and posted some peerless defensive statistics. Kanté also ventured forward but never looked threatening.
Mateo Kovacic – 5 – Has never scored at Stamford Bridge for Chelsea and that nearly looked like ending, but De Gea comfortably saved his effort from afar in the final stages of this game.
Ben Chilwell – 6 – After sitting out four of Chelsea’s previous five league outings, and just playing 62 minutes in the 1-2 win at Sheffield United, you wouldn’t blame Ben Chilwell for thinking he was becoming surplus to requirements under Thomas Tuchel. But in a game of this magnitude the 24-year-old left-back was entrusted to start by the German tactician and repaid that faith with a typical performance from left-back.
— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) February 28, 2021
Hakim Ziyech – 5 – Starting his first Premier League match for the Blues since a goalless draw against Wolves at the end of last month, Ziyech was tasked with pulling the strings behind Olivier Giroud but couldn’t seem to affect the game and was occasionally guilty of breaking down attacks.
Mason Mount – 6 – The busiest of Chelsea’s forward players and has been rediscovering his touch in recent weeks. Mount continuously asked for the ball and was a constant threat when running from deep.
Olivier Giroud – 5 – Worked his way back into Chelsea’s starting lineup and came so close to breaking the deadlock 10 minutes from the break when he dived towards an early Hudson-Odoi cross but could not connect with a header.
Reece James (for Hudson-Odoi 46) – 5 – Continued where Hudson-Odoi left off and was a nuisance whenever entering United’s final third.
Christian Pulisic (for Giroud 65) – 5 – Had one effort late on that sailed over the bar.
Timo Werner (for Ziyech 78) – 5 – Disappointed to have started as a sub and once coming on nearly grabbed all three points for the hosts.
David de Gea – 7 – Kept on his toes for much of this afternoon. De Gea, often coming under the cosh this season, pulled off five saves to bank what should be a cherished clean sheet.
Aaron Wan-Bissaka – 5 – This was a more reserved performance by Wan-Bissaka, who rarely forayed into Chelsea’s final third. Instead the full-back’s job seemed to be keeping a check on Chilwell’s attacking threat.
Victor Lindelöf – 5 – The more reserved of Man Utd’s centre-backs. Lindelöf kept things neat and tidy and completed 91% of his first half passes including hitting some nice balls forward.
Harry Maguire – 6 – Played adventurously as he seemed to have been tasked with bringing the ball out of defence. Maguire undertook those duties diligently even if it was risky. As for his bread and butter United’s skipper never came under any serious fire.
Luke Shaw – 8 – From the get-go was aggressive by positioning himself further up the pitch. Given his recent performances in a Red Devils jersey Shaw is now effectively an extra winger in Solskjaer’s set-up and today created three chances, the most by a United player.
Scott McTominay – 6 – Was his usual workmanlike self, retaining and recycling possession well, and could have grabbed another Premier League goal as United upped the tempo early into the second half.
Fred – 5 – Booked minutes into the second half but that didn’t curb the Brazilian’s enthusiasm. Instead he continued being a feisty presence and could have netted a gorgeous long-range effort.
Mason Greenwood – 5 – Got the nod ahead of Martial, who ultimately came on for him, but Greenwood couldn’t regularly trouble or stretch Chelsea’s defence. Had one good opportunity that skyrocketed above Mendy’s goal.
Bruno Fernandes' game by numbers against Chelsea:
20 x possession lost (most)
4 x dribbled past (joint-most)
1 chance created
0 shots on target
0 take-ons completed
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) February 28, 2021
Bruno Fernandes – 4 – Cut an exasperated figure in the game and much of that was his own doing by misplacing passes. Fernandes, who has often been United’s match-winner this season, played below the level we expected him to operate. His record against the ‘Big Six’ in the Premier League this season now reads: one goal and no assists in seven matches played.
Daniel James – 6 – A surprise inclusion but deservedly on merit. The young Welsh forward justified his manager’s decision by getting his head down and constantly being involved in United’s best attacking moments.
Marcus Rashford – 5 – His prolific track record against Chelsea, coupled with a recent stellar form, suggested Rashford would be one to keep an eye on this afternoon but the Mancunian forward couldn’t grab this game by the scruff of the neck and was often off the pace.
Anthony Martial (for Greenwood 79) – N/A – A late sub.