Football Features

“A wonderful defensive display” – Full player ratings as Man Utd and Chelsea play out forgettable goalless draw

By Harry Edwards

Published: 19:48, 24 October 2020

Defences were on top as Manchester United and Chelsea played out a cagey goalless draw at a rainy Old Trafford.

Both sides set out to frustrate their opponents and they did just that, with both sides largely struggling to test the opposition goalkeepers.

Here’s how the players rated:

Manchester United

David de Gea – 6 – Wasn’t really tested but dealt with what was thrown at him.

Aaron Wan-Bissaka – 8 – A wonderful defensive display from the English right-back. He started how he meant to go on with an early tackle on Pulisic and showed how well he reads the game with a handful of interceptions. Had a momentary lapse from a cross but it went unpunished in an otherwise strong evening.

Victor Lindelof – 8 – Lindelof’s partnership with Wan-Bissaka on the right was excellent and helped keep the Chelsea attack quiet. One of his best performances in a Man Utd shirt.

Harry Maguire – 7 – The English centre-back was lucky not to concede a penalty for a headlock on Azpilicueta that was compared to Hulk Hogan by Patrice Evra. But it was an otherwise solid return to the defence.

Luke Shaw – 7 – Sat back for large parts of the game and helped protect De Gea’s goal, despite James and Azpilicueta’s efforts.

Scott McTominay – 8 – Did the job nobody wants to do excellently, providing the perfect shield for his defence. Fans want him to improve in attack but for now he is happy to be the disruptor in midfield.

Fred – 7 – It was a decent performance from the Brazilian who combined well with McTominay.

Juan Mata – 5 – Tested the Chelsea defence with his passing and had a good first-time shot saved by Mendy but that was about it.

Bruno Fernandes – 7 – Tried to break through the Chelsea defence but was let down at times by his team-mates and frustrated. Also put a shift in defensively both in his own half tracking back and putting pressure on the Chelsea defenders.

Daniel James – 4 – Had some opportunities to get at the Chelsea defence but did nothing with them.


Man Utd’s struggles in attack brought questions over Solskjaer’s use (or lack of use) of Donny van de Beek. The Dutch midfielder, signed from Ajax in the summer, was an unused substitute at Old Trafford which brought a bold claim from former Man Utd defender Evra.

Speaking on Sky Sports coverage of the game, Evra said: “Why did we [Man Utd] buy Van de Beek? I have nothing against him. He’s watching the game from the stands.

“We don’t need him. Nobody will say it but that’s the truth.”

But Solskjaer was quiet to defend his decisions, saying: “Don’t worry about that, he will get his games — it is easy to say who should be playing, more difficult to say who shouldn’t.”


Marcus Rashford – 6 – Quiet at the start of the first half but had a good shot that he might’ve wanted to do better from. Moved wide when Cavani came on but just couldn’t make the difference.

Substitutes:

Paul Pogba (for Mata 58) – 6 – Brought on to try and shift the game and he had some control of the ball, but like his teammates he was frustrated by the Chelsea defence.

Edinson Cavani (for James 58) – 6 – Almost scored with his first touch, getting across Havertz to flick the ball just the wrong side of the post. A promising 30 minutes.

Mason Greenwood (for Scott McTominay 83) – N/A – A late sub.

Chelsea

Edouard Mendy – 7 – Apart from giving away a needless corner with a poor pass across his own goal, Mendy was solid in the Chelsea goal. Pulled off a number of good saves including one from injury-time to preserve his third clean sheet in four games.

Reece James – 7 – Was still liable to fall asleep defensively but James had an overall good game. He was largely solid in defence and also tested Man Utd’s backline with his crosses, but was missing the runs from his teammates.

Cesar Azpilicueta – 7 – A solid performance from the Chelsea captain, moved to centre-back in the back three.

Thiago Silva – 8 – Although he was caught out of position in the build-up to a Rashford shot in the first half, this was an excellent display from Thiago Silva. Killed pretty much everything that came his way and brought calmness on the ball that Chelsea’s defence needed. A stark contrast to his Premier League debut.

Kurt Zouma – 7 – Another good performance from the Frenchman, although his perfect record in aerial duels did come to an end.

Ben Chilwell – 7 – Got forward a lot but was thwarted by Wan-Bissaka. Returned the favour when defending.

Jorginho – 8 – A really solid game from the Italian whose main responsibility was to defend. Did try to send the ball over the Man Utd defence on occasion, but the connection wasn’t there.

N’Golo Kante – 8 – A typical Kante performance. The Frenchman was everywhere to sweep up the ball while Jorginho sat deep. Missing something in attack but that wasn’t just his problem.

Christian Pulisic – 4 – Was dangerous in stints in the first half but he really didn’t do enough. Like the rest of his attacking teammates, a bit of a victim of the tactics.

Timo Werner – 4 – Fed off scraps but when he did have the chance to attack, he failed to test the Man Utd defence.

Kai Havertz – 4 – Another poor performance from the German who just hasn’t found his feet in England yet. Did his bit defensively at times but Chelsea needed inspiration in attack.

Substitutes:

Tammy Abraham (for Werner 71) – 6 – Held the ball up well to give Chelsea’s defence a breather and was pushing his team forward.

Mason Mount (for Havertz 71) – 6 – Added some fresh feet up front in the second half, and looked better than the man he replaced.

Hakim Ziyech (for Pulisic 81) – N/A – A late sub.

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