Football Features

“Don’t get me started on the midfield” – Player ratings as miserable Man Utd hold Chelsea to a 1-1 draw

By Muhammad Butt

Published: 22:19, 28 April 2022

In an open game of football, Chelsea and Manchester United played out a 1-1 draw.

The Blues dominated the match but couldn’t make the most of their chances, and when they did score the Red Devils hit back instantly.

Here’s how the players rated at Old Trafford:

Manchester United

David de Gea – 7 – Superb whenever Chelsea shot straight at him but when Marcos Alonso put it to his side he was helpless.

Diogo Dalot – 6 – Defended his flank well for the most part, but completely lost Marcos Alonso on the Chelsea goal.

Victor Lindelof – 6 – Sold himself a few times and didn’t really know where Kai Havertz was.

Raphael Varane – 7 – An impressive showing now he didn’t have to run around cleaning up after Maguire.

Alex Telles – 4 – Just awful. Got cooked by Reece James over and over again.

Nemanja Matic – 7 – Produced two sumptuous passes in the match, and one of them was converted superbly by Cristiano Ronaldo. What United wouldn’t give to be able to take five years off his career; he would solve their problems.

“For me it was a pleasure, an honour, to play at Old Trafford for five years,” the Serb said after the match.

Scott McTominay – 5 – Hard-working but hapless in midfield. Pitched in defensively to help keep Chelsea at bay but when he was actually trying to play his position it really didn’t go well as N’Golo Kanté ran circles around him.

As Roy Keane said to Sky Sports after the match: “Getting the ball back and closing people down is easy, easiest part of football. The hardest part is when you do win it back, what you do with it.”

Keane was in fine form as he ran through some of the problems with the United squad: “Don’t get me started on the midfield. I think defensively; I’m still not happy with the goalkeeper. A couple players up-front…”

Bruno Fernandes – 4 – His every touch was dripping with hesitation, his every step mired in frustration. Didn’t create a single chance. A shadow of his former self; is desperately in need of Erik ten Hag’s arrival.

Anthony Elanga – 5 – Ran hard and had some bright moments, but was mostly lacking in quality.

Marcus Rashford – 4 – What happened to this man? He looks completely lost.

Cristiano Ronaldo – 7 – Some good hold-up play and then, in the second half, smashed home a stunning equaliser for the Red Devils. He now has 23 goals for the season and will have people wondering if he should stay as a starter.

“Whatever the quality individuals, good qualities, we have to work as a team,” said Keane after the game, pointing out that Ten Hag will need to create a sense of team harmony; “we have to have everyone working together.”

Manchester United Substitutes:

Phil Jones (for Matic 79′) – 6 – Didn’t get injured!

Juan Mata (for Rashford 79′) – 6 – A nice little cameo for his birthday, as a treat.

“Who’s giving out these contracts?” Asked an indignant Roy Keane after the match, referring to Mata getting a year’s extension last summer.


How the Premier League top four odds look now:

  • To finish in the Premier League top four: Chelsea 1/250 | Arsenal 4/9 | Tottenham 11/8 | Man Utd 250/1 | West Ham 500/1

Follow this link for more William Hill football betting markets. Odds correct at time of publication. You must be over 18 to gamble. For more information, visit Be Gamble Aware.


Chelsea

Edouard Mendy – 6 – Did what little he had to do with calm assurance.

Cesar Azpilicueta – 7 – Shut down any and every attempt by United to attack down his flank.

Thiago Silva – 7 – At one point Ronaldo had a two yard head start on him (he was offside) and the Brazilian still caught up with the Portuguese to tackle him.

Antonio Rudiger – 7 – His usual mania was on full display but there are definitely more chinks in his armour than there were last season. Gave the ball away to start the attack for the United goal.

Reece James – 8 – A sublime display from the wing-back. Had a game-high 112 touches as he constantly saw the ball as Chelsea’s main playmaker. He struck the post with a sublime left-footed shot and sent in some devastating whipped crosses with his right, including the one that was headed on to lead to Chelsea’s opener.

N’Golo Kanté – 8 – Ran the show in the middle of the park, drifting beyond United midfielders with the elegance of a prime Iniesta. He glided across the Old Trafford pitch, completing 2/2 take-ons, making 3 tackles and creating 3 chances.

Jorginho – 7 – Owned the ball in the midfield with 94% pass completion.

Marcos Alonso – 7 – A constant outlet on the left. Opened the scoring with an absolutely gorgeous volley.

Mason Mount – 8 – An impressive display from Mount, worth a 7/10 really, but he gets an 8 for the audacious artistry he showed when he backheeled the ball to Reece James and the right-back hit the post. It would have been goal of the season!

Timo Werner – 6 – Moved well but not to any real impact or effect.

Kai Havertz – 7 – Equally amazing and awful. His movement and link-play was beautiful, and his knock-on to James’ cross set-up the opening goal, but his finishing was risible. He absolutely should have scored at least one goal with the chances he had.

Chelsea Substitutes:

Romelu Lukaku (for Havertz 70′) – 5 – Kept all too quiet. Created no fear in Manchester United, even at their low ebb.

Christian Pulisic (for Werner 71′) – 5 – Had little impact.

Ruben Loftus-Cheek (for Kanté 82′) – n/a – Came on late.

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