Manchester United secured an entertaining 1-1 draw at champions Chelsea on Sunday, although one point could easily have been three for Louis van Gaal’s unfortunate Reds.
Jesse Lingard scored the biggest goal of his flourishing career with a superb effort that flew past the impressive Thibaut Courtois, but a potential victory was cruelly taken away by Diego Costa’s 91st-minute leveller. The result leaves United fifth in the Barclays Premier League and six points behind fourth-placed Manchester City, yet the spirit that underpinned this performance suggests progress can be made.
Louis van Gaal named an unchanged XI after admitting he “did not have an argument” to rotate following the convincing 3-0 win over Stoke City in midweek. The manager will have been pleased by his team’s start, too, after the Reds earned six corners in the opening 20 minutes and registered three shots on target through Cameron Borthwick-Jackson, Michael Carrick and Anthony Martial.
The vociferous Costa, making his first career appearance against United, headed over for Chelsea on 26 minutes and Nemanja Matic nodded at goal to force a fine save from David De Gea moments later. Costa and Oscar also missed the target from inside the penalty area just after the half-hour mark as the first half became much more competitive following a one-sided opening.
Marouane Fellaini lost his marker to head wide of the left post on 40 minutes before an excellent cross from the industrious Matteo Darmian rolled across the entire six-yard area without anybody obliging the invitation to score past a stranded Thibaut Courtois. Daley Blind then survived a late penalty scare in the closing seconds when his hand collided with a John Terry shot from eight yards.