All 0-0 between Manchester Utd and Chelsea


Manchester United ended a run of four straight defeats in all competitions as they drew 0-0 with Chelsea in the Barclays Premier League on Monday.

United manager Louis van Gaal had urged his team to be brave for the visit of the champions and they began firmly on the front foot, with both Juan Mata and Anthony Martial striking the woodwork in the first half.

David de Gea made fine saves from John Terry and Pedro but the home side were in control for the majority of the opening hour against a Chelsea team lacking any real punch in attack without the suspended Diego Costa or the injured Loic Remy.

The contest was more balanced in the second half, with Nemanja Matic wasting a glorious chance for Chelsea shortly after Ander Herrera almost broke the deadlock.

United continued to push for a winner and Wayne Rooney volleyed their best chance over with four minutes to go.

Mata was inches away from giving United an ideal start against his old club as he rattled the crossbar in the third minute with a fierce half-volley from just inside the area.

De Gea reacted superbly to tip Terry’s header over the top from a Willian corner but the woodwork came to Chelsea’s rescue again when Martial cut in and hit the inside of the near post with a low drive.

United were comfortably in charge and Thibaut Courtois was called into action again in the 28th minute to tip the recalled Rooney’s drive from 25 yards over the crossbar, but it was De Gea who made the next key stop with a brilliant double-save to deny Pedro and then Cesar Azpilicueta on the follow-up just after half-time.

Martial continued to give Branislav Ivanovic a torrid time and another surging run saw him cross for Herrera in the six-yard box but Courtois reacted superbly to block his effort and claw the ball away from the line.

United were on top but Matic spurned a great chance on the counter-attack to give Chelsea the lead as he blazed over with only De Gea to beat after being played clean through by Pedro.

United threw on Memphis Depay to increase the pace in attack as they pushed to seal that first win since their visit to Watford on 21 November. And they could have snatched it late on, Rooney volleying over at the far post after a fine cross from substitute Cameron Borthwick-Jackson.

Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal: “For me, it (his future) is not an interesting subject because I cannot have any influence on that, I can only work with my players and you can see they are fighting for me.

“Even after this result the fans were applauding so I cannot say I’m very much concerned. In this football world you never know, but I’m fully confident in the board and my players.

“Will I resign? On the contrary. When the players can give such a performance with a lot of pressure, there is not any reason to resign for me. Maybe the media wants me to but I shall not resign. It’s not a question of staying, it’s a question of fulfilling my contract.”

Chelsea interim manager Guus Hiddink: “On the one hand, I am happy with a point because we had a difficult game, but on the other, we had two big chances to get three points. We were lacking some attacking players and had to adapt. In general, I’m happy.

“Hazard is very mobile and can go either way. His preference is the left and he’s doing very well in the centre. All our strikers are injured, so we have to adapt.”

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