Cristiano Ronaldo rescued a point for Manchester United in a 1-1 draw against Chelsea in Thursday’s Premier League clash at Old Trafford.
Ronaldo, who has now scored United’s last five goals, found the net just two minutes after Chelsea had taken a deserved 60th-minute lead through Marcos Alonso. Despite dominating the game, Chelsea failed to make the most of a host of chances in a contest between two teams’ whose tumultuous seasons are drifting toward their conclusion.
The result makes little impact on either team in the Premier League standings. Chelsea remain a comfortable third, six points clear of Arsenal in fourth and eight points above fifth-placed Tottenham. United stay a further three points back in sixth, having played two games more than the sides above them, with the result doing little to resuscitate their long-shot hopes of making next season’s Champions League.
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Chelsea were especially dominant the first half, but failed to make their superiority pay, with Kai Havertz the chief culprit in front of goal. Twice the Germany international was played through by N’Golo Kante but first shot wide of the near post and then fired too close to David de Gea.
The pattern was repeated soon after when Havertz headed straight at De Gea from six yards after being set up by the impressive Reece James.
It took until the hour-mark for Chelsea to get on the scoresheet. The method was no surprise as James supplied another cross from the right, Timo Werner flicked on and Alonso adjusted his feet before volleying expertly into the far corner.
But, despite supplying no previous attacking threat, United were level within two minutes.
Perhaps switching off after the goal, Kante gave the ball away in his own half, allowing Nemanja Matic to set up Ronaldo for a typically emphatic finish from close range.
Remarkably, it was the first goal Ronaldo had scored in 12 league appearances against Chelsea. It was also the Portuguese star’s 17th goal in the league this season, with only Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah having scored more.
Chelsea, who brought former Man United striker Romelu Lukaku off the bench, still had another chance to seal all three points but James’ effort with his weaker left foot cannoned off the outside of the post.