Manchester United 0-0 Chelsea: Five lessons we learned

by Sam Peoples

A good result. The prerogative tonight was always not to lose. If Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea had walked away with three points, they would have sat six points clear atop the Premier League having played just three games and any Mourinho side is dangerous with a lead at the top.

But at the same time, Mourinho set up to not lose the game rather than win it. Playing no strikers was a clear indication of his desire to not let David Moyes win on his first game at Old Trafford.

All in all, a draw was a fair result. Moyes is in for a tough start to his tenure as Manchester United manager and not losing to Mourinho is a good start.

Impressive Wayne Rooney. He stole the headlines before kick-off and he will be heavily discussed after the final whistle following a very Rooney-of-old performance.

Cross-field passes, shots from outside the box, powerful surges, tracking back et al. Rooney is one of the most complete forwards still in the modern game and he showcased that tonight.

The fans let him know what they want him to do by cheering his name and Moyes let him know what he wants to do by starting him. It is all up to Rooney now with just nine days remaining in the transfer window.

Organised United. Chelsea set up with four dynamic attacking midfielders tonight and on paper, it looked like they would dominate a lot of the football but it couldn’t have been further from the reality.

United had the game by the scruff of it’s neck from the first to last whistle. Chelsea’s defensive set-up invited pressure onto it and we were happy to oblige. It was only our final ball that lacked tonight with a midfield duo of Carrick and Cleverley playing very well together and the age old partnership of Ferdinand and Vidic sweeping up at the back with consummate ease.

Cleverley. I was very impressed with Tom’s performance. Michael Carrick adopted a sitting tactic in the middle of the park and rarely moved sideways in order to patrol the centre of the pitch. It was Cleverley’s job to get around, bite at the heels of the opposition and break up their play – something I thought he did very well.

This year is a big season for Cleverley. Given that United are still yet to make reinforcements to the midfield, Cleverley has the opportunity to become a starter under Moyes.

While his performance was far from a blockbuster, he showed a very disciplined side to his game tonight that I didn’t think he had.

It’s worth noting that you can get the latest live football scores on future United fixtures at footballscores.com and keeping on eye out on our rivals results too.

Needed some incisive passing. Antonio Valencia and Danny Welbeck both started the game and it was clear that Moyes instructed them to add as much to the defence to shut down Chelsea’s counter-attack which worked well.

But it left United lacking incisive passing in the attack. Rooney’s shots from distance represented United’s best chances of the game until Ashley Young came on and threw in some really great crosses.

Many called for Shinji Kagawa to come off the bench instead of Ryan Giggs and it certainly would of given United a different outlet but given that Moyes earned four points from Swansea away and Chelsea at home in his first two games, it has been a very positive start to his career at United.

Image: Twitter/ManUtd

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