Chelsea maintained their lead at the top of the table, having come from behind to earn a point against an improved Manchester United at Stamford Bridge on Sunday.
The hosts – who had gone into the match as undoubted favourites – unsurprisingly made the brighter start, with United once again reliant on David De Gea to bail them out of trouble, the Spaniard notably turning Callum Hudson-Odoi’s effort round the post.
Caretaker boss Michael Carrick had opted to leave talisman Cristiano Ronaldo on the bench in favour of a more pragmatic approach, with the visitors spending much of the first-half camped on the edge of their own box in the hope of avoiding another league drubbing.
As for the Blues, they saw an Antonio Rudiger speculative effort strike the crossbar, while Hudson Odoi also fired an effort straight at De Gea after a slack, cross-field pass from Bruno Fernandes.
The away side’s ploy appeared to be to play on the counter, with that almost coming to fruition as Fred brilliantly played in Jadon Sancho, only for the summer signing’s poor touch squandering the potential opening.
The former Borussia Dortmund man made up for that missed chance by handing the Red Devils the lead after the break, picking the pocket of Jorginho from an initial Chelsea corner and racing clear to cooly slot past Edouard Mendy for his second goal this week.
The Italian midfielder atoned for that error after converting from the penalty spot following a foul by Aaron Wan-Bissaka on Thiago Silva, although the United man recovered well to then thwart Timo Werner, who had earlier lashed an effort wide.
In a frantic end, Fred wasted a potential chance for a winner after having been gifted possession by Mendy, while the European champions almost grabbed a winner in the final minute of stoppage time, yet Rudiger could only blaze over at the back post.
Speaking after the match, Thomas Tuchel insisted he was ‘happy’ with his side’s performance, despite slipping to a second successive home league draw.
“It can happen in football, unfortunately it happened twice to us, it also happened against Burnley,” Tuchel told BBC Sport.
“I am absolutely happy with the performance. We dominated from the first minute, we were aggressive and never stopped attacking. Unfortunately we scored two goals, one for each side.”
One point could so easily have been three as Rudiger squandered a guilt-edged late chance, although the Blues boss was still delighted with the ‘fantastic’ performance.
“It was a big chance, if he maybe hits the target it could have been a fantastic end to a fantastic performance but we have to swallow the result. We played very well and I am happy.
“We were very disciplined and sharp. I am happy with what I saw, it was a pleasure to coach on the sidelines. We can not guarantee results but if we play like this we can increase the chances for results.”
Chelsea are next in action away at Watford on Wednesday, before taking on West ham United at the London Stadium on Saturday.
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