Manchester United just cannot get themselves a couple of wins in a row. After finally getting one against Newcastle United last weekend, a bigger test came to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and his team. Going to Stamford Bridge is never easy, but this was the season where that was not as much of a case as it usually is. In the end, a drab 0-0 draw against Chelsea comes to make history, as the Blues and the Devils have made both goalless draws in the same league campaign for the first time in the last 99 years.
Apart from that, this match will be far from getting into history books, as United failed to make a stronger push for three points against Thomas Tuchels’s side. Here is what we learned from this match.
Solskjaer’s Lineup Tells A Lot
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has been changing things in the starting lineup for a while now, trying to find the best mix and to also rotate as much as possible in order to have a fresher side later on in the season. But his lineup against Chelsea spoke volumes about how he is looking at his team right now. While in the first half of the season, we could have said Anthony Martial would have been guaranteed a spot in the starting XI, this match has shown how things have changed. With Edinson Cavani unavailable, Solskjaer opted for Mason Greenwood in the centre-forward position, with Daniel James on the right flank. There was no Martial up top, nor on the left flank, pushing Marcus Rashford to the right. No, Solskjaer decided to show Martial what he thinks of his recent poor form, although neither Greenwood nor James managed to make the most out of their chance.
Chelsea Still Struggle With Goals
Chelsea have been struggling for goals every since Thomas Tuchel took over the side. Not to much, in terms of raw number of goals. There have been a lot of wins with a couple of draws for the Blues in this period, but it is a fact that Chelsea are mostly scoring a goal or two per game. Against Man United, it was another performance in which they looked underwhelming going forwards in their 3-4-2-1 formation. Their possession eagerness is also sometimes slowing them down and United did well to keep a clean-sheet.
United’s Poor Big Six Form Continues
Manchester United had a couple of counter-attacking chances in this game, but overall, it was not a great surprise they did not score against Chelsea. In fact, if anything was expected, it was exactly that – United have scored just one goal all season against the Big Six rivals and that one was the first encounter of the season – a Bruno Fernandes penalty in a 6-1 loss to Tottenham. Since then, it was all 0-0 draws and a 1-0 loss to Arsenal. Solskjaer’s team might be sitting pretty in second place, but it is miles away from challeing for the title and the matches against the Big Six teams are showing what this team is missing if they are to be true challengers. There is still a lot of work needed if that description is to be theirs.