Manchester United 2-1 Chelsea: Scott McTominay scores either side of Cole Palmer equaliser

Manchester United moved up to sixth in the Premier League table with victory over Chelsea at Old Trafford. Scott McTominay scored both goals for United as they bounced back from defeat at Newcastle at the weekend. Cole Palmer equalised for Chelsea but they couldn’t get anything from the game and are 10th in the table. United face Bournemouth next while Chelsea are at Everton.

A Scott McTominay brace helped Manchester United to a 2-1 win over Chelsea in a chaotic encounter at Old Trafford on Wednesday evening.
McTominay finished from a rebound in the first half and headed home at the back post in the second to earn his team all three points, but could easily have had a hat-trick, missing other good chances and being denied by a brilliant double save in the first half.
Bruno Fernandes saw an early penalty saved by Robert Sanchez after Antony was adjudged to have been fouled in the box by Enzo Fernandez by VAR.
And United failed to convert a number of other golden opportunities in the match, registering 28 attempts but just nine on target cross the 90 minutes.
Chelsea equalised just before the break thanks to an excellent Cole Palmer finish following a jinking run across the edge of the box, and the Blues could have had more goals of their own, with Nicolas Jackson and Mykhaylo Mudryk particularly wasteful, with the visitors catching United repeatedly on the break.
But Erik ten Hag’s side held on for a much-needed, morale-boosting three points, as Chelsea slipped even further away from the business end of the table

Talking Point – Imperfect improvement from United

This win was a long way from a perfect performance from Ten Hag’s side, but the United manager will have been delighted to see the effort that his team put in to bounce back from the lacklustre loss against Newcastle.
Ten Hag made four changes to the starting line-up, including leaving out Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial, who could both have been extremely dangerous in such an open game. And his selection was justified by a high-energy display in a game that United could, and should, have won by more.
A lack of pace in the back-line was exposed time and again by Chelsea, and the United midfield struggled to control the game or offer much protection to the defenders in transition. But it’s a case of small steps right now for United, and there were enough positives in this game to give the squad hope of improved fortunes down the line.
For Chelsea there is even more thinking to do, with their expensively-assembled squad looking all at sea for large parts of the game, and relying primarily on a lightning-quick front three on the break.

Player Of The Match – Scott McTominay

The Manchester United midfielder has been a huge goal threat this season and could have scored four on an evening when he frequently found dangerous pockets of space as he ghosted into the final third.
His first was a nice finish after an initial touch that looped up nicely. And his second was a classic example of a player full of confidence, with the Scot timing his run brilliantly to be the first red shirt to get on the end of an Alejandro Garnacho cross that was begging to be turned home.

Player Ratings

Man Utd: Onana 7; Dalot 7, Maguire 7, Lindelof 6, Shaw 7; Amrabat 7, McTominay 8; Antony 7, Bruno 7, Garnacho 8; Hojlund 6. Subs: Reguilon 6, Rashford 6, Evans 6
Chelsea: Sanchez 8; Disasi 6, Silva 7, Colwill 7, Cucurella 6; Caicedo 6, Enzo 5; Mudryk 4, Palmer 7, Sterling 6; Jackson 4. Subs: James 7, Broja 6

Match Highlights

It’s a penalty to Manchester United for Enzo catching Fernandes after the ball had gone. It’s the sort of decision that Chelsea fans will be furious about, but it’s a foul so the decision is correct.
Fernandes steps up with his trademark stutter, but Sanchez waits, calls the taker’s bluff, and makes a great save. The follow-up from Hojlund flies over the bar.
Chelsea latch onto a very poor pass and have United outnumbered on the break. Mudryk bursts free on the left of the box and shoots, but the angle was increasingly narrow and he fails to convert. That was a huge chance.
The goal finally comes and it’s McTominay who gets it. Chelsea give the ball away in transition and United throw numbers in the box. Maguire could score but sees his effort blocked, but it falls to McTominay who controls with his right and finishes with his left. 1-0.
Chelsea are all at sea defensively and United come at them in waves. A brilliant cross finds McTominay all alone in front of goal, but his header is well saved by Sanchez, and the rebound comes back off the Scot and is once again saved by the Chelsea keeper, on reflexes as much as anything. How on earth is this only 1-0!?
Chelsea get the equaliser and it’s Cole Palmer. There’s acres of space for Mudryk to pick a pass in midfield and he finds Palmer on the edge of the box. He darts across the area, feinting his way into space before shooting back across goal and into the bottom corner. That’s pure class. 1-1.
It’s United’s most dangerous goal threat at it once again. Reguilon finds Garnacho who puts in a lovely cross. There are a number of players who can finish it at the back post, but it’s McTominay who makes the best movement and heads home. McTominay may have committed a foul in the build-up, that’s what VAR was looking at anyway, but the decision is made to allow the goal to stand and the cheer is huge at Old Trafford.

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