Manchester United 0-0 Chelsea: No win in eight for Reds

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Manchester United produce a better display against Chelsea but fail to get the victory at Old Trafford

Despite an encouraging display from Manchester United which saw them create chances, the Red Devils were held to a 0-0 draw with Chelsea at Old Trafford.

An end to end 90-minutes saw United look the stronger side, but they were unable to carve out the opening to end their winless drought.

United have now gone eight games without a win and they will need to change their luck if Louis van Gaal is to remain in charge of the side. The 64 year-old is under pressure to get United back competing for titles but so far the Red Devils are labouring five points adrift of the Champions League spots.

However, the signs from the draw from Chelsea was that the players are still trying their best to get things back on track. It may take a slice of luck but against the Blues, Van Gaal’s side could have easily walked away with the three points.

With more options to choose from, the Dutch boss opted to bring back in Matteo Darmian with the Italian returning from injury. Midfielder’s Bastian Schweinsteiger and Morgan Schneiderlin were both recalled in to the middle of the park while Ander Herrera kept his place in the side.

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And from the off it was a bright start. United were playing the ball around at pace and going forward – something the fans have been calling for in the last few games. Anthony Martial was looking bright while Wayne Rooney returned to the starting XI with some energy and positivity.

It didn’t take long for the first chance to come when Juan Mata picked up the ball from 18 yards out before lashing a fierce drive onto the bar which had the Old Trafford crowd rocking. Chelsea also had their opportunities and David De Gea made a great save to deny John Terry from a corner.

United continued to pressure the Chelsea goal and Rooney went close with his long range effort being tipped behind. The Blues mainly sat back without a striker in their squad due to the injuries to Loic Remy and the banned Diego Costa. And in all honesty that helped United, as the Reds were able to dominate possession and keep the ball in Chelsea’s half.

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The second half was similar to the first with United coming out and looking to make the chances count. But they were looking at beating one of the best goalkeepers in Thibaut Courtois and the Belgian produced a magnificent save to deny Herrera in the 52nd minute. Picking up the ball out wide, Martial found himself one-on-one with Branislav Ivanovic and he beat the Serbian before delivering a teasing ball which Herrera struck towards goal from six yards. But Courtois spread himself wide to deny the Spaniard and prevent the fans from celebrating.

It was all United but the next best chance fell to Chelsea and Nemanja Matic. A breakaway corner gave the Blues plenty of space to break into and Pedro found Matic open with plenty of space to run into. Matic then ran through on goal and with just De Gea to beat from 12 yards, he blazed his shot way over – a huge relief for anyone in the stadium.

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United then had a few penalty shouts as the game wore on with Willian guilty of committing a handball in the box. However, it wasn’t enough for the referee to give and United were left to rue their chances.

Van Gaal is likely to remain in charge for the next game which is Swansea on Saturday afternoon.