Manchester United 0-0 Chelsea – Match Reports and Reaction

Match Reports

The Guardian, Daniel Taylor: “Maybe the game arrived too early in the season to be a classic. José Mourinho’s return to Old Trafford certainly never brought the drama that had been anticipated. No knee-slides in that crisp, dark suit and only a few sporadic moments when David Moyes’s first home game as Manchester United manager looked as if it could turn into one of the nights of his life. For the most part the two men just stood there, hands in pockets, watching two teams slug it out without managing to create a single clear-cut chance.”

The Daily Telegraph, Henry Winter: “This game, the first goalless draw in the Premier League at Old Trafford since May 2009, deserved only a one-star rating but that one star was Wayne Rooney. John Terry was named man of the match, and the centre-half undeniably manned the Chelsea barricades with typical organisation and obstinacy, but Rooney was a poor game’s sole redeeming feature. He was the best striker on view, and would have scored but for Petr Cech’s agile reflexes in keeping his 200th clean sheet. Rooney was the most creative player in view, dropping off Robin van Persie, sweeping the ball wide or teeing up Danny Welbeck for a missed chance. At one point, Rooney was even the best left-back on view, tracking back to near the corner-flag to dispossess Ramires. At the end, Jose Mourinho left Old Trafford with the point he set out for but how the Chelsea manager would have loved to have returned home with the outstanding Rooney.”

The Independent, Sam Wallace: “If this was to be the first instalment in a long fight for the prizes of English football, then David Moyes v Jose Mourinho Part I will not trouble the historians of our 21st century game for too long. They came, they saw, they barely had a chance worthy of the name. Yes, it was intriguing, never more so than in the selections of both managers: Wayne Rooney in for Manchester United; Fernando Torres and Romelu Lukaku both on the bench in Mourinho’s striker-less formation. There was a good deal of the simmering resentment between these two clubs boiling to the surface in the stands but for those match-defining moments? That did not take much of our time.”

The Official Chelsea FC Website: “A match of few chances saw Chelsea depart the north-west with a creditable point on Monday night, as we continued our unbeaten start to the league season. It was an absorbing rather than exciting game, and the point will probably please Jose Mourinho more than his counterpart David Moyes, who was taking charge of his first home game as United manager, and over the 90 minutes it was the Manchester side that created more goalscoring opportunities, though it should be said that Petr Cech, in chalking up his 200th Chelsea clean sheet, did not have to work particularly hard. Robin Van Persie went close in the first half with a vicious drive the goalkeeper was able to watch wide, and the Dutchman then headed over, while for Chelsea Oscar twice shot straight at the goalkeeper. After the break Wayne Rooney forced Cech into one low save, but Chelsea defended resolutely, and credit should go in particular to the outstanding John Terry and Gary Cahill in ensuring United were to end the game frustrated.”

Jose’s Reaction

“I think it’s a fair point. Nobody deserved to lose, nobody did enough or nobody was better than the opponent to deserve a clear victory, so I think it’s a fair point. For us after home victories to come to the champions and in their first match at home to get the point, I think it’s fine, it’s positive.

“I played here with four kids under 22 in attack, for some of them the first time at Old Trafford. They played against the champions, against Ferdinand, against Vidic, against Evra. My kids behaved very well. They couldn’t produce enough to win the game, we didn’t have as many situations as we expected to, we missed some easy passes but the boys were fantastic. The kids were fantastic. The whole generation was brilliant. It’s a very good quality for my team.

“My team needs this because it is a team with a lot of talent but at the same time they need to know how to play in difficult circumstances.They know how to think tactically, how to think in a result if the result you want is not possible. For me it was fantastic. Andre Schurrle playing aginst Evra, Oscar playing in different positions. For me it was fantastic.

“It’s not a victory, only one point, and not the best match but when you try to educate these kids and make them competitive men, playing in a team that wants to win the title, you need to play the match where you play amazing football but you need also to play the match where you thought tactically for 90 minutes, so I praise my people. They had a good start to the season, two victories at home and one point at the champions’ home.”

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There are 19 comments

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  1. Blueboydave

    So it’s Back to the Future time, as Terry and Lampard are magically restored to being capable of lasting 90 mins. for 3 games in a week and matches v Man U return to the cagey, tactical, low-scoring affairs they’ve [mostly] been for the last decade until last year’s aberrations – a regression to the mean so to speak.

    Quirky start to the season otherwise really. Who’d have expected the Spuds and Liverpool to have the last 100 percent records, with them both suddenly mastering the art of grinding out the classic, scarcely deserved 1-0 win?

    Meanwhile, Summer Transfer Window Madness is excelling itself now.

    A few days ago LTB pondered a Matrix world where the Villa game didn’t happen. I think we are clearly experiencing Fringe-like parallel worlds, in one of which the Mancs will sell us Rooney when they find a replacement, while in the other he’s not for sale at any price and one of their suits is sending us stern letters warning us off.

    The portal between these worlds clearly runs through the offices of the Daily Mirror. How else can their hacks print contradictory stories adopting opposite views on consecutive days with no mention of what they said the previous day?

  2. Nick

    Two reasons for the lack of match reports, Clive. 1) I was unwell during the opening week or so of the new season and couldn’t muster any enthusiasm for the blog; and 2) Traditionally it takes us a while to get up to full match report fitness after a long football-free summer.

    • Cunningplan

      Hope you’re feeling better then Nick, my frustrations on match reporting and analysis are only compounded by Sky giving Jaimie Carragher a job as a football pundit.
      Surely it’s a mistake or even a joke? a bit like Robbie Savage at the BBC

      • Blueboydave

        I fast forward through most of the pundit woffling, but the few bits I did catch last night seemed to consist of him saying “I agree with Gary”.

        HEALTH WARNING – steer clear of the Newsnow gossip feeds as they have gone apeshit this afternoon with increasingly bizarre stories like:

        Man U encourage Arsenal to bid for Rooney;

        Chelsea to offer Torres + £30m to Liverpool for Suarez.

        Nurse, the screens!

  3. Joy

    Oscar was impressive. I’m happy with a draw; our kids did well against a more seasoned team; I agree with Mourinho’s comments.

  4. limetreebower

    Meanwhile, we’re apparently pondering Samuel Eto’o.

    An ageing striker with a Europe-wide reputation. What could possibly go wrongchenko?

  5. Blue_MikeL

    The 32-year-old has signed a one-year contract and on finalising the transfer he said: ‘I am very happy to be here but also anxious because I want to get playing as soon as possible.

    At least it is only for one year

  6. musumba

    Here is the Chelsea line-up for tonight’s UEFA Super Cup match against Bayern Munich.
    Starting XI: Cech, Ivanovic, Luiz, Cahill, Cole, Ramires, Lampard, Oscar, Hazard, Schurrle, Torres
    Subs: Schwarzer, Terry, Azpilicueta, Essien, Mikel, Mata, Lukaku

  7. limetreebower

    Pretty encouraging effort all round, I thought. Backs to the wall it may have been but we didn’t have that look of grim and desperate hanging on; it all seemed quite controlled, and the counter-attacking was good. Shame not to win but doesn’t really matter.

  8. bluebayou

    Tough to lose that way but if I’d rather lose that way in a friendly than have Moscow again. Certainly enjoyed it more than last year.

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