Premier League
Man UtdManchester United1ChelseaChelsea1

Manchester United 1-1 Chelsea

By Phil McNultyChief football writer at Old Trafford
Manchester United's Robin Van Persie equalises against Chelsea
Van Persie's goal was the ninth Courtois has conceded in nine league games
  • Drogba scores first league goal since March 2012
  • It is his first league start in two and a half years
  • Chelsea have won seven of nine league games
  • Man Utd four unbeaten at Old Trafford

Robin van Persie's equaliser deep into injury time gave Manchester United a point and kept Chelsea within range of their Premier League title rivals after a dramatic Old Trafford finale.

Didier Drogba's header, glanced in off Van Persie early in the second half, looked to have extended Chelsea's lead at the top of the table to six points until a thunderous conclusion in front of the Stretford End.

In scenes reminiscent of days gone by at the Theatre of Dreams, Chelsea's Branislav Ivanovic was shown a second yellow card for a foul on Angel Di Maria as United applied late pressure.

MOTD2 analysis
Peter Schmeichel: "Manchester United and Chelsea have excellent young goalkeepers in David de Gea and Thibaut Courtois but, in front of them, things are very different.Courtois plays behind an incredibly well-organised defence. In contrast, United's back four is full of uncertainty and insecurity, something that was particularly evident at set-pieces at Old Trafford."
Read more: Man Utd disorganised in defence

Di Maria's resulting free-kick saw Chelsea goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois save brilliantly from Marouane Fellaini but Van Persie was on hand to thrash home the rebound and spark wild celebrations around Old Trafford.

Blues manager Jose Mourinho turned away in disgust as Van Persie scored, frustrated that the victory his side deserved for controlling long periods had slipped away in a chaotic conclusion.

Premier League: Manchester United 1-1 Chelsea

The Portuguese's side remain four points clear of second-placed Southampton - and, perhaps more significantly, six points ahead of last season's champions Manchester City - but this is a result that will almost have the after-taste of defeat, even though Chelsea's unbeaten run continues.

Without injured top scorer Diego Costa, the old warrior Drogba stepped into the breach and, when United did threaten Chelsea's defence, keeper Courtois was faultless. The Belgian was powerless to prevent Van Persie's leveller.

Despite the late concession, Chelsea looked ominously powerful and carry all the hallmarks of the team to beat this season.

Match facts
Manchester United have not lost at Old Trafford since being beaten by Swansea on the opening day.After nine games, United have one point fewer than at this stage last term under David Moyes.
Chelsea remain the only undefeated team in the Premier League this season.Chelsea have gone eight games without defeat away from home in the league (W6, D2).

For United manager Louis van Gaal, there will be pleasure in showing the resilience and fighting spirit of old to earn a point - but also the reality that Chelsea showed him how much ground they still have to make up, despite that £150m outlay this summer.

Blues striker Diego Costa's "little chance" of playing turned out to be no chance as his lingering hamstring strain ruled him out while United, without suspended captain Wayne Rooney, were also missing the injured Radamel Falcao.

The old friends, and on this day foes, Van Gaal and Mourinho were in no mood to hold back and it was only the finishing touches that were missing in an enthralling first half that saw chances for both sides.

Courtois saved superbly from Van Persie after the Dutchman was played through, and home keeper David de Gea also excelled to save with his legs after Oscar's pass found Drogba only 12 yards out.

Mourinho avoids criticising referee

There was one highly contentious moment when Ivanovic was dragged to the floor by Chris Smalling as they chased Cesc Fabregas's delivery into the box but referee Phil Dowd gave nothing.

Chelsea increased the tempo and power at the start of the second half and it was only another fine save from De Gea that stopped Eden Hazard as he ran clean through and looked certain to score.

There was no let-off, though, as Drogba escaped his marker - who mystifyingly was the diminutive Rafael - and headed in off Van Persie at the near post. The striker's attempted headed clearance was flimsy at best.

Drogba will hope the goal is not taken off him after Van Persie's unwitting intervention as it will otherwise go down as his first Premier League goal for Chelsea since he scored against Stoke in March 2012.

Scenting the chance to kill their hosts off, Willian forced De Gea into an athletic save and Ivanovic's bustling run into the area ended with a shot flashed across the face of goal.

United were looking to Van Persie to create a spark but he found Courtois in his way once more after creating space inside the area.

Then came that Ivanovic red card, the scramble in front of the Stretford End and United had their point courtesy of Van Persie.

Listen to BBC Radio 5 live commentary on the goals.

Manchester United's Robin Van Persie equalises against Chelsea
Van Persie's goal was his fourth in eight Premier League appearances
Chelsea's Didier Drogba scores against Manchester United
Drogba scored his second of the season, having netted against Maribor on Tuesday
Chelsea's Branislav Ivanovic claims a penalty against Manchester United
Chelsea's Branislav Ivanovic, left, is grappled by Chris Smalling as they try to meet a free-kick
Manchester United's David De Gea denies Chelsea's Eden Hazard
David De Gea thwarts Eden Hazard after the Chelsea attacker burst into the box
Chelsea's Jose Mourinho greets Manchester United's Louis van Gaal
Jose Mourinho was reunited with Louis van Gaal, to whom he was assistant coach at Barcelona

Line-ups

Man Utd

Formation 4-1-4-1

  • 1de Gea
  • 2da SilvaBooked at 12mins
  • 12Smalling
  • 5Rojo
  • 3Shaw
  • 17Blind
  • 7Di María
  • 8MataSubstituted forWilsonat 67'minutes
  • 31FellainiBooked at 77mins
  • 11Januzaj
  • 20van PersieBooked at 90mins

Substitutes

  • 13Lindegaard
  • 16Carrick
  • 21Herrera
  • 24Fletcher
  • 42Blackett
  • 44Pereira
  • 49Wilson

Chelsea

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 13Courtois
  • 2IvanovicBooked at 90mins
  • 24Cahill
  • 26Terry
  • 3Filipe Luís
  • 4FàbregasBooked at 50mins
  • 21MaticBooked at 39mins
  • 22WillianSubstituted forZoumaat 90+3'minutes
  • 8OscarBooked at 62minsSubstituted forMikelat 67'minutes
  • 10E HazardBooked at 88minsSubstituted forSchürrleat 90'minutes
  • 11DrogbaBooked at 22mins

Substitutes

  • 1Cech
  • 5Zouma
  • 6Aké
  • 12Mikel
  • 14Schürrle
  • 17Salah
  • 34Baker
Referee:
Phil Dowd
Attendance:
75,327

Match Stats

Home TeamMan UtdAway TeamChelsea
Possession
Home52%
Away48%
Shots
Home19
Away9
Shots on Target
Home7
Away4
Corners
Home4
Away7
Fouls
Home13
Away14

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Manchester United 1, Chelsea 1.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Manchester United 1, Chelsea 1.

  3. Booking

    Robin van Persie (Manchester United) is shown the yellow card for excessive celebration.

  4. Goal!

    Goal! Manchester United 1, Chelsea 1. Robin van Persie (Manchester United) left footed shot from the centre of the box to the centre of the goal following a set piece situation.

  5. Post update

    Attempt saved. Marouane Fellaini (Manchester United) header from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Ángel Di María with a cross.

  6. Dismissal

    Second yellow card to Branislav Ivanovic (Chelsea) for a bad foul.

  7. Post update

    Ángel Di María (Manchester United) wins a free kick on the left wing.

  8. Post update

    Foul by Branislav Ivanovic (Chelsea).

  9. Substitution

    Substitution, Chelsea. Kurt Zouma replaces Willian.

  10. Post update

    Attempt saved. Ángel Di María (Manchester United) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom right corner.

  11. Substitution

    Substitution, Chelsea. André Schürrle replaces Eden Hazard.

  12. Post update

    Foul by Robin van Persie (Manchester United).

  13. Post update

    Nemanja Matic (Chelsea) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  14. Post update

    Foul by Adnan Januzaj (Manchester United).

  15. Post update

    Branislav Ivanovic (Chelsea) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  16. Booking

    Eden Hazard (Chelsea) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  17. Post update

    Rafael (Manchester United) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  18. Post update

    Foul by Eden Hazard (Chelsea).

  19. Post update

    Foul by Robin van Persie (Manchester United).

  20. Post update

    John Terry (Chelsea) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Chelsea97202491523
2Southampton96122051519
3Man City95221910917
4West Ham95131712516
5Arsenal93511511414
6Swansea94231310314
7Liverpool94231312114
8Man Utd93421613313
9Everton93331917212
10Hull92521313011
11Tottenham93241113-211
12Stoke9324810-211
13West Brom92431213-110
14Newcastle92431015-510
15Aston Villa8314412-810
16Crystal Palace92341316-39
17Leicester92341115-49
18Sunderland9153817-98
19Burnley9045516-114
20QPR8116618-124
View full Premier League table

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