Casemiro’s looping stoppage-time header gave Manchester United a deserved point in a dramatic finale against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge in the Premier League.
Jorginho’s late penalty looked to have given Chelsea a narrow win when he sent goalkeeper David de Gea the wrong way from the spot after substitutes Scott McTominay and Armando Broja tangled at a corner three minutes from time.
Defeat would have been harsh on United but they got the reward their performance merited when Casemiro rose to meet Luke Shaw’s cross deep into six minutes of stoppage time, Chelsea keeper Kepa Arrizabalaga getting a fingertip touch but unable to stop the ball crossing the line as it bounced back off the inside of the post.
United, with Cristiano Ronaldo left out of the squad as a disciplinary measure following his refusal to come on as a substitute in the win against Tottenham, had the better chances as they dominated the first half.
Erik ten Hag’s side were well on top and far more dangerous, Kepa saving well from Marcus Rashford and Antony, the latter also missing a great chance when clean through.
The second half was closer and concluded with that frantic finish, but the main worry for United now is an injury to defender Raphael Varane, who left the pitch in tears as he clearly fears for his World Cup chances with France.
Disappointment for Chelsea & Potter
Chelsea manager Graham Potter must have thought he was on the way to his second victory over United this season after Jorginho calmly slotted home late on.
Potter, who won at Old Trafford with Brighton on the opening weekend, was also set to see his side earn a sixth successive clean sheet in all competitions until that late Casemiro intervention.
In reality, however, Chelsea would have been fortunate to win. Indeed, so outmanoeuvred were they in the first half that Potter was forced into a tactical reshuffle to bolster his struggling midfield after only 36 minutes, Mateo Kovacic coming on for Marc Cucurella.
Chelsea were grateful to goalkeeper Kepa in that period but they improved after the break – albeit they were still unable to force De Gea into any serious work, the one anxious moment for the visitors coming when Trevoh Chalobah’s header glanced off the top of the bar.
The hosts ultimately could muster just two shots on target in a game that failed to live up to its billing – but there will be real disappointment that they could not close out the win after taking the lead so late.
Potter was at least able to maintain his unbeaten record as Chelsea manager but it could have been so much more satisfying.
Man Utd boss Ten Hag can be satisfied
Ten Hag will be happy with a point after coming close to leaving with nothing. When the dust settles, however, he will know this was a missed opportunity.
Rashford and Antony should each have done better when clean through and it looked like they would pay for their profligacy before the outstanding Casemiro’s first goal for the club provided the sting in the tail.
Ten Hag would have been bitterly frustrated at McTominay’s rash tangle with Broja to concede the penalty and it was no surprise that the Scotland midfielder embraced Casemiro in sheer relief at the end.
United’s manager has brought clear improvements to the team, who now press more effectively and play with more intensity.
He has also dealt firmly and strongly with Ronaldo’s insubordination, leaving him out of the squad here to deliver a clear message clear that there will only be one man making the decisions at Old Trafford.
However, United will worry about Varane, who collapsed with what looked like a muscle injury as he went to challenge Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
The defender’s tearful reaction clearly suggests it is a problem that threatens his World Cup chances.