Ross Barkley snatched a dramatic late equaliser for Chelsea in a 2-2 draw with Manchester United at Stamford Bridge to maintain their unbeaten start to the Premier League season.
The Blues made their first-half dominance count and scored through Antonio Rudiger’s headed opener. Jose Mourinho’s men hit back through Martial’s clinical finish in the 55th minute. The Frenchman doubled his afternoon’s work as he was fed by Marcus Rashford and scored with another excellent goal to seemingly secure the three points for Manchester United. However, the game was not finished there as substitute Ross Barkley latched onto a rebound off of the post in the 96th minute of time to ensure the game finished level as tensions boiled over.
Rudiger leaps highest to score opener
Both teams had chances during the early exchanges but neither could find the net. First, Willian blasted high and wide from a great opportunity from a free-kick before former Chelsea man Romelu Lukaku put a free header over the bar.
Rudiger showed both players how it was done as he claimed the lead for the hosts. Willian whipped in an excellent corner and the German, who had got free of his marker, thundered a header low into the net.
Martial reacts quickest to equalise
Manchester United dominated the first few minutes of the second-half and deservedly equalised through Martial. Juan Mata had an initial shot saved by Kepa Arrizabalaga, with the ball then finding it’s way to the edge of the area and Ashley Young. The defender took a shot, with it taking a deflection to take it to the Frenchman and he took a touch to control before spearing the ball into the bottom corner.
The Blues almost hit back from another set-piece. From a deep free-kick, Willian did excellently to find the head of David Luiz, however his compatriot nodded just wide.
N’Golo Kante, who scored in the same fixture two seasons ago, then found space on the edge of the area and tested De Gea with a powerful shot that the Spaniard had to parry.
Manchester United double up through Martial
Despite Chelsea’s chances, it was the visitors who were to score the next goal, and once again it was Martial. Juan Mata did excellently to combine with Marcus Rashford as he sprinted down the right flank. The latter then played the ball into the United goalscorer and he showed ice cool instincts to steer the ball into the bottom corner beyond Kepa.
Sarri introduced Olivier Giroud to the fray in an attempt to snatch a late point. The French striker could well have done that as he slid in at the near post but could only bundle the ball behind for a goal kick.
Barkley turns home to claim dramatic draw
With time running out, it was another substitute, Ross Barkley, that was to snatch the headlines and indeed a point. Cesar Azpilicueta looped a hopeful ball into the box, with Luiz jumping highest to nod it onto the post. The rebound was turned goalwards by Rudiger but somehow De Gea kept the ball out. He had no chance with the third attempt as it fell to Barkley only yards out and he tucked the ball home to secure a dramatic point.
The goal triggered unsavoury scenes at Stamford Bridge as both benches as players clashed. However, Chelsea went away thrilled with what could be a valuable point.
It does not quite get any more dramatic than that. The game felt as though it was on a pendulum with it swinging in the favour of both teams with both teams being accused of sloppy defending. Sarri will be thrilled with his team’s start, whilst Mourinho will look at United’s excellent recovery after the break. Whilst Chelsea will be disappointed to have let the game slip away from them having scored the opener, their late equaliser will make the game feel like a win.
Meanwhile, Mourinho will be thrilled at his team’s reaction after the break but will be very disappointed at having let victory slip through his team’s fingers.
Chelsea: Kepa (7); Alonso (6), Luiz (7), Rudiger (7), Azpilicueta (6); Kovacic (6) (Barkley (7), 67′), Jorginho (7), Kante (7); Hazard (6), Morata (5) (Giroud (N/A), 78′), Willian (6) (Pedro (5), 73′).
Manchester United: De Gea (7); Shaw (7), Lindelöf (6), Smalling (6), Young (7); Pogba (6), Matic (7); Rashford (7) (Sanchez (N/A), 85′), Mata (7) (Hererra (6), 75′), Martial (9) (Pereira (N/A), 84′); Lukaku (7).
Goals: Rudiger (21′), Martial (55′, 73′), Barkley (90+6′)
Referee: Mike Dean
Yellow Cards: Matic (13′), Young (27′), Rudiger (30′), Hazard (34′), Mata (67′), Sanchez (90+4′), Pereira (90+5′)
Red Cards: N/A
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