Manchester United vs. Chelsea result: Cristiano Ronaldo scores in draw, but Red Devils top-four hopes fade

If Manchester United were still attempting to make a run at a top-four finish, they sure didn’t show it during a 1-1 draw against Chelsea, a match in which they were outplayed for stretches. The Red Devils are now five points from fourth place with only three matches left to play, and they’ll need a miracle at this point to clinch a Champions League berth.

Cristiano Ronaldo scored an equalizer for United two minutes after Marcos Alonso put the visitors ahead with a wide-open volley in the box. Ronaldo pounced on a delightful scoop pass from Nemanja Matic into the box, and he sent a searing rocket into the roof of the net for his 17th Premier League goal.

The point allows Chelsea to maintain a stranglehold on the third place in the Premier League standings, six points ahead of the nearest pursuer. The Blues’ focus is now on preparing for the May 14 FA Cup final against Liverpool, and an injury substitution for N’Golo Kante will be one to monitor ahead of that trophy showdown.

Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel will not be happy his team could not convert on a multitude of chances created (Chelsea outshot United 21-6), especially in the first half. Forward Kai Havertz, who has often been Chelsea’s best attacking player across several matches this season, is one of the players who could have done more with his chances. But Havertz and compatriot Timo Werner often found Man United ‘keeper David De Gea up to the task.

“We had a lot of chances and the two [Werner and Havertz] did not reach their peak performance today. And if they did, we were not a winner,” Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel said postgame.

“Very good performance, but we were not decisive enough, not clinical enough,” he continued. “We lacked a bit of determination in the box to win this game because it would have been absolutely deserved.

“It’s not a fair result. We were very, very good today, but we did not take what we deserved.”

Man United are in a transition period as Dutchman Erik ten Hag prepares to take over from interim German manager Ralf Rangnick. They will play out the string with three matches left, and they will hope to at least secure a spot in next season’s Europa League by finishing in fifth or sixth place in the Premier League.

Rangnick, who confirmed his consultancy role after the season and the potential he could take another job — he is reportedly a candidate to take over the Austria national team job — was direct in his assessment of his team: “We have our problems defending and getting a hold of the ball, winning the ball. We are just not compact, aggressive enough, and physical enough in some of those moments. And this especially shows up against top teams like Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester City.” 

There will be plenty of work for Ten Hag and the club to repair the relationship with supporters, who protested club ownership before the match by entering the stadium well after kickoff and displaying a “Glazers Out” banner. The atmosphere at Old Trafford was subdued, and with only one final home match remaining (May 2 vs. Brentford) many at the club will be looking forward to turning the page to a new season.

MORE: Who is Erik ten Hag? Playing style, clubs managed & trophies

Manchester United vs. Chelsea final score

  1H 2H Final
Man United  0 1 1
Chelsea  0 1 1

CHE — Marcos Alonso — 60th min.
MUN — Cristiano Ronaldo (Nemanja Matic) — 62nd min.

Manchester United vs. Chelsea live updates, highlights from Premier League

Final: Manchester United 1, Chelsea 1

92nd min.: SUB Alejandro Garnacho makes his Manchester United debut.

90th min.: Three minutes of stoppage time. Man United are trying to bring on Garnacho. This looks like it’s destined to finish 1-1.

82nd min.: SUB Chelsea’s N’Golo Kante appears to have picked up a knock and Thomas Tuchel takes no chances. It’s Ruben Loftus-Cheek taking his place.

80th min.: Reece James hits the post! He’s been involved all game. In this instance a beautiful Mason Mount heel flick leaves the ball perfectly set up for James to run onto it and curl a left-footed shot off the far post.

79th min.: SUBS  Man United’s Juan Mata for Marcus Rashford and Phil Jones for Nemanja Matic.

78th min.: Ronaldo again with a shot that tests Chelsea ‘keeper Edouard Mendy. But he was offside the whole way (flag came up after the play was over).

71st min.: SUBS Christian Pulisic and Romelu Lukaku in for Timo Werner and Kai Havertz. Tuchel is done being patient for those two to figure it out.

69th min.: Hard to believe that it was Ronaldo’s first Premier League goal against Chelsea.

62nd min.: Cristiano Ronaldo equalizes! What a lofted ball by Nemanja Matic in the path of Ronaldo, who blasts it into the roof of the net. 1-1.

Watch the Ronaldo goal: USA | UKCanadaAustralia

60th min.: 1-0 Chelsea! And there’s the first. Marcos Alonso wide open in the box with the volley that gets past De Gea.

Watch the Alonso goal: USAUK | Canada 

53rd min.: Timo Werner nearly gets to a Mason Mount cross at the back post. Chelsea threatening again. Same script as the first half.

46th min.: Back underway.

Halftime: Manchester United 0, Chelsea 0

Halftime: Another low point for Manchester United this season. The team’s not playing well and the atmosphere at Old Trafford is subdued with the fans entering the match late in protest. It feels like it’s just a matter of time before Chelsea break through. And once they do, it could be another lopsided defeat.

No cohesion among the Man United players, and no aggression. David De Gea is the best player for the Red Devils. Chelsea’s Thomas Tuchel will be frustrated that his team is not ahead. Kai Havertz definitely had his looks.

42nd min.: Man United’s players sure aren’t looking like they want to impress new boss Erik ten Hag watching from home. It’s hard to come to a different conclusion from Gary Neville’s below:

36th min.: Havertz heads on goal from close range. It looks so easy for Chelsea. De Gea has to come up with another save. Man United have gone missing again.

28th min.: Another Havertz chance! He’s put through on goal by N’Golo Kante, but Havertz’s shot goes off De Gea. Chelsea are easily passing through Man United’s resistance. Frankly, it’s not much of a resistance until they reach De Gea.

Watch the highlight in USA.

26th min.: Ronaldo, surrounded by three Chelsea defenders in the box, is dispossessed and it’s a transition for Chelsea. Kai Havertz hits side netting.

19th min.: Man United just let Chelsea waltz into the box. Jorginho is not bothered and he dishes to N’Golo Kante who fires on goal. Not a hard save for De Gea. Too easy for Chelsea.

13th min.: Ronaldo attempts the overhead kick! It’s way off, and Cristiano is not happy about his execution. Man United are spending a bit more time in Chelsea’s half.

10th min.: First threat posed by Man United. Alex Telles with the cross, but a Bruno Fernandes header doesn’t trouble Edouard Mendy. Nonetheless, Chelsea look more comfortable, and their spacing and shape is excellent.

6th min.: Two shots by Timo Werner in a span of a few minutes. Man United ‘keeper David De Gea with the easy stop on the second one. Red Devils off to another slow start.

1st min.: We’re off, still with plenty of empty seats at Old Trafford.

15 mins from K/O: The pressure on the Glazers is unrelenting. Erik ten Hag really needs to deliver big time for them.

45 mins from K/O: We have a couple of young players who have worked their way onto the Man United bench:

Manchester United vs. Chelsea lineups

Fred has returned to training for United, but the Brazilian will not feature against Chelsea as he recovers from a flexor muscle issue that has sidelined him for the past three weeks.

With Paul Pogba, Edinson Cavani and Luke Shaw all ruled out for the rest of the season, and captain Harry Maguire expected to join them, the only change from the side that lost to Arsenal is Marcus Rashford replacing Jadon Sancho, who is unavailable.

Manchester United lineup (4-2-3-1): 1-De Gea (GK) — 20-Dalot, 2-Lindelof, 19-Varane, 27-Telles — 39-McTominay, 31-Matic — 36-Elanga, 18-Fernandes, 10-Rashford — 7-Ronaldo

Manchester United subs (9): 26-Tom Heaton (GK), 22-Dean Henderson (GK), 3-Eric Bailly, 4-Phil Jones, 74-Alvaro Fernandez, 46-Hannibal Mejbri, 8-Juan Mata, 75-Alejandro Garnacho, 47-Shola Shoretire

Thomas Tuchel made a number of changes on Sunday for the 1-0 win over West Ham as he seeks to keep his players fresh ahead of the FA Cup final on May 14 against Liverpool.

The mixing and matching continues with Reece James returning to the three-man defensive line and Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Trevoh Chalobah on the bench. Match winner Christian Pulisic returns to the subs list as Tuchel continues to rely on the Werner-Mount-Havertz attacking trio.

Chelsea lineup (3-4-3, left to right): 16-Mendy (GK) — 20-Rudiger, 6-Silva, 24-James — 3-Alonso, 5-Jorginho, 7-Kante, 28-Azpilicueta — 11-Werner, 19-Mount, 29-Havertz

Chelsea subs (9): 1-Kepa Arrizabalaga (GK), 31-Malang Sarr, 14-Trevoh Chalobah, 23-Kenedy, 17-Saul Niguez, 12-Ruben Loftus-Cheek, 10-Christian Pulisic, 22-Hakim Ziyech, 9-Romelu Lukaku

MORE: Tuchel explains why Pulisic has seen fewer Chelsea minutes

How to watch Manchester United vs Chelsea

  UK USA Canada Australia
Date Thur, April 28 Thur, April 28 Thur, April 28 Fri, April 29
Time 19:45 BST 14:45 ET 14:45 ET 04:45 AET
TV channel Sky Sports Premier League, Main Event USA Network, Universo
Streaming NOW TV fuboTV DAZN Optus Sport

UK: The Thursday match will be broadcast in the UK by Sky Sports and streamed on NOW TV.

USA: In the USA, the match will be televised by USA Network (English) and Universo (Spanish) with both channels streamed on fuboTV, which also offers a free trial to new subscribers.

Canada: In Canada, every Premier League game streams live on DAZN. 

Australia: The Premier League is carried exclusively by Optus Sport.

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