Chelsea 2-2 Manchester United
Chelsea 2-2 Manchester United: Ross Barkley scores with the final kick of the game to cancel out Anthony Martial’s second-half brace as tempers flare up between Jose Mourinho and Blues dugout
- Ross Barkley scored with one of the final kicks of the game to rescue a point for Chelsea on Saturday
- Anthony Martial had helped himself to a second-half brace which put Manchester United in control
- Antonio Rudiger evaded the marking of Paul Pogba from a corner to nod home the opener after 21 minutes
- The french man came in for heavy criticism from pundit Gary Neville for his lack of discipline at the corner
- United responded in emphatic fashion early in the second half as Martial converted a deflection inside the box
- Jose Mourinho’s side continued to show purpose and ambition going forward and Martial soon got a second
- But Barkley had the final say before the two benches had to be restrained by stewards after huge bus stop
Jose Mourinho knows what it is like to be sacked by Chelsea.
It has happened to him twice already and when he arrived at Stamford Bridge on Saturday, there were those who thought his old side handing out a beating to Manchester United would get him fired again.
Mourinho escaped that fate and after a tumultuous ending that saw a late Chelsea equaliser and Mourinho attempting to chase Marco Ianni, a member of Chelsea’s backroom team down the tunnel to exact vengeance for excessive celebrations, the United manager left the pitch at his most defiant.
The Portuguese boss then took aim at the crowd after leaving to boos where he held up three fingers to signify his titles
There are comebacks and then there are comebacks. United’s storming rally against Newcastle a fortnight ago was a great spectacle but it was achieved against a weak side who lost their nerve.
This time, Mourinho’s side came from behind against a team who are yet to lose a game and came within an ace of winning it.
There is no point in announcing the resuscitation of Mourinho just yet but there were promising signs here at the Bridge. United have won only one of their last 17 games here but this one felt like a victory. It does, at least, buy Mourinho breathing space. It feels as if United are making tentative progress at last.
Chelsea at least clung on to their unbeaten record but this was an almighty scare. It was a fascinating contrast in styles between two managers and for all the histrionics at the end, the Chelsea boss, Maurizio Sarri and Mourinho swapped a warm handshake at the end.
Sarri spoke with humility about his record of winning Serie B, Serie C and Serie D in Italy and that his achievements could scarcely be compared with those of Mourino.
He said, in fact, that Mourinho was ‘really one of the best. Maybe the best,’ and that he needed to step up a level to compete with him. ‘The Special One is Mourinho,’ Sarri said.
In the hour before the game, Mourinho looked serene. He stood on the touchline, near the entrance to the tunnel, chatting happily to Sarri and reminiscing about old times with Chelsea club stalwarts like Gary Staker and Theresa Connelly. In the gentle west London sunshine, it was easy to forget for a moment how much was riding on this match.
Chelsea started more positively than United, as everybody knew they would. Mourinho picked an attacking side but locked it in a defensive mode. The way of dealing with Hazard appeared to be to kick him whenever he got the ball. If he runs at you, kick him. If he gets the ball with his back to goal, kick him. If in doubt, kick him.
In the 10th minute for instance, Hazard rose to try to control a high ball into him on the left flank. Young flew at him and sent him spinning to the ground.
Hazard leapt up and took the free kick quickly. He ran at the Chelsea defence, jinked round one challenge and then dribbled round Matic, who tripped him on the edge of the box. Willian blazed the free kick over.