Thomas Tuchel’s team controlled for lengthy stretches, but went behind when Jorginho’s sloppy handling allowed Sancho to score early in the second half. Jorginho atoned for his error by converting a penalty after Aaron Wan-Bissaka fouled Thiago Silva. After laying siege to United’s goal and seeing David de Gea make a succession of great saves, it was the least Chelsea deserved.
Chelsea is unbeaten in their previous 11 games in all competitions, but they are currently just one point ahead of second-placed Manchester City, who beat West Ham earlier on Sunday. United is 12 points behind the leaders in seventh position, but their tenacious performance provided something to build on after a difficult spell.
Following the departure of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, Michael Carrick took command of United for the second game in a row, with the hiring of Ralf Rangnick as temporary manager until the end of the season anticipated to be announced soon. Rangnick, who works as the head of sports and development at Lokomotiv Moscow, is in talks with United.
In the meanwhile, Carrick had presided over a crucial Champions League victory over Villarreal on Tuesday, and he utilized the same defensive strategy to confound Chelsea.
Given Rangnick’s predilection for a high-pressing game plan that may not suit Cristiano Ronaldo, Carrick’s decision to leave the sometimes reserved Portugal striker on the bench until the 63rd minute was fascinating.
United set up for a point with Bruno Fernandes as the false nine and Marcus Rashford and Sancho on the sides, and they got it.
A hard-earned away point 👏
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) November 28, 2021
Early on, Hakim Ziyech got space in the United area, but De Gea stopped his low attempt, setting the tone for the rest of the afternoon.
Victor Lindelof and Wan-Bissaka were caught off guard by Marcos Alonso’s header following Silva’s long cross. When Callum Hudson-Odoi pounced on the loose ball, he looked destined to score, but De Gea saved his close-range shot with a brilliant stop.
Nonetheless, Darren Fletcher, Manchester United’s technical director, had an earpiece on the bench, leading to speculation that he was in communication with Rangnick.
Rangnick is considered as the originator of ‘zonal marking,’ the tactics that Tuchel and Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp have successfully emulated, and United had times when they shut down Chelsea with more intensity than they did in the latter weeks of Solskjaer’s reign.
Rangnick, on the other hand, would have been concerned by how deep the United bench was seated if he was delivering advise ahead of his anticipated position.
United had only entered Chelsea’s area twice in the first half, but five minutes after the break, they snatched the lead with their first attempt on target.
Jorginho should have had no trouble dealing with Fernandes’ ruminants clearance, but the Chelsea captain made a mess of it, and Sancho was rewarded for his tenacity by stealing control, sprinting clean on goal, and slotting beyond Edouard Mendy.
It ends honours even. ⏱
— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) November 28, 2021
Sancho has two goals in his previous two games after going 14 games without scoring following his close-season transfer from Borussia Dortmund.
Chelsea’s response was strong, and their pressure paid off in the 69th minute, when Wan-flailing Bissaka’s lunge on Silva resulted in an unnecessary penalty.
Jorginho had previously missed a high-profile penalty for Italy against Switzerland, but he calmly dispatched De Gea from the spot. Rudiger might have won it in the last seconds of a frantic conclusion when he volleyed over Christian Pulisic’s cross.