Another David De Gea Howler Dooms Man United’s Champions League Quest
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The stumble for fourth place in the Premier League continued apace today with Arsenal getting thrashed 3-0 by Leicester City before Manchester United and Chelsea settled for a share of the spoils at Old Trafford following a 1-1 draw.
Coming into the match on the back of three straight defeats, United started strongly with both Romelu Lukaku and Marcus Rashford looking extremely sharp in attack. The Red Devils’ deserved opener arrived in the 11th minute with the aforementioned Lukaku playing a big role.
Luke Shaw ultimately gets the assist on the Juan Mata strike, but it was Lukaku’s clipped ball that set the left back free to cut it back for the Spaniard.
— NBC Sports Soccer (@NBCSportsSoccer) April 28, 2019
It looked to be United’s day with Paul Pogba exuding confidence in midfield and Nemanja Matić desperate to put his debacle against Everton behind him.
But the Chelsea equalizer arrived in the 43rd minute after David de Gea spilled a speculative Antonio Rudiger shot from distance. It’s been a horrid week for De Gea following his struggles against City on Wednesday, and it doesn’t get much worse than this, especially so considering it was Chelsea’s only chance of the first half.
Marcos Alonso with the equalizer for Chelsea! pic.twitter.com/4AfaCB7AAp— NBC Sports Soccer (@NBCSportsSoccer) April 28, 2019
The second half was something of a non-event. Rudiger, Rashford and Eric Bailly all had to be substituted with injuries — the Rudiger and Bailly ones looked exceptionally worrying — and Bailly’s replacement, Marcos Rojo, could’ve easily seen red for scything down Willian, a challenge that later forced Willian off the pitch.
To add insult to injury, Rojo nearly gave United the lead in the third minute of second half stoppage time, but his header was cleared off the goal-line by Pedro. Higuain had a chance at the death to win it for Chelsea, but he was denied by De Gea when played through on goal.
The draw means that Chelsea is two points above Arsenal in fourth with two matches remaining. United remains three points behind the Blues and with a vastly inferior goal difference. The Champions League looks an impossibility for United, which is what José Mourinho told us all along.