Manchester United put in backs-to-the-wall performance to hold Chelsea to a hard-fought draw

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·28-min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
Sancho slots home to make it 1-0 to Man Utd - ACTION IMAGES
Sancho slots home to make it 1-0 to Man Utd - ACTION IMAGES
  • Jorginho's penalty cancels out Sancho's smash-and-grab opener

  • Interim Manchester United coach Michael Carrick drops Ronaldo to the bench

  • Rudiger misses great chance to win it for hosts at the death

As he waits to take over as Manchester United’s interim manager, Ralf Rangnick will have watched this encounter and wondered what he was inheriting. At the very least, the team finally showed some fight, and in a game they were expected to lose. A draw away to the leaders is certainly creditable enough, and a significant upgrade from the shambles away to Watford that led to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s sacking.

But this was the ultimate backs-against-the-walls, smash-and-grab performance with a large slice of luck to cap it off. United claimed what was universally declared a “big point” even if it also further highlighted how far behind Chelsea, Manchester City and Liverpool they are. Still, it will feel like a start.

Chelsea will also wonder – but, in their case, how they did not win given their almost complete dominance as the draw meant their advantage over City at the top was cut to a point. They are the Premier League’s second highest scorers after Liverpool, but they are also maddeningly wasteful – it was not Timo Werner’s day (again) – and the frustration was summed up in injury time when Thomas Tuchel was booked for protesting.

Yes, the head coach was right that Cristiano Ronaldo was offside, but the vehemence betrayed his bursting irritation as chance after chance went begging. He will hope that Romelu Lukaku, another second-half substitute, is soon back to full fitness and firing.

Although Rangnick is not yet physically in situ, it felt as if his influence was there on Michael Carrick’s team selection, even if the caretaker took ownership of it and denied that was the case, with Ronaldo dropped until he came on for goalscorer Jadon Sancho (which seemed a curious change).

Suddenly, it looks like the extent of Ronaldo’s involvement may become a theme of the season, and he walked straight down the tunnel at the end with no handshakes; no acknowledgement of the fans.

Either way, dropping Ronaldo makes it easier for Rangnick to do the same, should he want to. Maybe there was even more intervention from the German, with United’s technical director Darren Fletcher on the bench, wearing an earpiece.

Cristiano Ronaldo started on the bench and managed to pick up a yellow card on a mixed day for the Manchester United star - AP
Cristiano Ronaldo started on the bench and managed to pick up a yellow card on a mixed day for the Manchester United star - AP

If this is Carrick’s last game – he may take Thursday’s home match against Arsenal as Rangnick waits for his work permit – he will believe at the very least that he has stemmed the bleeding with a battling performance following the Champions League victory over Villarreal.

This was hardly pretty, although given United’s predicament, that is unsurprising. Still three shots, as opposed to Chelsea’s 24, and just seven touches in their opponent’s penalty area, against 46 from Chelsea, tells its own story.

This was a game for roundheads, not cavaliers, and United’s intention was clear when the team sheets arrived and a midfield of Fred, Nemanja Matic and Scott McTominay – who almost became an auxiliary centre-back – was selected with Bruno Fernandes playing as a “false” nine, a role he found hard to execute. The slightly unsatisfactory nature of it all was summed up by both goals with Chelsea’s captain Jorginho – who will find out on Monday if he has won the Ballon d’Or – at the heart of them. “We scored two goals, one for each side,” Tuchel ruefully said – and it was hardly the touch of the world’s best player that allowed United to pounce.

It also felt apt that it followed a rudimentary clearance from his own penalty area by Fernandes. The Portuguese hoisted the ball high up to halfway, where Jorginho let it bounce horribly off his shin, allowing Sancho to whisk it away and find himself clear on goal with Marcus Rashford alongside. The pair sprinted on, with Sancho shimmying to deceive Edouard Mendy before side-footing home his second goal in as many games after a difficult start to his United career.

Chelsea were shocked. Jorginho was stunned. They had been so dominant and yet – somehow – were behind. It meant United had something to hold on to, but they were not good enough to do so.

The pressure built with Werner’s ugly sliced shot from a corner a poor miss before, from another corner, Chelsea were awarded the penalty that gave Jorginho a shot at redemption. He seized it.

Jorginho made up for his earlier error, that gifted Sancho the opener, by slotting home the equaliser from the spot  - PAUL TERRY 
Jorginho made up for his earlier error, that gifted Sancho the opener, by slotting home the equaliser from the spot - PAUL TERRY

Aaron Wan-Bissaka was at fault as he swung wildly at an attempted clearance and caught Thiago Silva. Despite United’s protests, the kick was given and Jorginho did his little stutter in the run-up before sending David de Gea the wrong way. Tuchel turned to the crowd demanding increased noise and Chelsea pushed forward even more.

At times, it felt like one team came to play; the other to play for a draw.

United’s game plan was clear. They did not touch the ball in the Chelsea area until the 44th minute with Fred easily blocked off by Antonio Rudiger and, by then, they should have been trailing.

With Harry Maguire suspended, the central defensive pairing of Victor Lindelof and Eric Bailly started nervously before growing into the game. Lindelof was simply far too weak as he allowed Callum Hudson-Odoi to collect a header and run clear, only for De Gea to turn his shot away with his outstretched left leg. Then Hudson-Odoi cut the ball back to Rudiger, who whipped a powerful right-foot shot from 25 yards that beat De Gea and rattled the crossbar with the goalkeeper crashing into a post.

Rudiger held his head then and again at the final whistle when, with the last kick, he volleyed wildly over the bar when picked out unmarked at the far post. It summed up Chelsea’s profligacy and United’s good fortune.

Chelsea held 1-1 by Manchester United - as it happened

07:28 PM

What did you make of the performance?

Here's how Nick Szczepanik rated the players at Stamford Bridge today.

Spoiler alert: Despite the late miss Antonio Rudiger comes out well as does Scott McTominay, but Timo Werner fans look away now...

READ: Chelsea vs Man Utd player ratings: Scott McTominay puts himself on line as Timo Werner goes missing

07:17 PM

Right after that interview

Roy Keane does his best Roy Keane impression saying he disagrees with most of what Carrick said. He says Carrick has to take some of the blame for the situation Manchester United find themselves in, and says there's too much of a 'job for the boys' mentality at Old Trafford. Keane wants some of the backroom staff to be held accountable for the state the club finds itself in.

07:15 PM

Michael Carrick speaks...

On how he feels after the draw...

"I am disappointed actually. Having been in front and then having it taken away is disappointing. I am very proud of the players and players this week, It's been tough but I am proud of the way we went about it...We came here to win the game...so I'm a little bit disappointed"

On the penalty...

"I don't think it was a penalty at all - they've had a lot of play and shots but De Gea only had two saves. I felt comfortable in the game. I thought we defended well and the attitude was top from the boys, I cannot fault the boys one bit"

On the performance...

"We came here to take more of the ball, to put our foot on the ball and hide the ball a bit. I wanted us to be a little more dangerous on the break. But it's a good Chelsea side."

On whether Ralf Rangnick had any input into today's match...

"No."

07:01 PM

David de Gea speaks...

On the result...

"The effort of the team was good. They had the best chances. For me it is not enough, a draw. We are in a tough moment. I am proud of the effort of the team."

On the match and performance...

"On the pitch, in the goal, I was feeling danger for nearly the whole game. We defended well, they missed big chances and the one they give us a chance we score. It is not enough to draw but at the moment it is a big point."

On the future...

"The last games before we were conceding three or four goals. We are improving. This is just two games. At least now we are defending well. We are fighting for every ball. We are a team."

06:58 PM

Tuchel speaks...

On drawing at home for the second time running...

"It can happen in football, unfortunately it happened twice to us, it also happened against Burnley."

On the Chelsea performance...

"I am happy with the performance. We dominated, we were aggressive and never stopped attacking. Unfortunately we scored two goals, one for each side."

On that late miss by Rudiger...

"It was a big chance, if he maybe hits the target it could have been a fantastic end but we have to swallow the result. We played very well and I am happy."

06:51 PM

This point may help explain the previous post

06:45 PM

No home comforts for Chelsea

Over their past two Premier League matches at Stamford Bridge.

06:23 PM

95 mins: Chelsea 1-1 Man Utd

It's fight right to the finish - first United are in the final third but Chelsea win back the ball and Pulisic puts in a fine ball to an unmarked Rudiger at the back post who volleys first time over the bar - what a chance to win the match at the death. He had the time and space to take a touch...

That's it - United will be the happier of the two.

06:20 PM

93 mins: Chelsea 1-1 Man Utd

Ronaldo is played in on the left - he looked well offside - and wins a corner...surely VAR should have intervened, despite him not having a shot, when the video guys would have had their say? Tuchel isn't happy, lets the ref know and gets a yellow card for his troubles.

Chelsea deal with the set piece well.

06:18 PM

91 mins: Chelsea 1-1 Man Utd

Ronaldo gets a yellow card for dissent. He looks aghast at the decision.

06:16 PM

90 mins: Chelsea 1-1 Man Utd

There are to be five minutes of injury time. Tuchel wants more...

06:15 PM

86 mins: Chelsea 1-1 Man Utd

Pulisic and Loftus-Cheek combine well to win a corner. The set piece, on the right, is delivered into the six-yard box and De Gea misses it completely BUT Chelsea cannot capitalise. The ball then goes up the other end of the pitch and Chelsea again give the ball away, this time Mendy is the culprit. Fred cannot pick out a pass and tries instead to chip the keeper, but his shot is straight into the arms of the relieved Chelsea man.

06:11 PM

83 mins: Chelsea 1-1 Man Utd

Chelsea have scored the most goals in the last 10 minutes this season in the Premier League, with eight. They'll be looking to make that nine now. As I type James, on the left, cuts back and puts in a delightful cross that just evades the head of Lukaku, who has just come on for Werner.

06:08 PM

81 mins: Chelsea 1-1 Man Utd

Pulisic shows his quality by bringing down the ball with a Zidaneesque first touch before crossing into the box from the right. The move ends with James blasting over the bar from outside the area.

06:06 PM

78 mins: Chelsea 1-1 Man Utd

Great chance for Werner - the ball falls of him in the box and it looks for all the world that he's bury it into the back of the net, but a timely intervention from Wan-Bissaka puts him off and United breathe a sigh of relief. A tiny (only tiny, mind...) bit of redemption for the United right back.

06:04 PM

76 mins: Chelsea 1-1 Man Utd

Lingard comes on for Rashford - surprised it's the England man and not Fernandes making way. Rashford's pace would have been useful in the last 15 minutes.

For Chelsea Mount and Pulisic are on for Hudson-Odoi and Alonso.

06:02 PM

Spot-kick star

06:00 PM

74 mins: Chelsea 1-1 Man Utd

Jesse Lingard is getting ready to come on for United. Meanwhile, Ronaldo and Fred combine on the left before the Brazilian gets in a cross to the near post prompting Chelsea to concede a corner - United's first of the game...

05:56 PM

70 mins: Chelsea 1-1 Man Utd

Chelsea are now the ones with their tails up and you suspect United would take a point right now if offered it.

05:54 PM

GOOOOOAAAAAALLLL!!! Chelsea 1-1 Man Utd (Jorginho)

Jorginho makes no mistake from 12 yards sending De Gea the wrong way.

05:54 PM

67 mins: Chelsea 0-1 Man Utd (penalty for Chelsea)

It's another corner, followed by another corner (for Chelsea) and but this time they create something. Wan-Bissaka clears the ball and goes through Thiago Silva at the same time and Anthony Taylor points straight to the spot.

That was rash - United have dealt with set pieces well all day until then...

05:51 PM

Young gun

05:50 PM

63 mins: Chelsea 0-1 Man Utd

He's back again!

Yep, Ronaldo is on for the goalscorer, Sancho.

05:49 PM

61 mins: Chelsea 0-1 Man Utd

United are looking solid at the back. Chelsea are seeing plenty of the ball but De Gea hasn't had a save to make this half. The hosts, however, win a corner. But as with a lot of their set pieces today, the delivery is poor.

05:46 PM

59 mins: Chelsea 0-1 Man Utd

Rashford looks like a new player this half - he was poor in the first period but now is causing Chelsea a fair few problems out there.

Meanwhile, Ronaldo is getting ready to come on - he has a few layers to get off before he can come on, though.

05:45 PM

Sancho smash and grab

How about this for a counter-attack goal...

05:44 PM

55 mins: Chelsea 0-1 Man Utd

United have come to life this half but Chelsea still look dangerous. They're on the counter this time and a cross from Ziyech nearly finds the head of Werner. The German, then shoots with the outside of his right, inside the box a minute later, but cannot get the bend to send the ball into the back of the net.

05:40 PM

53 mins: Chelsea 0-1 Man Utd

United are looking more confident - a goal tends to do that - and have seen more of the ball this half than during the entirety of the first half.

05:36 PM

GOOOOOOAAAAAALLL!!!: Chelsea 0-1 Man Utd (Sancho)

Sancho with the ultimate counter-attack goal.

From the free kick- on the right in the final third United blast the ball clear - in the manner of a fly half kicking long for distance when in trouble in his own 22 - Chelsea only have Jorginho in their own half and he cannot control the ball. His miscue sets up Sancho who only has team-mate Rashford for company and the duo march on Mendy in the Chelsea goal. Sancho could have passed to Rashford but instead shoots low and finds the back of the net - that's a real smash and grab.

05:35 PM

47 mins: Chelsea 0-0 Man Utd

The Werner comes in onto his right foot and his shot is blocked. Then Rashford fouls Chalobah, concedes a free kick and earns a yellow card in the process.

05:31 PM

45 mins: Chelsea 0-0 Man Utd

No changes from either side at half time and the second period is under way.

05:27 PM

How many touches in the Chelsea box?

05:24 PM

Gary is happy

05:18 PM

HALF TIME: Chelsea 0-0 Man Utd

A Chelsea free kick, in the final third on the right, nearly creeps in at the far post. A De Gea hand pushes it out for a corner. Nothing results from the set piece and that's the first half done and dusted.

United were poor, but will be happy to go in at the break with the score at 0-0. Chelsea have had their chances, but they were half chances at best and this is a pretty poor contest so far.

05:14 PM

44 mins: Chelsea 0-0 Man Utd

United are again in the hosts' box, Fred falls under the challenge of Rudiger but there's no chance that's a penalty and Anthony Taylor waves play on, and rightly so.

05:13 PM

42 mins: Chelsea 0-0 Man Utd

Fred plays in Sancho, for the first time today United are in behind the Chelsea backline, but Sancho's first touch with his chest takes the ball into the path of Mendy in the Blues' goal.

05:12 PM

Here's that Rudiger shot

05:10 PM

40 mins: Chelsea 0-0 Man Utd

A poor Rashford pass puts United under pressure and Ziyech gets in a good ball from the right but again there aren't the bodies in the box to make United pay.

The front three for United have been poor this half.

05:08 PM

38 mins: Chelsea 0-0 Man Utd

United are in a promising area - on the front foot in the Chelsea half. But, as with so often this half, they lose the ball setting up another Chelsea attack.

05:06 PM

36 mins: Chelsea 0-0 Man Utd

Hudson-Odoi, who's had a fine half, again comes in off the left flank and shoots from just outside the box, De Gea makes another regulation save.

05:05 PM

35 mins: Chelsea 0-0 Man Utd

Here's a stat - successful passes in the final third...

Chelsea 54 - 3 Man Utd

That tells the story of the half.

05:04 PM

33 mins: Chelsea 0-0 Man Utd

Werner comes in off the left and shoots winning a corner in the process. Chelsea waste the set piece but soon win possession and attack once more. This time Ziyech crosses from the right, it comes to Hudson-Odoi who wins another corner. This time it goes long but again the hosts retain possession - the United players could possibly do with a breather, they're constantly on the back foot at the moment.

05:01 PM

30 mins: Chelsea 0-0 Man Utd

Rudiger hits from distance - a great, crisp shot from the inside-right channel - that beats De Gea and smacks the crossbar.

04:58 PM

28 mins: Chelsea 0-0 Man Utd

De Gea hasn't been tested since that fine stop from Hudson-Odoi. There is space behind the Chelsea defence at the moment but the visitors haven't come close to exploiting it.

Ziyech and Bailly battle it out for the ball  - GETTY IMAGES
Ziyech and Bailly battle it out for the ball - GETTY IMAGES

04:56 PM

25 mins: Chelsea 0-0 Man Utd

Reece James puts in a low, cross into the six-yard box but there's no blue shirt on the end of it, when perhaps there should have been.

04:54 PM

23 mins: Chelsea 0-0 Man Utd

The game is opening up a bit - compared to the first 10 minutes - but again United keep losing possession. This time Hudson-Odoi dinks in cross from the left but Werner cannot get on the end of it.

04:52 PM

20 mins: Chelsea 0-0 Man Utd

United are struggling to keep possession - on the rare occasion they do break forward and keep the ball Fernandes has a shot from distance that limps wide of the post.

04:50 PM

19 mins: Chelsea 0-0 Man Utd

Rudiger fouls Sancho after Chelsea were encamped in the final third. The free kick gives them a chance to get into the Chelsea half and relieve the pressure.

04:48 PM

15 mins: Chelsea 0-0 Man Utd

It has to be said this is a pretty poor game so far. Since the first two minutes there have been no real chances. It is cold so we'l give them that excuse. When United have had the opportunity the visitors have pressed with vigour.

Chelsea counter from a poor Matic header and it ends with Ziyech having a shot from outside the box - one that sails well over the bar.

04:43 PM

13 mins: Chelsea 0-0 Man Utd

United cannot get out of their half - the pressure from the hosts is relentless. But still just the two clear cut chances for Chelsea so far.

04:42 PM

11 mins: Chelsea 0-0 Man Utd

It's very cold across the UK - not the ideal match to be sat on the bench for, as if to rub salt into Ronaldo's wounds.

04:40 PM

8 mins: Chelsea 0-0 Man Utd

Free kick for the hosts which United clear well. It's still all Chelsea and United are very much on the back foot. Wan-Bissaka blocks well and it's a Chelsea corner. From the set piece Rudiger heads meekly across goal.

04:37 PM

6 mins: Chelsea 0-0 Man Utd

After that frenetic start it's settled down a bit - United needed a breather.

How often has De Gea saved his side down the years - without him United would be 1-0 down already.

04:34 PM

3 mins: Chelsea 0-0 Man Utd

Chelsea are just the side United probably don't want to face at the moment. They are a mixture of solidity and style and very, very hard to break down. Hudson-Odoi plays in Ziyech who shoots on the turn forcing De Gea into a regulation save. He had more time than he appreciated.

Next up Hudson-Odoi again finds himself in space and this time elects to shoot forcing De Gea into another save, this time with his feet.

Early warning signs for the visitors and their brittle backline.

04:31 PM

2 mins: Chelsea 0-0 Man Utd

From the off United have looked to press from the front - one of the reasons Ronaldo was dropped?

04:30 PM

1 min: Chelsea 0-0 Man Utd

They're under way at Stamford Bridge.

04:28 PM

The teams are out on the pitch

There's no snow in London, unlike the rest of the country, so expect a green, uninterrupted 90 minutes from west London.

04:26 PM

Carrick's brave decision

04:24 PM

Snood at the ready

Ronaldo's not starting today but he and his snood are ready to help out if required.

Ronaldo - AFP
Ronaldo - AFP

04:17 PM

Thomas Tuchel speaks...

On the difficulty of preparing for a match against a side with a new coach...

"We only had one match with Michael Carrick, but it's not the first time we've had to prepare for a match with a new manager...it was hard to predict so we didn't waste too much time on trying to work out what they'll do and focused on us instead."

04:12 PM

Chelsea show their support for the Rainbow Laces campaign

04:09 PM

Michael Carrick speaks...

On the big decision to drop Ronaldo...

"I've made a few tweaks and changes to freshen things up. [Ronaldo's omission] is the standout name, but we've got a game plan and ideas."

On how Ronaldo took the news...

"I spoke to him, he was great and that's how we've decided to go...it's a decision to pick a team, don't need more drama than that. He's been brilliant and ready to come on and help us win if needed."

On whether his XI has been picked to simply stifle Chelsea...

"We've come with a plan and are happy with the team we've picked. We've come to try and win the game, like every game - Chelsea are playing well and it's always been a tough place to come."

04:05 PM

It's fair to say...

...that's it's been quite the week for Manchester United. They've sacked Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, appointed Michael Carrick as interim boss while being on the verge of signing Ralf Rangnick as the permanent interim coach (can you have a permanent interim coach?), all while seemingly still wanting Mauricio Pochettino (or someone else - do they even know?) to be the new permanent manager.

Here's what Roy Keane had to say on the situation on Sky Sports.

"It's disappointing for Ole to finish on a low, he was going through a difficult spell. But obviously the Watford result was really poor [as well as the performance]. I think it was [the right thing to do], I've argued with Jamie (Carragher) going back over the past year or two about a manager getting enough time and I think Ole did get enough time and the results and performances over the past couple of months have been really, really poor, so there was no real surprise after the Watford game. So disappointed for Ole but the club how has to regroup, get somebody in, get the deal over the line. I don't think it's ideal this interim stuff but it is what it is and they've got to get on with it. But ultimately when I look at the past few months and the performances from the players, they're nowhere near good enough for Manchester United - but it's the manager who always pays the price."

On the possibility United would have asked him to help out...

"They were never going to call me, that was never going to happen. I've never had a problem going into a dressing room and trying to take control, I've managed in the Premier League and it wouldn't have been a problem to me. But it was never going to happen."

Michael Carrick is still the interim coach, for now - ASH DONELON
Michael Carrick is still the interim coach, for now - ASH DONELON

03:50 PM

Here's the Chelsea XI in black and white

Thomas Tuchel has made three changes to the XI that impressively cantered to victory over Juventus on Tuesday. Marcos Alonso and Ruben Loftus-Cheek replace injured duo Ben Chilwell and N'Golo Kante and Timo Werner starts instead of Christian Pulisic.

CHELSEA XI TO FACE MANCHESTER UNITED: Mendy, Rudiger, Alonso, Jorginho (capt), Silva, Werner, Loftus-Cheek, Chalobah, Hudson-Odoi, Ziyech, James.

Replacements: Arrizabalaga, Christensen, Lukaku, Pulisic, Niguez, Barkley, Mount, Azpilicueta, Havertz

Timo Werner starts for the hosts today - GETTY IMAGES
Timo Werner starts for the hosts today - GETTY IMAGES

03:46 PM

Well, that's one way to make your presence felt...

Michael Carrick, still for now the interim manager, has dropped former team-mate and man-who-hates-to-be-dropped Cristiano Ronaldo (brave, but quite possibly necessary). Marcus Rashford (another Man Utd legend, it has to be said) is the man to start instead. Anthony Martial is also dropped to the bench with Bruno Fernandes returning to the starting XI having not started against Villarreal.

MANCHESTER UNITED XI TO FACE CHELSEA: De Gea, Lindelof, Bailly, Rashford, Fred, Fernandes, Sancho, Telles, Wan-Bissaka, Matic, McTominay.

Replacements: Henderson, Jones, Ronaldo, Mata, Martial, Greenwood, Lingard, Dalot, Van de Beek

Ronaldo scored the vital first against Villarreal midweek but finds himself on the bench this afternoon - GETTY IMAGES
Ronaldo scored the vital first against Villarreal midweek but finds himself on the bench this afternoon - GETTY IMAGES

03:32 PM

Here be Manchester United

Big news is that Ronaldo is on the bench...

03:31 PM

Here's the Chelsea XI

03:12 PM

Good evening

Hello and welcome to Telegraph Sport's live coverage of today's Premier League showdown between Chelsea and Manchester United at Stamford Bridge.

Thomas Tuchel has hailed Ruben Loftus-Cheek for thriving even amid Chelsea's crowded midfield selection battle, as his side look to move three points clear at the top of the league table today.

Chelsea will be without France's World Cup-winning dynamo N'Golo Kante, who has a knee injury, and Croatia midfielder Mateo Kovacic, sidelined with hamstring trouble.

But they will be able to call on Loftus-Cheek, who has hit top form after finally shaking off his long-term Achilles problem and could feature again at the base of midfield.

And Blues boss Tuchel has lauded the 25-year-old academy graduate for proving his class all over again, even in a position where Chelsea are blessed with particular depth.

"I see the potential and I think he knows about his potential," said Tuchel.

"Since he was an academy player everyone was very aware about his potential.

"But the next step is to show it to everyone. Everybody in the stadium must go home and know how good and how strong Ruben is.

"That is the next step, to actually put the potential on the street and drive the car as fast as possible.

"He deserves to play and he deserved to play some weeks ago.

"He's in competition with N'Golo Kante, with Jorginho, with Mateo Kovacic and Saul, so he's in one of the toughest competitions for minutes on the pitch"

Chelsea will host a United side again in a state of flux, with Michael Carrick on the touchline as interim head coach after Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's sacking.

Ralf Rangnick is expected to arrive shortly to manage the team until the summer, with Mauricio Pochettino still in the frame to take the long-term Old Trafford helm.

Tuchel insisted United cannot be discounted as silverware challengers even despite a turbulent few weeks.

Asked if he had expected more from United this term, Tuchel replied: Yes, I was, and maybe I still am.

"I would never write anybody off, not in this league and not in this game, and certainly not a big club like this."

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting