Chelsea lack leadership – five things we learned from the Blues’ draw with Man Utd

Ross Barkley scored an equalising goal deep into stoppage time as Chelsea salvaged a 2-2 draw against Manchester United.

When Antonio Rudiger headed the hosts into the lead all three points looked likely, but Anthony Martial scored twice in the second half to almost give United an unlikely victory before Barkley’s dramatic late intervention.

Here are five things we learned from what unfolded at Stamford Bridge.

1. This was no disaster for Jose Mourinho

The nature of their 3-2 victory over Newcastle had already given United something to build on, so to then come from behind at Stamford Bridge should further ease the significant pressure that had built on the manager. Victory over Everton next weekend would give them seven points from nine in the league and put them back into contention for a top-four finish.

2. Marcus Rashford is wasted out wide

It is no coincidence the young forward excels for England; by playing more centrally he can make the most of his goalscoring instincts, as he most recently demonstrated against Spain. At Stamford Bridge he was used wide on the right of a front three, giving him few shooting chances on his stronger right foot, and often forcing him to play almost as a right-back.

3. Eden Hazard should resist Mourinho’s advances

The United manager may have secured a positive result but, even if he has said he would love to take Hazard to Old Trafford, Saturday’s fixture showed why that would be a mistake for the Belgian. He is relishing the freedom he has been given by Maurizio Sarri; to watch United’s front three struggle for fluidity was to recall how frustrated Hazard once was under Mourinho.

4.United need to agree a new contract with Anthony Martial

The talented French forward had minimal influence for much of the match at Stamford Bridge, but took the two chances that came his way to transform United’s afternoon, and perhaps even their season. Contrast his finishing ability with that of Romelu Lukaku, who sent a free header harmlessly wide, if United are to succeed in the coming years, they consistently need Martial playing to his potential.

5. Chelsea lack leadership

John Terry’s recent return to football comes with his former club missing a similarly influential figure. Hazard may be their finest player but when they needed some authority in central defence, particularly while 1-0 up and with United struggling for belief, it was lacking. That first equalising goal would never have been conceded during Terry’s and Petr Cech’s best years. If Gary Cahill remains out of favour they will need someone with those qualities, ones David Luiz and Antonio Rudiger do not have.




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