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Five talking points from Chelsea vs Man Utd draw after crucial handball call


Thomas Tuchel’s private contest with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer still stands at two wins each after their sides drew 0-0 at Stamford Bridge.

The pair squared off on four occasions when the German was in charge of PSG.

They renewed their rivalry in the Premier League, but neither was able to claim the upper hand.

It was a game lacking in goal mouth action with the decisive moment perhaps coming early on when Manchester United were not given a penalty despite the ball appearing to strike Callum Hudson-Odoi’s hand.

Chelsea rarely threatened David de Gea in the first-half but the Spaniard was called upon to make a big save from Hakim Ziyech in the second 45.

Mason Mount’s smart intricate play also saw him create a chance, but it was blocked from close range.

His namesake Mason Greenwood had Edouard Mendy beaten in the Blues goal, but his effort went narrowly wide.

Across the 90 minutes neither side really did enough to warrant the three points.

We take a look at five points of discussion from west London.



Man Utd were not given a penalty in the first-half despite calls for handball
Man Utd were not given a penalty in the first-half despite calls for handball

1. A point no good

A draw was the result neither side really wanted, although it does suit the visitors more.

Solskjaer has refused to concede the title, but his United side are battling for second.

Before that though they must guarantee their top four spot with Chelsea among those chasing them.

Leicester and West Ham both suffered defeats this weekend which opened the door slightly for either side to take advantage.

United couldn’t widen the gap while the Blues were unable to nick fourth place off the Hammers.

Big games were often cagey affairs at the beginning of the year, but with time ticking down there needs to be a shift from ‘we cannot lose’ to ‘we have to win’.

2. VAR-ginal call

United have been awarded a fair amount of penalties this season and perhaps they should’ve had another.

Referee Stuart Attwell was advised to go to the monitor and check whether to penalise Callum Hudson-Odoi for a handball.

In full speed it looked as if Mason Greenwood was the man who handled it, but upon second glance it appeared to be the Chelsea man.

Hudson-Odoi’s arm was in an unnatural position and the player’s concern was evident as Attwell watched the footage.

He opted against pointing to the spot though and it proved crucial.



Stuart Attwell was told to consult the monitor
Stuart Attwell was told to consult the monitor

3. James’ renaissance

It was only last month that the Welshman was linked with an Old Trafford exit.

After a fast start to his United career goals had dried up for the young winger.

But two goals in as many games has seen Solskjaer’s faith in James restored and opportunities are again coming his way.

The Norwegian’s decision to start him ahead of Anthony Martial and Amad in a top six contest underlines his recent progress.

James’ qualities perfectly suit United’s style under Solskjaer and whether as a squad player or a starter the 23-year-old is deserving of a role.



David de Gea needed to deny Hakim Ziyech’s effort

4. United full of intent

The visitors set their stall out early on, although it almost cost them.

Chelsea broke and found that United only had Harry Maguire and Victor Lindelof defending David de Gea in goal.

That was because Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Luke Shaw had both pushed up so high.

The Blues have played a wing-back system since Tuchel arrived and Solskjaer was clearly keen to nullify them.

United’s defence has hardly laid a solid foundation this season though so their two full-backs were certainly playing a dangerous game.

5. CHO’s challenge

Hudson-Odoi is certainly being challenged by Tuchel early in his Chelsea reign.

The German is attempting to mould the academy graduate into something of a wing back.

But recent evidence suggests that Hudson-Odoi, a natural winger, is struggling to adapt and patience is wearing thin.

He was hooked at Southampton despite being bought on as a sub and was then, according to reports, berated in front of his team-mates.

Nevertheless he started against United, was lucky not to give away a penalty and then replaced at half-time by Reece James.

An injury has been given as the reason behind the substitute, but it was not a display that will inspire with the spotlight firmly on him.





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