Manchester United’s home contest against Chelsea on Thursday was essentially a must-win if the Red Devils had any hopes of qualifying for next season’s Champions League. After that performance, it looks like the most they may be able to get is Europa League. United entered the day six points back of fourth-place Arsenal, having lost to the Gunners last time out. But an anemic attack and a defense with no cohesion struggled, with United settling for a fortunate 1-1 draw with the Blues.
It took a quick response from Cristiano Ronaldo to salvage a point, canceling out Marcos Alonso’s opener, but Chelsea were the better side and unlucky not to win thanks to an inspired performance from goalkeeper David de Gea.
Chelsea had 21 shots to United’s six, while winning the battle of possession (64.6 percent to 35.4 percent) and the battle of xG (1.97 to 0.53). The hosts rarely looked like a threat, with Thiago Silva looking sharp for most of the day.
After Alonso scored on the hour mark to give Chelsea the lead, Ronaldo was able to do this two minutes later:
A lovely goal, but you could see the frustration on Ronaldo’s face after the game, knowing that they were poor and really blew a chance to potentially salvage their season.
United are now five points back of Arsenal but have played two more matches. With just three more league games left, the top-four hopes are probably over as the team has stumbled down the stretch. United have just one win since the middle of March. In that span, relegation contender Burnley have won three.