Casemiro to the rescue as Man United fight for draw against Chelsea

Cristiano Ronaldo was missing from United's squad after being dropped by Ten Hag

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Brazilian Casemiro scored his first goal for Manchester United in the fourth minute of injury time to grab a point against Chelsea on Saturday in a lively if scrappy 1-1 Premier League draw.

The midfielder headed the ball fiercely just wide of Kepa and the Chelsea keeper could only palm it on to the post where it just crossed the line.

The two sides, battling for fourth place in the league, had been heading for a goalless draw until an 87th-minute Jorginho penalty looked to have settled the match in Chelsea's favour.

The Italy midfielder slotted calmly home after substitute Scott McTominay, defending a corner, manhandled Chelsea substitute Armando Broja to the ground.

The result keeps Chelsea, who had kept five clean sheets going into the match, in fourth place, a point ahead of their rivals.

United coach Erik ten Hag told the BBC: "I would have been disappointed if we had gone without a point because we didn't deserve that. At the end of a tough week to come here, you bring the point home."

Ronaldo was missing from the United squad after being dropped by Ten Hag after his refusal to come on as a substitute in Wednesday's win over Tottenham.

Ten Hag's decision to lay down the law to Ronaldo could signal the beginning of the end for the Portugal attacker in his second spell with United.

It would be no surprise if United and Ronaldo parted ways in the January transfer window, but Ten Hag's men did not appear troubled by the striker's latest petulant outburst.

With Ronaldo banished, United were still the stronger side for long periods, while there were no chants in support of the 37-year-old from the visiting fans packed into one corner of Stamford Bridge.

Chelsea coach Graham Potter brought on Mateo Kovacic to reinforce the middle before the break and the change earned the home side greater possession in the second half and a series of near chances for striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

But their best opportunity before the penalty was a strike from defender Trevoh Chalobah whose 72nd-minute header hit the bar.

"It's disappointing because we're 1-0 ahead at the end but over the course of the game a point is about right and I'm not sure if we did enough to win it," Potter said.

"A really fighting performance from us, we improved a lot after 30 minutes so we will take what we get."

The only concern for United was the sight of France centre-back Raphael Varane limping off in tears in the second half after a World Cup injury scare.

Updated: October 22, 2022, 7:54 PM
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