It was late and ultimately disappointing drama at Stamford Bridge when a Jorginho penalty looked to have decided the big match at Stamford Bridge, only for Man United to snatch an equaliser right at the death.
Chelsea vs Man United result
The result, a 1-1 draw which maintains our fourth position in the Premier League table, follows the pattern of Chelsea vs Man United fixtures in recent times, the previous four encounters between the sides having also ended in draws.
Despite allowing our opponents the greater number of efforts at goal, an improved second-half showing felt as if it was building to a crescendo in Chelsea’s favour and it looked like that came true when two substitutes became involved - Scott McTominay hauling down Armando Broja at a corner to concede a spot-kick.
However with six minutes added time being played, Kepa very nearly kept out a goalbound Casemiro header but goal-line technology confirmed we had let two points slip.
There had been echoes of our previous two games during the first half with the lack of goals of Brentford continuing, plus dissatisfaction with how the initial line-up was operating, as seen at Aston Villa.
Graham Potter made a change before half-time arrived and chances to score came, but endured a frustrating game in front of goal, while at the other end, Kepa did well to deny Marcus Rashford and Antony missed wastefully.
In the second period, the impressive Trevoh Chalobah went close before Jorginho made the breakthrough, but although the unbeaten Potter start continues, it was the away fans left singing at the end after their team pulled off an escape act
Two of the four changes from the Brentford stalemate were in attack with Raheem Sterling and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang returning. With Kalidou Koulibaly suffering a minor knee problem at the end of the last game, Thiago Silva returned, as did Ben Chilwell.
Chelsea, unbeaten in eight Premier League home matches, were taking on a side that had won five of their last six away games in all competitions, although their recent record in London was not good, with their last three league games lost in the capital city.
The Blues majority in this noisy Saturday tea-time crowd were enlivened by a committed Ruben Loftus-Cheek winning a header early on to set Aubameyang on his way to goal, but his delivery towards the target was wayward. Luke Shaw shot low and hard but wide in retaliation by the visitors.
Anthony on the turn did force the first save from Kepa with a good strike but there was potency about the next Chelsea attack too, and it needed sharp defending from Raphael Varane to cut out Mason Mount’s cross with Aubameyang poised to score.
Changes made early
Then the middle section of the first half became scrappy. Chelsea certainly would admit we were giving the ball away too often during that spell and our opponents were finding space in the centre of the park. We were also thankful for Kepa staying on his feet and blocking crucially from Rashford after Man United had managed to play through the centre of our defence.
As at Aston Villa last weekend, Graham Potter reacted early to his side not functioning as he wished. This time he made his switch even earlier and again Marc Cucurella was withdrawn. Mateo Kovacic came on to make it an extra-man in midfield where the Blues had been second best, and the defence went to a back four.
For the rest of the half it was definitely an improved Chelsea but on three occasions Aubameyang could not capitalise in front of goal.
Firstly he scuffed a shot wide with De Gea stretched after a couple of loose Man United touches, then he could not make decent contact with his boot when leaping to meet a cross from the left, and our no.9’s frustration continued when Sterling slipped the ball sideways but it passed him by as a diving, attempted interception proved a distraction.
On the verge of half-time however it was Chelsea counting our blessings as Antony smashed a good chance wide of our goal.
In the early stages of the second half, Chelsea continued to seek that extra cohesion that would be needed in attack.
Sterling, seeking his first ever goal against Man United at his 24th attempt, was left regretting opting to paddle the ball inside to a team-mate rather than volley a cross at goal early in the second half. It did not work out.
Increasingly however the Blues were applying pressure on an opposition who by now had lost Varane from their defence due to injury. Our backline, in which Trevoh Chalobah was putting in a powerful display, was looking tighter against the Red Devils than in the first half.
It was Chalobah who headed a Mount corner just over the bar with 20 minutes left to play.
Kepa kept out a Fernandes shot before the fireworks started. There could be little debate that McTominay had fouled Broja to concede the penalty that Jorgi smashed home in the 87th-minute after a long wait to take it.
But Man U rallied and mounted a strong quest for a leveller, rewarded when Casemiro looping effort was tipped onto the post by Kepa who then clawed it back on the ground, but by that stage had seen it land just the wrong side of the line.
Chelsea (3-4-3):Kepa; Chalobah, Thiago Silva, Cucurella (Kovacic 37); Azpilicueta (c), Jorginho, Loftus-Cheek (Chukwuemeka 79), Chilwell; Mount, Aubameyang (Pulisic 74), Sterling (Broja 79).
Unused subs Mendy, Gallagher, Zakaria, Havertz, Ziyech.
Scorer Jorginho 86
Booked Jorginho 90+2
Man United (4-1-4-1):De Gea; Dalot, Varane (Lindelof 59), Martinez, Shaw; Casemiro; Antony, Eriksen (McTominay 80), Fernandes (c), Sancho (Fred 52); Rashford (Elanga 80).
Unused subs Heaton, Malacia, Pellistri, Iqbal, Garnacho.
Scorer Casemiro 90+4
Booked Antony 32, Fred 86, Shaw 90, Martinez 90+5
Referee Stuart Attwell
Chelsea vs Man United stats
Chelsea vs Man United Premier League table
See the standings after today's game
What time are Chelsea vs Man United highlights available?
Match highlights from this game will be available from 9.30pm UK time on matchday on chelseafc.com and The 5th Stand app. Extended highlights and the full match can be watched from midnight
Chelsea fixtures - what's next?
From the Premier League to the Champions League and a match that could secure our passage to the knockout stages on this season's competition. We travel to Austria to play RB Salzburg.
Next fixture: RB Salzburg vs Chelsea
Date: Tuesday 25 October 2022
Kick-off time: 5.45pm UK time
Location: Red Bull Arena, Salzburg