This week will see the Red Devils conclude a testy run of fixtures which includes this one as well as Arsenal on Thursday. What the midweek win at Villarreal shows me was that United needed to go back to basics, that is a 4-4-2, which brings the best out of the wingers. One player who benefits from this system is Jadon Sancho, the big money signing from Dortmund. Caretaker manager Carrick kept Rashford on the left wing in continuation of that last 15 minutes in Spain. But the 4 in midfield consisted of just one attacking player, Bruno Fernandes with three anchorman, Fred , McTominay and Matic.The Fred chance squandered at the end illustrates my point. Most important of all, NO CHRISTIANO RONALDO. Big call by a young manager which will definitely endear himself to the high ups at Old Trafford. It wasn’t personal but tactical but as usual Ronaldo’s prima donna attitude shone through at full time when he headed straight to the tunnel.Definitely a tactic to stifle any quick breaks from Jorginho and Kante/Loftus Cheek. It worked. The absence of the suspended Maguire was a blessing in disguise as it provided the opportunity to assess the relatively untried combination of Lindelof and Bailly.

Chelsea made a lot of changes from the side that conquered Juve notably Werner starting upfront. We know he struggles for goals in the big matches. Why? He tends to drift wide on the break. United keeper De Gea was the MAN again between the sticks, his saves from Rudiger and Hudson-Odoi making sure honors would be even. One might look at it as evidence of a weak defense , the fact that the Spaniard is being called upon to make those saves. The goal scored by Jadon Sancho shows the disadvantages of holding a high press, acres and acres of space to run onto once Jorginho made the error. Chelsea had all the possession and attempts but it took a penalty to level it up. The merits of the spot kick was always going to be debatable. If you miss the ball you get punished just like Wan Bissaka did. Chelsea see their lead at top of the Premier League cut to one point. United await Ralf Rangnick’s arrival in good stead unbeaten since sacking Ole.

1 Previous Position 1Chelsea13931315+2630WSaturday 23 October 2021CHE  7 -0  NOR WSaturday 30 October 2021NEW  0 -3  CHE DSaturday 6 November 2021CHE  1 -1  BUR WSaturday 20 November 2021LEI  0 -3  CHE DSunday 28 November 2021CHE  1 -1  MUNWatfordWednesday 01 December 2021WAT    CHE
2 Previous Position 2Manchester City13922277+2029WSaturday 23 October 2021BHA  1 -4  MCI LSaturday 30 October 2021MCI  0 -2  CRY WSaturday 6 November 2021MUN  0 -2  MCI WSunday 21 November 2021MCI  3 -0  EVE WSunday 28 November 2021MCI  2 -1  WHUAston VillaWednesday 01 December 2021AVL    MCI
3 Previous Position 3Liverpool138413911+2828WSunday 24 October 2021MUN  0 -5  LIV DSaturday 30 October 2021LIV  2 -2  BHA LSunday 7 November 2021WHU  3 -2  LIV WSaturday 20 November 2021LIV  4 -0  ARS WSaturday 27 November 2021LIV  4 -0  SOUEvertonWednesday 01 December 2021EVE    LIV
4 Previous Position 4West Ham United137242416+823WSunday 24 October 2021WHU  1 -0  TOT WSunday 31 October 2021AVL  1 -4  WHU WSunday 7 November 2021WHU  3 -2  LIV LSaturday 20 November 2021WOL  1 -0  WHU LSunday 28 November 2021MCI  2 -1  WHUBrighton and Hove AlbionWednesday 01 December 2021WHU    BHA
5 Previous Position 5Arsenal137241517-223WFriday 22 October 2021ARS  3 -1  AVL WSaturday 30 October 2021LEI  0 -2  ARS WSunday 7 November 2021ARS  1 -0  WAT LSaturday 20 November 2021LIV  4 -0  ARS WSaturday 27 November 2021ARS  2 -0  NEWManchester UnitedThursday 02 December 2021MUN    ARS
6 Previous Position 6Wolverhampton Wanderers136251212020DSaturday 23 October 2021LEE  1 -1  WOL WMonday 1 November 2021WOL  2 -1  EVE LSaturday 6 November 2021CRY  2 -0  WOL WSaturday 20 November 2021WOL  1 -0  WHU DSaturday 27 November 2021NOR  0 -0  WOLBurnleyWednesday 01 December 2021WOL    BUR
7 Previous Position 7Tottenham Hotspur126151117-619WSunday 17 October 2021NEW  2 -3  TOT LSunday 24 October 2021WHU  1 -0  TOT LSaturday 30 October 2021TOT  0 -3  MUN DSunday 7 November 2021EVE  0 -0  TOT WSunday 21 November 2021TOT  2 -1  LEEBrentfordThursday 02 December 2021TOT    BRE
8 Previous Position 8Manchester United135352122-118LSunday 24 October 2021MUN  0 -5  LIV WSaturday 30 October 2021TOT  0 -3  MUN LSaturday 6 November 2021MUN  0 -2  MCI LSaturday 20 November 2021WAT  4 -1  MUN DSunday 28 November 2021CHE  1 -1  MUNArsenalThursday 02 December 2021MUN    ARS
9 Previous Position 9Brighton and Hove Albion