Casemiro’s injury-time header rescues point for Manchester United at Chelsea

A 94th minute goal from Casemiro secured Manchester United a 1-1 draw against Chelsea, who led through a late Jorginho penalty

Casemiro had been the outstanding performer of a game that appeared to have been snatched away from his Manchester United team. A smooth and commanding presence at the back of the midfield, he provided the platform for the visitors to dominate the first half.

And when Chelsea rocked them with a late Jorginho penalty after a lengthy period of second-half drift, it was Casemiro who refused to accept it would be one of those hard luck stories. David de Gea had not been required to make a save for United before he fished the penalty out of his net.

The clock showed that we had entered the fourth of six additional minutes when Luke Shaw hung up a cross from the left and Casemiro made his leap, soaring above Ben Chilwell and straining every sinew to head back towards the far corner.

Kepa Arrizabalaga, who was impressive again, stretched out a hand and he managed to paw the ball onto the inside of his post and there, as it bobbled along the line, time seemed to freeze. The Chelsea goalkeeper clawed to safety but did it cross the line? A buzz on the watch of the referee, Stuart Attwell, confirmed that it had - by a matter of millimeters - and United could celebrate raucously in front of their fans.

Those who had travelled had spent much of the previous three days questioning what had gone through the mind of Cristiano Ronaldo. His flounce off towards the end of United’s impressive home win over Tottenham on Wednesday night and the subsequent in-house suspension cast long shadows. Now they could ask the same thing of Scott McTominay.

On as an 80th minute substitute, the midfielder who has been a foul or yellow card waiting to happen for much of the season draped his arms around another replacement, Armando Broja, as a Chelsea corner came across. It was a highly risky move and one that practically invited Broja to go to ground, which he did. Attwell had to give the penalty and Jorginho converted with a skip and ice in his veins.

It looked set to be the latest triumph for Graham Potter and perhaps the most significant of his eight-game Chelsea tenure. The manager had set up in a 3-4-2-1 system only to ditch it after 36 minutes as United overwhelmed his team in midfield. It was a brave move to hook the unfortunate Marc Cucurella and introduce Mateo Kovacic in a rejigged 4-4-2 diamond but Potter did not sit on his hands. He acted and his team were able to dig out a foothold.

Jorginho of Chelsea scores their team’s first goal from the penalty spot during the Premier League match against Manchester United at Stamford Bridge.
Jorginho opens the scoring for Chelsea from the penalty spot in the 87th minute. Photograph: Darren Walsh/Chelsea FC/Getty Images

Kovacic made a difference and Chelsea were better, although they continued to lack cutting edge in the final third. It was a game when Raheem Sterling and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang could get nothing going.

The penalty threatened to change everything because Chelsea had entered on a run of five consecutive clean sheets. One more and they would have a statement victory. Enter Casemiro, the £51m summer signing from Real Madrid, and how he enjoyed the moment after his first goal in United colours. Chelsea remain unbeaten under Potter.

United had settled straight away, knitting together some nice sequences, Casemiro prominent, so too Bruno Fernandes and with Raphaël Varane stepping up with the ball. Arrizabalaga was the busier goalkeeper, his first save coming after Antony had spun and unloaded from the edge of the area.

United were kicking themselves at half-time because they should have been in front. They had two big chances, the first created for Marcus Rashford in the 28th minute by a slide-rule Fernandes pass after Casemiro and the recalled Christian Eriksen had combined to rob Ruben Loftus-Cheek. Rashford’s first touch was heavy and Arrizabalaga was out to block the attempted dink.

The second followed a diving, clearing header from Lisandro Martínez and another throughball from Fernandes, this one for Antony. The winger had to curl it with his weak right foot to bring it back inside the post and he could not do so. In between times, Rashford eeked out a yard inside the box to extend Arrizabalaga.

Apart from a Mason Mount cross that Varane stretched to clear ahead of Aubameyang, Chelsea offered little before Potter’s tactical change. They hinted at something after it in the minutes leading up to the interval but twice Aubameyang could not bring the ball under control when well-placed while he also smuggled a shot past the post.

There was an ugly undercurrent, with homophobic chants from the United support and abuse from those in the home seats for Varane, whose crime was to pull up with a muscle injury. He was emotional as he left the pitch, plainly fearing for his World Cup with France.

Sterling fluffed an attempted touch for Loftus-Cheek and Trevoh Chalobah sent a header against the top of the crossbar. For United, Fernandes watched Arrizabalaga turn a shot from him around the post. Cue the late drama.


David Hytner at Stamford Bridge

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
Manchester United negotiating with Chelsea over Mason Mount transfer
Manchester United have opened talks with Chelsea over a deal for Mason Mount, who has already agreed terms and looks likely to move

Jacob Steinberg

03, Jun, 2023 @11:33 AM

Article image
Evan Ferguson’s late header rescues point for Brighton at Leicester
An equaliser from Evan Ferguson secured Brighton a 2-2 draw at Leicester, who had led through goals from Marc Albrighton and Harvey Barnes

John Brewin at the King Power Stadium

21, Jan, 2023 @5:10 PM

Article image
Chelsea lift some pressure on Potter after Fofana header edges out Leeds
A nervous Chelsea eked out an urgently needed 1-0 victory thanks to Wesley Fofana’s second-half goal against struggling Leeds

Jacob Steinberg at Stamford Bridge

04, Mar, 2023 @5:15 PM

Article image
Classy Casemiro brings balance to Manchester United’s midfield at last | Jonathan Liew
Against Chelsea, the Brazilian, Bruno Fernandes and Christian Eriksen looked like a slick, modern and fully functional unit

Jonathan Liew at Stamford Bridge

22, Oct, 2022 @8:15 PM

Article image
Olivier Giroud denies Manchester United and rescues point for Arsenal
Olivier Giroud scored a late equaliser to cancel out Juan Mata’s neat goal to deny José Mourinho’s Manchester United a crucial win over the Gunners

Daniel Taylor at Old Trafford

19, Nov, 2016 @2:36 PM

Article image
Bruno Fernandes stunner gives Manchester United victory at Burnley
A 45th-minute volley from Bruno Fernandes secured a 1-0 win for Manchester United at Burnley to ease the pressure on manager Erik ten Hag

Jamie Jackson at Turf Moor

23, Sep, 2023 @9:05 PM

Article image
Mendy denies Rashford as Manchester United and Chelsea fail to find spark
The Chelsea goalkeeper made a brilliant save from Marcus Rashford in stoppage time as a 0-0 draw did little for either side’s hopes of making ground in the table

David Hytner at Old Trafford

24, Oct, 2020 @6:44 PM

Article image
Chelsea 2-2 Manchester United: how the players rated at Stamford Bridge
How the players rated in Chelsea’s 2-2 draw with Manchester United at Stamford Bridge

Jacob Steinberg at Stamford Bridge

20, Oct, 2018 @3:24 PM

Article image
Rashford injury casts shadow over Manchester United’s stroll past Everton
Manchester United forced Everton to look nervously over their shoulders with a 2-0 win featuring goals from Scott McTominay and Anthony Martial

Jamie Jackson at Old Trafford

08, Apr, 2023 @1:32 PM

Article image
Ellis Simms scores late leveller to rescue vital point for Everton at Chelsea
An 89th-minute goal from substitute Ellis Simms earned Everton a 2-2 draw against Chelsea, who led late on through Kai Havertz’s penalty

Jonathan Wilson at Stamford Bridge

18, Mar, 2023 @7:46 PM