Man United 1 Chelsea 1: Three talking points as Van Persie strikes late

Three talking points as Robin van Persie rescues a late point

By Sam Rogers
Man United

Man United stock rises as Van Persie salvages draw

Even the most biased of Manchester United fan couldn’t have expected his side realistically to challenge given their recent struggles. Combine that with the impressive form their opponents are enjoying and all evidence would point to a comfortable win for Jose Mourinho’s side. While Blues fans will believe they were never truly threatened, United fans should take heart from the performance of their side. Yes, they salvaged a late point at home but this Chelsea side could have, and maybe should have brushed aside United with ease. They tried hard to break down an obdurate Chelsea and took until the last minute of injury time for Robin van Persie to drive home from point blank range. The results may prove to be a small blip for Chelsea in the grand scheme of things but for United, a massive confidence boost as they look to re-establish themselves as a top four team.

‘Mr Chelsea’ Drogba breaks deadlock in old rivalry

Once upon a time, this fixture was a clash of the Premier League titans with the title usually on the line. Chelsea may still be in the hunt for the league title but United are enduring somewhat of a transition of late. A relatively simple opening run of fixtures hasn’t been negotiated with the ease many expected, and Chelsea’s arrival in Manchester was billed as Louis van Gaal’s first genuine ‘test’ as United boss. One player who has featured and starred in many of these clashes is of course Didier Drogba, and who else but the Ivory international would you expect to give his side the lead in the most intense of atmospheres. Drogba, in his second spell with the west London club, leaped above the challenging defenders to guide the ball inside the near post. It could have and probably should have been the winner but for a late goal from Van Persie to steal a point for the Red Devils.

New United show old fighting spirit

If you didn’t know otherwise, you could have believed you were watching the United of the Sir Alex Ferguson era as the game reached its climax. United, having fallen a goal behind, threw everything at the visitors, and as they have done so many times before, grabbed a late goal to change a result in their favour. Yes, it was only a point but it will be a confidence boosting point, especially with the clash against local rivals Manchester City just a week away. If there is one man that can bring back the never-say-die attitude that Ferguson instilled in his side it is Van Gaal. The Dutchman has a unerring confidence and arrogance to some extent that creates a self-belief that these players need to buy into. Admittedly this is United’s first real test this season but they have performed remarkably well in the circumstance and will take on City in a week’s time honestly believing they can get something out of the game. Progress undoubtedly from the same fixtures last season, which were met with fear and dread from the red side of Manchester.

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