Premier League: Ronaldo on target as United draws 1-1 with Chelsea
Manchester United’s Cristiano Ronaldo showed his continued class in front of goal by cancelling out Marcos Alonso’s opener for Chelsea in a 1-1 Premier League draw at Old Trafford on Thursday.
It was another night of mediocrity from Ralf Rangnick’s United side as their troubled season, which began with such high expectations, peters out.
The result leaves Chelsea in third place on 66 points while United is in sixth spot with 55, five points behind fourth-placed Arsenal having played two games more.
The only the moment of class, to bring some cheer to supporters who had again vented their frustrations against the club’s American owners, the Glazer family, came from Ronaldo with a superb piece of control and finishing.
Little has worked for United this season, either under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer or Rangnick, who took over from the Norwegian in November, but Portugal’s five-times Ballon d’Or winner has certainly delivered in front of goal.
Ronaldo’s 62nd minute strike was his 17th goal in the league this season with only Mohamed Salah of Liverpool having found the target more often and the former Real Madrid man has claimed eight of his team’s last nine goals.
After Chelsea had failed to make the most of a series of chances in the first half, with United goalkeeper David De Gea three times denying Kai Havertz, they finally got ahead on the hour.
Reece James’ cross was flicked on by Havertz and Alonso powered a left-foot volley into the corner of the net.
Within two minutes, though, United was back on level terms when Nemanja Matic scooped the ball over the top and Ronaldo took one touch before slotting past keeper Edouard Mendy.
Chelsea went close to a winner in the 79th when Mason Mount set up James with a clever, heeled lay-off but the full-back’s left foot curler struck the post.