EPL

Chelsea 1-1 Manchester United: Jorginho makes up for mistake and moves Tuchel's men clear

By Sports Desk November 28, 2021

Jorginho atoned for his earlier error with an equaliser from the spot as Chelsea recovered to draw 1-1 with Michael Carrick's Manchester United at Stamford Bridge.

Italy midfielder Jorginho looked to have set United on their way to victory in what is likely to be Carrick's only Premier League match as manager before he is replaced by another interim appointment in Ralf Rangnick.

No ever-present Premier League team have earned fewer points from losing positions than Chelsea since Thomas Tuchel's arrival in January, but Jadon Sancho's first goal in the competition after Jorginho's blunder was followed by similarly generous United defending.

Aaron Wan-Bissaka's foul on Thiago Silva teed up a Jorginho penalty, with a point – taking the Blues clear of Manchester City – the very least the hosts deserved.

United were beaten 4-1 by Watford last time out in the league in what proved to be Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's last match at the helm and familiar frailties were soon evident as neither Wan-Bissaka nor Victor Lindelof cut out a straightforward ball, forcing David de Gea to save smartly from Callum Hudson-Odoi.

Only the frame of the goal kept United on level terms going into the break, as Antonio Rudiger's long-range drive crashed against the crossbar, but Carrick's side were rewarded for staying in the game early in the second half.

Jorginho's loose touch gave Sancho a clear run from halfway and he used the potential square pass to Marcus Rashford as a decoy before slotting past Edouard Mendy.

Yet United gave Jorginho an opportunity to earn his reprieve when Wan-Bissaka hacked at Silva in the box, allowing the Chelsea midfielder to send De Gea the wrong way from 12 yards.

The result could have gone either way from that point, with Fred aiming a delicate chip into Mendy's arms after the goalkeeper had inexplicably passed him the ball, before Rudiger rifled a last-gasp volley over the crossbar when unmarked.

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    Arsenal submitted their request to have the game called off due to a lack of first-team player availability.

    But critics accused the club of exploiting the Premier League's rules in order to get out of games while players were absent through injury, suspension or Africa Cup of Nations duty.

    Arsenal had only one confirmed positive COVID-19 case at the time of their application, but the Premier League deemed they were unable to meet the required number of available players (13 outfielders and a goalkeeper) despite their Under-23s managing to field a squad of 16 on Friday.

    Spurs released a statement criticising the decision, and Conte has since commented in public for the first time.

    "The club made a statement and it was very clear to show our disappointment," the Italian told reporters. "It was disappointing because we prepared the game to play against Arsenal and the decision to postpone the game was very, very strange.

    "My feeling is that when there is a situation to play we have to play, not to postpone games for injuries, for international duty.

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    "Honestly, it's my first time in my life – and I've had a bit of experience in football – to see this type of decision."

    Frustrations relating to postponements had been building over the previous couple of weeks and they seemed to reach boiling point with the decision to call off the derby.

    Much of the discontent relates to certain clubs' apparent reluctance to use younger players from their second or academy teams.

    Leeds United were praised on Sunday for going ahead with their match away to West Ham and winning 3-2 despite seven of their nine substitutes having no prior Premier League experience at all – one of the two who had appeared in a top-flight game before had only a three-minute cameo to his name.

    Premier League rules state Under-21 players must be deemed "appropriately experienced" in order to count towards top-flight eligibility criteria for postponement purposes, and Rodgers – whose Leicester face Spurs on Wednesday – feels this is the fairest approach for the mental well-being of youngsters.

    "It depends on how you frame it," Rodgers responded when asked about the apparent under-utilisation of young players.

    "We have young players coming in now like [Kiernan] Dewsbury-Hall, and his timeline is that he went out on loan.

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    The 33-year-old had relinquished the Twenty20 captaincy following the World Cup late last year and was then replaced by Rohit as ODI skipper.

    Kohli had to contend with further questions about his lack of runs ahead of that decisive match in Cape Town and you have to go back to November 2019 for his last international century, that coming against Bangladesh in the longest format.

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    Robert Lewandowski declared he would not let it trouble him after Lionel Messi left the Bayern Munich striker off his picks for the FIFA Best Men's Player award.

    Paris Saint-Germain superstar Messi lavished Lewandowski with praise after pipping him to the Ballon d'Or award in November, saying the Poland captain would have deserved the previous year's award, which was scrapped because of the pandemic.

    Yet when it came to selecting his picks for the FIFA prize, which is a right afforded to all national team captains and head coaches, Argentina skipper Messi chose PSG team-mates Neymar and Kylian Mbappe as his first and second picks respectively, putting Real Madrid's Karim Benzema in third place.

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    Messi and Ronaldo had held a near-duopoly over European and world football's top awards in recent times, but Lewandowski has now won the FIFA award in consecutive years.

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    Among players from the Premier League, Bundesliga, Ligue 1, LaLiga and Serie A, nobody comes close to matching Lewandowski's haul of 34 goals in 27 games so far across all competitions.

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