Manchester United got themselves back to winning ways thanks to a superb Scott McTominay brace against Chelsea.
The victory remarkably puts them within three points of rivals Manchester City, after the reigning champions were defeated by Aston Villa, and keeps them in reach of the top four places.
McTominay is now United’s top scorer for the season with six goals, one ahead of Bruno Fernandes and Rasmus Hojlund. The Red Devils’ captain had a first-half penalty saved by Robert Sanchez and United’s Danish striker was substituted after another Premier League game without a goal, despite making 11 appearances.
Erik ten Hag’s side were dominant in the first half and finally pounced on Chelsea’s inability to take control in midfield. Mauricio Pochettino’s men attempted to break at pace but Sofyan Amrabat made a vital interception and Fernandes found Alejandro Garnacho out wide. The youngster then cut the ball back to Harry Maguire whose effort rebounded perfectly into the path of McTominay. The Scotland international took one touch before blasting past Sanchez.
United led for the majority of the first 45 minutes but failed to build on their lead and were pegged back by the former Manchester City man, Cole Palmer. The 21-year-old, who made the transfer from the Etihad Stadium to Stamford Bridge in August, stroked the ball into the far corner with deadly accuracy. It was his fifth Premier League goal of the season and his first from open play.
But United continued to put Chelsea under pressure in the second half and after numerous attempts, McTominay headed powerfully past Sanchez. The Scotsman had seven shots, his most ever in a league game. Despite a flurry of late attacks driven by Reece James, Ten Hag’s team stood strong and held on to see out the victory.
United have now won their past 19 Premier League games at Old Trafford when scoring first, including all 16 under their Dutch manager.
Ten Hag: Crisis? What crisis?
The United manager faced a demanding week amid reports indicating disunity within his team and his players did exceptionally well to block out the noise and focus on footballing matters.
When asked about a potential crisis, he said: “Crisis? Not for us. We keep calm. We know where we have to build. We are going in the right direction. This team is capable to be successful.”
And United were successful tonight, thanks to McTominay. Ten Hag explained how his midfielder has managed to become more involved in an attacking sense this season: “He has a very good smell when to arrive and a very good finish.
Tonight’s matchwinner 🌟
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) December 6, 2023
“It is not a frustration, in the end, we won but we could have made our lives much easier,” he said. “We started very good, proactive, brave, we created a lot of chances in that moment, we could have gone up with two or three goals.”
Man United vs Chelsea final score
|McTominay 19′, 70′
Man United vs Chelsea live updates, highlights from Premier League
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) December 6, 2023
FT: United can breathe a sigh of relief and hold onto a crucial three points!
90th minute: Broja hits the post! That was so close to the equaliser for Chelsea. There are four minutes of added time.
80th minute: Garnacho so nearly makes it 3-1 to United but his delicately finish toys with the goalline.
74th minute: An insane recovery run and block by Reece James denies Garnacho from doubling United’s lead. He was picked out superbly by Onana to kickstart a rapid counter by the hosts.
70th minute: GOAL! 2-1 United! And it’s McTominay who has a brace! It’s a great ball to the back post by Garnacho and McTominay meets the header from inside the six-yard box. He’s in terrific goalscoring form and becomes United’s top scorer this season.
69th minute: Antony tries one of his trademark curling efforts from the right after cutting in on his left but it’s wide of the goal.
62nd minute: Penalty appeal for United! Shaw rockets an attempt goalwards and it looked as though Colwill may have blocked it with his hand. VAR took a quick look and play continues.
61st minute: Antony’s trivela is deflected for a corner, it may have been going wide.
54th minute: Unfortunately for Garnacho, lightning doesn’t strike twice. His latest acrobatic effort is well wide of the goal.
49th minute: Jackson has a glorious chance at the back post to make it 2-1 but he can’t keep his header down!
46th minute: Both sides make a change at the break. Sergio Reguilon comes on for Lindelof and much to the delight of the Chelsea fans, Reece James comes on for Cucurella.
HT: That’s all from a hectic first half, hopefully more of it to come in the second!
45th minute: GOAL! 1-1! The former City man finds the bottom corner with a delicate stroke past Onana. It’s a wonderful goal from Cole Palmer to pull level right before the break.
36th minute: And that should be the equaliser! Mudryk finds himself in the box on his weak foot but the Chelsea forward drags his effort wide.
32nd minute: McTominay should have his second! Fernandes picks him out beautifully from the left but the Scotsman heads directly at Sanchez. Either side of the Chelsea goalkeeper and United would have a two-goal lead.
25th minute: Penalty appeal for Chelsea! Sterling drops to the floor after very minimal contact with Victor Lindelof but neither the referee nor VAR buy his theatrics.
19th minute: GOAL! 1-0 United! Scott McTominay finishes off a scrappy period of play and United have a deserved lead.
18th minute: Silva’s block denies Antony the opener. He’s not scored at Old Trafford since his debut…
15th minute: It’s all gone a bit wild here as neither side appears to have a midfield capable of dictating the play. Chelsea have just had two glorious chances but Mudryk couldn’t beat Onana and Fernandes made a brilliant recovery run to prevent the other attack.
9th minute: SAVED! It’s a woeful penalty from Fernandes and Sanchez makes an easy diving save to his right.
7th minute: PENALTY! It’s United who are rewarded for their bright start as Antony was brought down by Enzo Fernandez in the box. Chris Kavanagh originally waved play on, however, VAR instructed him to take a look at the monitor and the referee gives the penalty.
4th minute: Sanchez makes a great save to deny Hojlund the opener, who was well found by Luke Shaw.
3rd minute: Dalot picks out Fernandes on the edge of the box who blasts well over the bar with a first-time strike.
1st minute: The visitors get us underway.
15 mins until kickoff: The teams have headed down the tunnel here at the Theatre of Dreams and kickoff is next…
30 mins until kickoff: The warm-ups are underway at Old Trafford on a chilly night. Ten Hag has just told MUTV that Chelsea do not “like to defend” and that United must take advantage of that this evening.
45 mins until kickoff: Raheem Sterling has failed to score in any of his 24 matches against Man United. Could tonight be the ex-Liverpool and Man City player’s night?
1 hour until kickoff: Team news is in! The eyebrow-raising decision from Erik ten Hag is that Marcus Rashford starts from the bench. Mauricio Pochettino starts the former Man City man, Cole Palmer.
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) December 6, 2023
— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) December 6, 2023
1 hour 30 mins until kickoff: Chelsea have won three of their last four Premier League away games but are without a league win at Old Trafford since 2013…
2 hours until kickoff: It’s been a relatively busy start to the week off the pitch for Erik ten Hag, it’s time to see what happens on it.
“I had to set some standards”
Erik ten Hag claims there was not a good culture among staff and players before he joined Man United 😬pic.twitter.com/DJWe42mDXY
— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) December 5, 2023
Man United vs Chelsea lineups
Midfielder Casemiro and defender Lisandro Martinez remain out for Manchester United, while Christian Eriksen may not return in 2023.
Mason Mount missed United’s defeat at Newcastle United on Saturday and Jonny Evans has not played for almost a month because of a thigh issue. Amad Diallo and Tyrell Malacia have long-term injuries.
Man United lineup (4-2-3-1, right to left): Onana (GK) — Dalot, Maguire, Lindelof, Shaw — Amrabat, McTominay — Antony, Bruno Fernandes, Garnacho — Hojlund.
Man United subs (12): To be confirmed
Ben Chilwell remains unavailable for Chelsea and Malo Gusto has been missing with a knee injury, but fellow defender Reece James is available again after suspension, as is Marc Cucurella.
Romeo Lavia and Christopher Nkunku are likely to still be sidelined and Conor Gallagher is banned after receiving two yellow cards against Brighton. Carney Chukwuemeka, Trevoh Chalobah and Wesley Fofana are out.
Chelsea lineup (4-3-3, right to left): Sanchez (GK) — Disasi, Silva, Colwill, Cucurella — Sterling, Fernandez, Caicedo — Mudryk, Palmer, Jackson.
Chelsea subs (12): To be confirmed
How to watch Man United vs Chelsea: TV channel, live stream
Here’s how to watch this Premier League match across selected areas of the world’s major regions:
UK: This match will be available on Amazon Prime TV.
USA: This game is available for streaming via Peacock.
Canada: Every Premier League game this season is live streaming exclusively via Fubo in Canada, with a new FREE five-day trial for new subscribers.
Australia: Fans in Australia can stream every match live and on demand on Optus Sport.