MANCHESTER, England — Manchester United remains winless at Old Trafford in the Premier League this season after it was held to a 0-0 draw by Chelsea on Saturday.
United, which had lost its opening two home games of the season, has seven points from five games and is in 15th place, while Chelsea is in sixth on nine points from six games.
Given both teams' defensive troubles of late — United's last outing at Old Trafford was a 6-1 thrashing from Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea's previous Premier League game ended in a 3-3 draw with Southampton — it was perhaps understandable that both managers took a cautious approach.
Paul Pogba started on the bench for the third league game in a row for United, who were solid in midfield and at the back, where Harry Maguire returned from injury. Harry Maguire was lucky to not give up a penalty kick after a blatant foul in the box.
Yet Dan James, partnering Marcus Rashford in attack, struggled and Bruno Fernandes found it difficult to create many openings.
Chelsea vs Manchester United Highlights (Oct. 24, 2020)
Rashford produced the first real effort on goal in the 35th minute when he found himself in space on the right but his low drive was well saved by the out-stretched right leg of Chelsea keeper Edouard Mendy.
Mendy was in action again, six minutes later, as he dived to push a Juan Mata snap shot wide of the post.
Searching for a spark to bring the game alive, United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer brought on Pogba and Edinson Cavani in the 58th minute.
Uruguayan Cavani, making his United debut, almost scored from his first touch with a clever flick from a Fernandes cross that zipped into the side-netting.
Chelsea offered little threat and it was United who went the closest to a winner, in the 90th minute with Mendy at full stretch to keep out a well-struck, curling effort from Rashford.
While United will feel they should have taken the points, Chelsea captain Cesar Azpilicueta conceded his side hadn't produced enough.
"I have the feeling we could have done more," he said.
"We found spaces but we didn't create the last pass or pick the right pass or make the right decisions. We defended solid and they have at the end one save by Edouard and in the first half one mistake by us, but we could do more," he said.
(Reporting by Simon Evans Editing by Toby Davis)