Alonso’s goal secures vital point for Chelsea

Man Utd 1 Chelsea 1

Marcos Alonso’s goal took Chelsea a big step closer to securing a top-four finish.

Alonso equalised three minutes before half-time at Old Trafford, pouncing on the loose ball to score from an awkward angle after keeper David De Gea failed to hold a speculative shot from Antonio Rudiger, who later went off injured.

Manchester United’s former Chelsea contingent had combined to give the home side the lead after 11 minutes.

Romelu Lukaku cleverly scooped the ball through to Luke Shaw, and the left-back – released by Chelsea as a schoolboy, nudged it back to ex-Blues star Juan Mata, who fired past Kepa.

United had been on top and Lukaku was denied an early goal by keeper Kepa, who saved at his near post after the former Chelsea forward had drifted between centre-backs Luiz and Rudiger.

After going ahead, United continued to press and Eric Bailly almost doubled their lead when he headed Ashley Young’s corner wide.

But De Gea’s mistake led to Alonso hauling the visitors level and the draw keeps fourth-placed Chelsea three points clear of sixth-placed United with just two Premier League matches of the season remaining.

On a less positive note for the Blues, Rudiger, back in the side after a knee problem, was helped from the pitch just after the hour mark after seemingly suffering a recurrence of the injury.

And Willian limped off late on following a crude challenge from United defender Marcos Rojo, whose stoppage-time header was cleared off the line by Pedro.

Chelsea: Kepa, Azpilicueta, Rudiger (Christensen 65), Luiz, Alonso, Jorginho, Kante, Kovacic (Loftus-Cheek 75), Hazard, Higuain, Willian (Pedro 84).
Subs not used: Caballero, Barkley, Pedro, Giroud, Zappacosta.