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King Casemiro! Winners & losers as Man Utd's warrior does his best Ronaldo impression to spare McTominay at Chelsea

20:27 BST 22/10/2022
Casemiro Man Utd 2022-23
Casemiro came up big to salvage a point for Manchester United at Chelsea, with Cristiano Ronaldo watching on from home after his midweek petulance.

Casemiro was the unlikely hero for a Cristiano Ronaldo-less Manchester United at Stamford Bridge after crashing home a stoppage-time equaliser for the Red Devils.

The Brazil international scored his first goal for his new club in a 1-1 draw that keeps Erik ten Hag's side a point behind the Blues in the Premier League table.

It could have been worse for the visitors who went 1-0 down in the 87th minute when Jorginho scored from the penalty spot after substitute Scott McTominay had clumsily fouled Armando Broja.

There was no Ronaldo to rescue United this time, with the forward dropped from the squad, so instead it was left to his former Real Madrid team-mate to save the day with a looping header that even an in-form Kepa couldn't keep out.

  • Cristiano Ronaldo Man Utd 2022-23

    WINNER & LOSER: Cristiano Ronaldo

    Erik ten Hag's decision to drop Cristiano Ronaldo for Man Utd's trip to Chelsea overshadowed the build-up to the game and the Portugal international may well be left with mixed feelings after the 1-1 draw.

    Ronaldo could easily have been the winner from the draw as United looked toothless in attack, and needed a header from Casemiro to level the scores deep into stoppage time.

    A somewhat wasteful Marcus Rashford was twice denied by Kepa, while Antony should've done better when he was through on goal and that was about as good as it got for the visitors. Indeed, it's no secret that Ten Hag's team would've benefitted greatly from a striker with 700 club career goals to his name. As the Dutchman has now said on more than one occasion - they DO need Ronaldo, and he probably afforded himself a wry smile as he watched on from home, seeing his team-mates toiling in front of goal without him.

    But let's not forget that Ronaldo also needs United.

    Indeed, consigned to the bench and absent from the squad entirely tonight, the Red Devils have looked better without him in the line-up.

    His petulance that saw him refuse to come on as a sub against Tottenham benefitted nobody, and certainly not Ronaldo.

    That selfishness meant he couldn't play hero at Stamford Bridge this time, that was Casemiro's job. It's time for some deep self-reflection, time to pull his socks up and work hard to get back in favour. Who knows what happens next if he doesn't.

  • Jadon Sancho Man Utd 2022-23

    LOSER: Jadon Sancho

    Jadon Sancho put in another underwhelming performance for United and only lasted 51 minutes at Stamford Bridge.

    The former Borussia Dortmund winger continues to look out of sorts and offered zero threat in his time on the pitch. He was wasteful, careless in possession and part of a United attack that rarely looked like scoring despite dominating much of the first half.

    Ten Hag opted to change his team shortly after the break and it was no surprise at all to see Sancho’s number come up and the winger head off to be replaced by Fred.

    Sancho only has eight goals in 52 games in all competitions in a red shirt so far, a disappointing return for a player who cost £73m, and the fact he continues to struggle in his second season at Old Trafford is a real worry.

  • Casemiro Man Utd 2022-23

    WINNER: Casemiro

    United looked to be heading for a fourth defeat in 11 Premier League games until Casemiro popped up with a dramatic and heroic 94th minute header to snatch a deserved point.

    The Brazil international was off balance but still managed to climb highest and loop an incredible, Ronaldo-esque header past Kepa from a delicious Luke Shaw cross.

    It's a first United goal for Casemiro and the mighty roar he let out while celebrating his maiden effort for the Red Devils showed exactly what it meant to the 30-year-old.

    The Brazilian has had to be patient following his summer move from Real Madrid but is steadily becoming an integral part of Ten Hag's team and his goal crowned another impressive showing.

  • Raphael Varane Man Utd 2022-23

    LOSER: Raphael Varane

    Football can be a cruel game and Raphael Varane will certainly be feeling that way after sustaining an injury that forced him off early in the second half and may end up keeping him out of the World Cup.

    The centre-back was enjoying another silky smooth performance for United before disaster struck when he caught his studs in the turf and went down in agony.

    Varane's emotional reaction, and the way his team-mates tried to console him, suggested it was a serious one that will keep him out for a while and is likely to end his World Cup dream.

    It also signifies a significant blow for United.

    The Red Devils have kept five clean sheets in seven games with Varane and Lisandro Martinez as the two centre-backs but now face losing the Frenchman for a significant spell.

  • Antonio Conte Tottenham 2022-23

    Winner: Everyone else with top-four aspirations

    Chelsea and United ended up sharing the points as neither team did quite enough to win.

    Ten Hag's side enjoyed the better of the first half but never really looked like scoring, while the Blues came back into the match but also struggled to create many openings and needed a penalty to get off the mark.

    Casemiro's equaliser saw the Red Devils salvage a point but the Brazilian's goal may also have been celebrated by other teams aiming for a top-four finish this season.

    A win for either side would have opened up a small gap between the top four and the rest, but as things stand Chelsea are only a point ahead of United and three points clear of Newcastle.

    Even struggling Liverpool are only five points off Chelsea in fourth, despite a disappointing start to the season, and, after their loss at Old Trafford last time out, the draw would've been met with adulation from those of a Tottenham persuasion.

  • Scott McTominay Man Utd 2022-23

    LOSER: Scott McTominay

    Scott McTominay looked to have gift-wrapped Chelsea all three points at Stamford Bridge with a clumsy challenge on Armando Broja that saw the Blues awarded a penalty with just minutes left on the clock.

    The Scot had only arrived on the pitch as a substitute minutes earlier and made an instant impact on the match when he grappled with Broja at a corner with a challenge that felled the Chelsea man.

    It’s the sort of grabbing you see often at set-pieces, and isn’t always given, but McTominay can have no complaints after putting both arms on the Chelsea forward.

    Jorginho stepped up and made no mistake from the spot, sending David De Gea the wrong way to put United 1-0 down and in all sorts of trouble.

    There's no doubt it was a poor challenge and one that could have been truly costly. Fortunately for the visitors, Casemiro came up with the goods late on to ensure McTominay will sleep a little easier tonight.