Casemiro out of this world as Man Utd trio stand out in Chelsea draw

Chelsea V Man Utd In Pictures

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Manchester United failed to make it back to back Premier League wins but managed to draw with Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. Erik ten Hag’s side had gone into the contest full of confidence after beating Tottenham last time out but, despite being the better team, were unable to take all three points – instead taking just one after a late goal from Casemiro cancelled out a spot-kick from Jorginho.  Express Sport will now take a look at four players who stood taller than the rest on a day where they were unable to go above their rivals in the league table, with their No 18 coming to their rescue. 

Casemiro

Manchester United had, until this summer, long been crying out for an elite midfielder capable of both dictating matches and getting stuck in.

After his latest stirring showing against Chelsea, it’s clear the Red Devils have landed the right man in Casemiro.

Many raised their eyebrows when United opted to spend a huge £70million on the Brazil international, especially given how they’d previously been pursuing Frenkie de Jong – who is five years his junior.

But Casemiro set the tone for yet another positive performance from the visitors, tackling superbly and helping to give the club’s attacking players license to go forward.

Real Madrid conned United by selling them Angel Di Maria back in the summer transfer window but Casemiro, another South American, is a different case entirely. What’s more, he’s only to get better and better the more he gets used to life at his new club – and his late goal was the icing on the cake. 

Antony

Another player United signed back in the summer transfer window was Antony, with the Samba star touching down from Ajax for a huge £86m.

He cut an angsty figure during the match with Chelsea, exchanging barbs with Diogo Dalot and often looking towards Ten Hag for guidance on the touchline.

But, in the first half at least, Antony was arguably United’s biggest attacking threat with his speed causing the Blues all kinds of problems at the back.

So good was the 22-year-old it even forced Chelsea into an early substitution, with Marc Cucurella making way for Mateo Kovacic as they looked to tighten things up at the back.

Antony should have netted when he found himself one on one with Kepa and it’s clear his right foot requires improvement. His left, however, is capable of the imaginative and that bodes well for the future.

Raphael Varane

United have had to be patient with Raphael Varane, with injuries often preventing the former Real Madrid star from taking to the pitch as often as he’d like.

But it’s clear the France international has been worth the wait after yet another stellar centre-back showing.

Varane showed great awareness to intercept a threatening Chelsea cross in the first half, while he also carried the ball out well and started United’s attacks.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang may not be the same force of nature he was during his spells at Borussia Dortmund and Arsenal, yet keeping him quiet is still no easy task – especially given how he’s rediscovered his mojo of late.

Lisandro Martinez also warrants a mention but it was Varane who stood taller today – both literally and figuratively. It’s just a shame he was forced out of the game due to injury, with his fitness issues his only blotch on his record, and United missed him in the closing stages as they conceded late. 

Diogo Dalot

At the current moment in time, Diogo Dalot’s long-term future at the club is up in the air.

Barcelona are keen on signing the Portugal international, while Real Madrid and AC Milan have also been linked as he enters the last 18 months of his contract.

But Dalot produced yet another storming showing at right-back, managing to nullify the threat of Raheem Sterling and ensure Chelsea’s frontline had no joy whatsoever. He’d have had a clean sheet, too, if Scott McTominay hadn’t conceded the late penalty which Jorginho converted. 

A new contract for the former Porto star must be a priority for United, with Dalot regularly bombing forward with joy and stretching Chelsea with his pace.

He’s completely transformed from the Ole Gunnar Solskjaer era and the time where Aaron Wan-Bissaka was a potential pick is long gone.

Manchester United’s next five fixtures

After their defeat to Chelsea, Manchester United will face off against Sheriff in the Europa League on Thursday.

Three days later, on October 30, they’ll host West Ham at Old Trafford.

After that, United are in Europa League action again on November 3 – where they’ll make the trip to Spain to lock horns with Real Sociedad.

On November 6, they’re due to face Aston Villa.

And they’ll face the same opponents four days later in the Carabao Cup.

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