Manchester United vs Chelsea – 5 things we learned

Whilst it may not have been the swashbuckling event that we have so regularly seen between these two sides in recent seasons, this was still a thoroughly compelling and entertaining encounter which ultimately saw the points shared.

At the start of the campaign Chelsea would have seen a draw at Manchester United as a decent result. But, considering their current form and the recent vulnerability of Manchester United, they may well view this as two points dropped at the end of the season.

Here is what we learned:

Manchester United have their fight back

During the Sir Alex Ferguson years, even when Manchester United were playing appallingly, you could guarantee one thing – they would fight until the very last whistle.

It’s harder, of course, to fight for a manager who you don’t believe in. Last season defeat almost became acceptable for a disenchanted Manchester United side that was seriously struggling under David Moyes.

But their new manager has re-instilled that never say die attitude and it has paid dividends twice in a week.

10 points is a bridgeable gap – just

Once more Manchester United have a week off before their next fixture. Meantime Chelsea and Manchester City will be taking part in The Capital One Cup this week. Although we probably won’t notice any fatigue just yet, it’s bound to play a part come spring.

If Manchester United continue to improve they could become the ultimate dark horses for the title with so little to distract them.

Chelsea remain the team to beat this season

That said, you can’t see Chelsea dropping too many points over the next few months. They are playing like a real team and could have scored a couple more before United’s equaliser. Mourinho has created another slick, dangerous, powerful and defensively rock-solid team which will take some beating.

Juan Mata needs to find a new club

It’s just not happening for the lad. Can anyone see him succeeding at Manchester United?

This was Chris Smalling’s best game for Manchester United

With all the defensive problems at United, the late injury to Phil Jones left many concerned that Chelsea would run riot. But Smalling played brilliantly. He’s got all the raw materials to succeed as a top defender. Pace, height and decent feet. At 24, he now needs to cement a place in the team or fall by the wayside.