April 28, 2022 Manchester United interim manager Ralf Rangnick and Cristiano Ronaldo after the match
Manchester United's Cristiano Ronaldo showed his continued class in front of goal by cancelling out Marcos Alonso's opener for a dominant Chelsea side in their 1-1 Premier League draw at Old Trafford on Thursday.
It was another night of mediocrity from Ralf Rangnick's United as their troubled season, which began with such high expectations, peters out.
The result leaves Chelsea in third place on 66 points while United are in sixth spot with 55, five points behind fourth-placed Arsenal having played two games more.
The only the moment of class, to bring some cheer to the United supporters who had again vented their frustrations against the club's American owners, the Glazer family, came from Ronaldo with a superb piece of control and finishing.
Little has worked for United this season, either under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer or German Rangnick, who took over from the Norwegian in November, but Portugal's five-times Ballon d'Or winner has certainly delivered in front of goal.
Ronaldo's 62nd minute strike was his 17th league goal this season with only Mohamed Salah of Liverpool having found the target more often and the former Real Madrid man has claimed eight of his team's last nine goals.
"Not only the goal Cristiano scored but his whole performance, his attitude at the age of 37, this is not normal to do that," said Rangnick.
"If he plays like he did today he can still be a big help to this team," he added.
"It was a good point for us. In the first half Chelsea dominated the game. You can see that they have top players and are well organised, and it's not so easy to get hold of them," added the interim manager who will be replaced by Ajax Amsterdam boss Erik ten Hag at the end of the season.
After Chelsea failed to make the most of a series of chances in the first half, with United goalkeeper David De Gea three times denying Kai Havertz, they finally got ahead on the hour.
Reece James' cross was flicked on by Havertz and Alonso powered a left-foot volley into the corner of the net.
Within two minutes, though, United were back on level terms when Nemanja Matic scooped the ball over the top and Ronaldo took one touch before slotting past keeper Edouard Mendy.
Chelsea went close to a winner in the 79th when Mason Mount set up James with a clever, heeled lay-off but the full-back's left foot curler struck the post.
Manager Thomas Tuchel was frustrated with the way his team had failed to take the lead during the opening 45 minutes when they dominated the game.
"One team deserved to win and that was us. We didn't take it. It was a very, very good performance but we were not decisive enough. We lacked a bit of determination in the box to win the game," said the Chelsea manager.
"It sometimes happens. It's on us to learn from it. You need to be clinical to get the reward. We have to live with a point but it's not a fair result.
"We worked so hard to get the lead and suddenly the opponent gets one free shot and scores," he added.
Source: Reuters / Reporting by Simon Evans, Editing by Ken Ferris
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