Two lead changes, four goals and a bout of late drama saw Chelsea clinch a dramatic 2-2 draw with Manchester United on Saturday.
Maurizio Sarri’s side were aiming to maintain their unbeaten start to the season while Jose Mourinho was looking to relieve the pressure valve after a tumultuous opening to the campaign.
Antonio Rüdiger got Chelsea off to a bright start before a brace from Anthony Martial flipped the game on its head only for Ross Barkley to ensure the scores remained level.
Either side could have justified exiting Stamford Bridge with three points during a game of two halves, and here are four things we learned from the encounter.
4. Chelsea Struggled With Eden Hazard Nullified
Eden Hazard has been Chelsea’s shining light this season, but when he was nullified by United the Blues appeared to move away from Sarri’s style of play and instead panicked into playing long balls.
With their creative spark targeted by United they had to look elsewhere for ways to goal and they struggled as they do not possess a lethal striker in their ranks, exposing the over-reliance on the Belgium international.
Alvaro Morata lacks confidence and poise while Olivier Giroud has yet to score this season, and if they are to keep within touching distance at the top of the table they need to find other avenues to goal beyond their star man.
3. Man Utd Must Tie Anthony Martial Down to a New Contract
The Frenchman has often polarised opinion, mostly from his manager Jose Mourinho, but Martial is one hell of a player and United need to tie his future to the club as soon as possible.
He is a special talent and one which needs only a small ounce of confidence to get him firing and conjuring up moments of brilliance, as he did at Stamford Bridge.
Martial was given few opportunities to shine on Saturday but both of his finishes were instinctive and altered the script for United having initially found themselves behind. At just 22-years-old there are a lot of good years ahead for the winger, and United need to ensure he has them with them.
2. Both Centre Forwards Struggled
Both Romelu Lukaku and Morata struggled to make an impact for their respective sides on Saturday, albeit for different reasons.
United failed to incorporate Lukaku in their play, primarily in the first half, so much so that he collected just nine touches in the opening period.
His lack of impact was a symptom of the Red Devils’ reserved start to the game, and although he became more prominent as United started to attack, it was not his day at the office.
Morata, meanwhile, looked short of confidence and failed to offer the outlet Chelsea needed at the point of their attack. The Spaniard was weak in his challenges and struggled to offer an option in the box when the Blues swarmed forward.
He made it seem like Chelsea were playing a man short at times.
1. Manchester United a Different Beast When Behind
Manchester United showed two different versions of themselves on either side of half time at Stamford Bridge. The first allowed Chelsea to dictate play as United looked to pick them off on the counter when possible, but that only served to give the Blues the advantage heading into the break.
However, with their backs against the wall the Red Devils were unshackled in the next 45 and given the license to engage the Blues’ midfield and contest for second balls.
United shine brightest when their forward players are free to run into space and express themselves, but the Red Devils faithful will hope that it becomes a part of their game from the off rather than when they need to claw their way back into a match to salvage points.