The Reds will be happy to escape with a share of the points against a Chelsea side that had easily the best of the proceedings and who will rue a number of good chances they spurned in the first 45 minutes in particular. United went into the game missing Wilson, Thorpe and Pearson and their weakened side found itself under pressure for much of the game.
Premier Under 21 League
Manchester United 0 Chelsea 0
Amos was called into action before the game was ten minutes old: confusion on the United left allowed the highly-rated Brown to surge into the area, but his cross was scrambled away by the goalkeeper, who was then forced to smother a loose ball from the resulting corner. He and the United defence were busy for much of the rest of the first half too, with only a miskick from Kiwomya preventing Chelsea from taking the lead. Kiwomya also set up Brown for what looked an easy chance, but the forward put his shot over the bar. Brown was again thwarted just before the break by a combination of Amos and Ekangamene when through on goal.
United had enjoyed only fleeting glimpses of goal in that first half and there weren’t many more in the second, though the Reds closed down Chelsea far more effectively as the game went on and neither Brown nor Kiwomya were allowed to wreak havoc in the way they’d threatened to in the first period. Chelsea also brought on summer signing Van Ginkel, returning from a long injury lay-off, and he had arguably the best chance of the half when his effort was saved by Ben Amos, with perhaps his most vital intervention of a busy game.
The result keeps United level with Chelsea in a close battle for one of the top four places and qualification for the knockout stages, with five games remaining, the next away at Newcastle on Wednesday night.