Wed, Aug 28, 2013 - Page 20 News List

PREMIER LEAGUE: Rooney, United held by Chelsea

AFP, MANCHESTER, England

Moyes could not have picked more high-profile opponents for his first turn in the Old Trafford dugout, or a more glorious evening, but the fare on the newly laid pitch was disappointing.

Twice Oscar shot straight at United goalkeeper David de Gea, while United’s best chance of the first half saw Robin van Persie deceive half the stadium into thinking a goal had been scored with a snapshot that ruffled the side-netting.

Rooney, for his part, looked determined to influence the game, despite Chelsea’s fans mischievously taking up their United counterparts’ chants of “Rooney” and pledging: “We’ll see you next week.”

Playing in support of Van Persie, he constantly dropped deep to demand the ball, but when he managed to find space on the edge of the penalty area with a smart turn, his shot lacked the power to trouble Cech.

Chelsea were content for their hosts to attack them, but the tactic almost back-fired in the 56th minute when Rooney found Danny Welbeck inside the area, only for the England international to poke the ball wide.

In response, Gary Cahill tested De Gea’s handling with a meaty drive from distance, but Mourinho decided his team needed a greater cutting edge and sent on Torres for De Bruyne.

For all the enmity between the sides, the game lacked bite, but United appeared to have cause to feel aggrieved when referee Martin Atkinson failed to award a penalty after Tom Cleverley’s shot struck Lampard on the hand.

Rooney raised the biggest cheer of the night with a full-bodied sliding tackle to dispossess Ramires, before giving Cech his last and most searching examination of the night with a powerful drive from long range.

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