With rumors of Jose Mourinho swirling around Manchester, Louis Van Gaal‘s squad had dominated the team that The Special One put together, and he was minutes away from a special win.
Then Diego Costa happened.
The polarizing Chelsea striker scored a minute into injury time to cancel out a stunning goal from Jesse Lingard and save a point for Chelsea at home and hold Manchester United to just a point.
The visitors owned much of the attacking intent in the opening 10 minutes, bursting down both flanks and cutting inside looking for an opening. Chelsea barely saw a sniff of the ball through the opening stages, unable to get out of their own half without giving away possession. Anthony Martial beat Branislav Ivanovic down the left and ripped a shot destined for the top corner, forcing a fantastic save from Thibaut Courtois on 18 minutes.
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The Red Devils earned themselves a monstrous nine corners through the first 25 minutes, but couldn’t get on the scoresheet. Chelsea began to get themselves into the game past the half-hour mark. Nemanja Matic forced a save from David De Gea on a directed header across net, and Diego Costa had a tight-angled shot skitter wide after having beaten a pair of defenders. Oscar played a nice one-two with Cesar Azpilicueta in the box, but the Brazilian’s shot skied over.
The referee was called into action just moments before halftime as a volleyed effort from John Terry struck the elbow of Daley Blind on its way towards the net. Michael Oliver did not give the penalty, and replays showed his arm was up near his face.
After the break, United returned to the ascendency they enjoyed early in the game. Wayne Rooney ripped a low shot that forced a save from David de Gea just minutes after halftime, and Martial had one from closer on that he dragged just wide.
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There was a lengthy delay just before the hour mark as Kurt Zouma landed awkwardly on his right leg. The injury appeared very serious, and he was stretchered off in favor of Gary Cahill. Moments later, with Chelsea possibly unsettled, Manchester United capitalized. Cameron Borthwick-Jackson drove in a low cross to Wayne Rooney, who touched to Lingard. With his back to goal, the 23-year-old turned and cut a shot past Courtois for the lead.
Rooney tried the same effort on 73 minutes but fired just wide. Chelsea really struggled to respond after falling behind, but Cesc Fabregas forced a fine save from De Gea with a close-range shot at the top corner.
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Lingard received a yellow card down the stretch, and was subsequently removed in favor of Memphis Depay, who saw the match out up front. Chelsea had little going forward through the finality of regulation, but with a healthy chunk of added time from Zouma’s injury, Diego Costa struck.
A ball through the scrum from Cesc Fabregas found Costa’s feet one-on-one with Borthwick-Jackson. Costa skipped around a weak tackle from the young defender, and with De Gea out of net, Costa easily poked the ball home to pull level. The Brazilian nearly had another to win it with just seconds left, but De Gea saved well again.