Chelsea 1-1 Manchester United: Jorginho’s winner & five things we learned

Written by Olivia Casagrande, CNN

Jorginho saved Chelsea’s blushes.

After Manchester United celebrated their winning start to the season with a 3-2 victory in the season opener on Friday, the Blues had hoped for redemption against Jose Mourinho’s team Saturday.

But Javier Hernandez’s penalty in the 69th minute rescued a point for United in what Chelsea fans had hoped would have been their chance to silence the visiting fans who loudly booed Blues star Eden Hazard during the first half.

After securing a 1-1 draw in the second half of the first match in Beijing on Saturday, Chelsea boss Antonio Conte said the game against United had been crucial.

“The game at home was very important for us. It was important to win it and now we have to forget this defeat,” he said in a post-match press conference.

“We had to use these games to work, work, work and build the team. Now we are satisfied with the three points.”

With Manchester United also losing their opener — a 2-1 defeat to Bournemouth in China — Chelsea looked to their new signing to pull a goal back after United’s controversial first-half penalty.

Here are five things we learned from the game as Jorginho made amends for Hazard’s late penalty miss.

Jorginho’s winner

The performance of the Blues’ marquee summer signing, Jorginho, at the start of the match will have seen him confirmed as a highlight of the friendlies.

Though he was initially overshadowed by Hazard, the Italy midfielder eventually turned the game Chelsea’s way with two important plays in the 74th minute.

First, he felled Axel Tuanzebe and set up Marcos Alonso to cancel out Marcus Rashford’s penalty, and then the 26-year-old smashed in the cross to give Chelsea a vital goal.

With Chelsea pushing for victory in the dying minutes, it looked a huge effort for the Italian.

Jorginho, who joined the club from Napoli for 32 million pounds ($42 million), previously played for former Italian and national manager Fabio Capello at the Stadio San Paolo.

While he is expected to make his debut for Chelsea during the Premier League match against Everton on Sunday, his heroics against United suggests he is a key part of the Blues’ plan for the forthcoming season.

Eden Hazard’s penalty miss

Showing off his trademark ball control, Hazard initially showcased a sweet volley to score the opening goal for Chelsea but he seemed to roll it down the middle before pulling back for a penalty shot that was saved.

The goal was Hazard’s first in an open match since March 2016 — a year in which he won the Premier League’s golden boot as Chelsea’s top scorer.

With the score tied at 1-1, it was expected that United would squeeze through but instead, Hull’s Adama Diomande netted to ensure Chelsea will have had plenty to ponder.

Too little, too late

Chelsea’s hopes of seeing through what was looking like a historic comeback were taken away with the late equalizer.

Both teams had chances to win, Eden Hazard missing a wide open goal and United striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic missing a sitter in the second half.

Eden Hazard will also be disappointed with his penalty miss, but will have hoped to better his performance in the past week in which he scored the third goal in the defeat to Bournemouth.

Sky Sports pundit Jamie Carragher said it was a missed opportunity.

“He saw the keeper off the line and tried to lob him, because we’ve seen him do that before. If you’ve got it you hit the goalkeeper,” he said.

For Jorginho, showing that effort will no doubt have boosted his confidence in front of goal.

Chelsea’s mistakes and rising confidence

The defending champions will be looking to improve on their relative performances as they bid to maintain their position as table-toppers in the 2017-18 Premier League season.

In the absence of the absent Conte (thumb), Davide Zappacosta was given the task of manning the central midfield.

In his 10 appearances against Manchester United, his statistics are nothing short of impressive.

Indeed, he’s the only player who has been handed more league appearances against United than Conte (18 in all competitions).

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