Cristiano Ronaldo saves a point for Manchester United against Chelsea | Soccer News

MANCHESTER (Reuters) – Chelsea have been battling to secure their place in next season’s Champions League despite failing to make the most of their dominance in a 1-1 draw at Manchester United on Thursday.
Marcos Alonso’s opener was quickly canceled out by Cristiano Ronaldo to leave third-placed Blues eight points clear of fifth-placed Tottenham in the Premier League with five games remaining.
United caretaker boss Ralf Rangnick had already given up hope of the Red Devils climbing into the top four and one point still leaves them five points behind fourth-placed Arsenal after playing two more games.
Rangnick’s ill-fated time at Old Trafford could be cut short with reports that he is set to take over as Austria manager rather than take on a two-year consultancy role.
Erik ten Hag has already been brought in as United manager for next season but again there were few signs of encouragement for the Ajax boss after another sluggish performance.
Ownership issues also hang over the club on a night when United fans again expressed their anger at the Glazer family.
Many fans remained outside the stadium until the 17th minute in protest at 17 years since the Americans took control of United with a leveraged takeover.
Chelsea appear destined to become the latest Premier League club to fall to the Americans with the sale of the Blues set to go through before the end of the season.
Uncertainty over what the future holds for us at Stamford Bridge has started to show on the pitch in recent weeks.
Thomas Tuchel’s men have suffered heavy defeats at home to Brentford and Arsenal, as well as seeing their Champions League defense come to an end.
But they were just the latest team to have too much energy, ideas and organization for a United side who can now only match their lowest points tally in the Premier League era by winning his three remaining games.
In keeping with the Red Devils’ season, only David de Gea and Ronaldo have emerged with credit keeping the hosts in the game at either end.
De Gea deployed brilliantly to twice deprive Kai Havertz of the best chances in the first half.
Tuchel was furious with his fellow German’s poor finish but Havertz at least got his hands on the goal that ultimately put the visitors ahead on the hour mark.
Havertz threw Reece James’ cross into the path of Alonso, who hit a soft volley over De Gea.
The lead lasted just two minutes as Ronaldo was at his clinical best to smash United’s first big chance of the game.
Nemanja Matic powered a brilliant pass into the Portuguese way to control and fire past Edouard Mendy for his 23rd goal of the season.
Chelsea should still have gone on to claim the three points as James cowered against the post from Mason Mount’s lovely backheel in the closing stages.

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