Published : 2013-08-27 19:46
Updated : 2013-08-27 19:46
MANCHESTER, England (AP) ― Wayne Rooney’s headline-grabbing presence couldn’t inspire Manchester United to victory in David Moyes’ first home game in charge as Chelsea ground out a 0-0 draw Monday in the Premier League’s first marquee matchup of the season.
Rooney, the subject of two bids from Chelsea over the summer, played the full 90 minutes in his first start of this season and was one of the few standout performers in a disappointing match at Old Trafford that failed to live up to its billing.
Chelsea played with no recognized striker for 60 minutes and barely threatened, although a draw keeps the team unbeaten after three matches in Jose Mourinho’s second spell and top of the early standings on seven points.
United had the better of a hard-fought, error-strewn game, with Danny Welbeck wasting its best chance in the second half, but the attacking spark that lifted them to a season-opening 4-1 win at Swansea last weekend was missing.
Rooney’s name on the United team sheet added extra spice to a match between two perennial title contenders that is always eagerly anticipated.
Just as eye-catching, though, was Mourinho’s surprise lineup that included six midfielders and no pure center forward.
What was essentially a 4-6-0 formation by the visitors ensured a congested midfield and few clear-cut chances at either end. A game watched around the world was something of a let-down.