Manchester United's pressing caused Chelsea a surprising amount of problems in the first half, as the hosts dominated possession and the visitors struggled to get into the game. Although United enjoyed a majority of possession, and produced the only real pressure on either goal, the split of chances was about 50/50.
Robin van Persie almost collected the ball in space on the edge of the area, but elected to take it into the inside channel, where his fierce effort only found the side netting. At the other end, Oscar got onto the end of a pair of loose balls outside the United area, but both times his efforts were too close to David de Gea, who held onto both efforts with relative ease.
United were pressing and wreaking havoc with Chelsea's passing game, and playing the ball around fairly quickly themselves but without producing enough quality in the final third to make any use of it. It was highly promising from David Moyes' charges, who looked full of fight, even if perhaps lacking in invention.
The second half opened the game up slightly, and Danny Welbeck enjoyed the best chance of the game up til that point after Rooney, who had improved following a first half typified by misplaced passes, released him to spin and fire in an effort from close range, but his finish was poor, blasted high and wide of Petr Cech's goal.
Chelsea were then fortunate to get away with an erroneous penalty decision after Tom Cleverley's shot struck the arm of Frank Lampard - a clear spot-kick, but Martin Atkinson, who didn't have the best of evenings, waved play on to keep the visitors alive.
Chelsea began to grow into the game midway through the second half, but poor passing dogged their attacking play as they struggled to form any clear chances against the United backline. The hosts continued to search for a winner, albeit slightly tentatively, and had a fine opportunity when Phil Jones' cross fell to Robin van Persie with just a few minutes of normal time remaining, but John Obi MIkel was at hand to block his fierce right-footed effort.
That was to be the last real chance of the game, with the rest of the time petering out uneventfully. A good overall performance from United, although not a great result.