28th February, 2021
Manchester United were left frustrated by a VAR penalty controversy in their 0-0 draw at Chelsea, while the revitalised Gareth Bale struck twice in Tottenham’s 4-0 rout of Burnley on Sunday.
Second-placed United had hoped to close the gap on Manchester City with a victory at Stamford Bridge.
But instead, they now sit 12 points behind the Premier League leaders as their title hopes fade following a run of one win from four games.
Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel is unbeaten in nine matches in all competitions since replacing the sacked Frank Lampard, but the stalemate was a blow to his team’s top-four challenge.
The fifth-placed Blues are one point behind fourth-placed West Ham and four ahead of sixth-placed Liverpool, who visit Sheffield United in Sunday’s late game.
Neither side could claim they deserved to win in a game of few clear-cut chances.
The biggest talking point came in the first half when United’s appeal for a penalty was rejected by referee Stuart Attwell after he consulted the pitchside monitor when Callum Hudson-Odoi appeared to handle in a challenge with Mason Greenwood.
Luke Shaw, after the game, said the referee did not award a penalty to avoid controversies.
He said: “I even heard the referee say to H [Maguire], if I say it’s a penalty then it’s going to cause a lot of people to talk afterwards.”