Edinson Cavani made his debut off the bench as Manchester United’s home struggles continued with a dour 0-0 draw against Chelsea in an underwhelming Premier League clash at a rainy Old Trafford.
Marcus Rashford and Juan Mata had the best of the first-half chances but were unable to get the better of Edouard Mendy, the latter’s attempt coming after Harry Maguire contentiously avoided conceding a penalty for a clumsy challenge on Cesar Azpilicueta.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer sent on Cavani before the hour mark and the 33-year-old striker, who was signed as a free agent on deadline day, almost scored with his first touch for United.
After a sluggish opening half an hour, the highlight of which was Mendy almost passing the ball into his own goal, the game finally came to life in the final 10 minutes of the opening period.
Mendy recovered from his earlier error by using his foot to keep out a low drive from Rashford, before springing to his right to push a curling attempt from Mata behind.
Those shots came either side of Azpilicueta – who featured on the right side of a three-man defence – appealing for a penalty when Maguire climbed over him, while Thiago Silva went unpunished for clipping Rashford in the area in the 41st minute.
Mata and Daniel James were sacrificed for Paul Pogba and debutant Cavani, who narrowly missed out on making an immediate impact when he flicked Bruno Fernandes’ cross into the side-netting.
Mason Greenwood returned for United as a late substitute and Mendy produced another stunning save to deny Rashford, who produced the first and only shot on target of the second half in stoppage time.
Chelsea travel to Russia to face Krasnodar in the Champions League on Wednesday, when United welcome last season’s semi-finalists RB Leipzig to Old Trafford.