Ross Barkley’s goal deep in stoppage time ensured Chelsea remain unbeaten in the Premier League as Maurizio Sarri’s team earned a 2-2 draw with Manchester United at Stamford Bridge on Saturday.
Barkely’s equalizer sparked febrile scenes on the touchline with former Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho incensed by a member of the home team’s support staff – Marco Ianni – crossing into the United technical area.
Mourinho, who had lost his three previous games at Stamford Bridge as United manager, had to be held back by Chelsea’s stewards as the home team’s bench – including manager Maurizio Sarri – vigorously celebrated Barkley’s goal. Ianni is Sarri’s second assistant coach.
“What happened with Sarri’s assistant, Sarri was the first one to come to me and say he will resolve it,’ Mourinho told Sky Sports. “The assistant has already come to me and apologized, I told him to forget it. I have made a lot of mistakes in my career.”
Before Barkley’s late intervention United had looked on course to deliver a second successive stirring comeback in the Premier League.
A fortnight ago United trailed 2-0 at home to Newcastle United before three second-half goals grabbed a remarkable 3-2 win.
Anthony Martial scored United’s second goal in that win and the Frenchman was key to the visitors’ revival as Mourinho’s men threatened to inflict a first league defeat on Chelsea under Sarri.
Chelsea had taken the lead in the first half when Paul Pogba allowed Antonio Rudiger to run free and power home a header past David de Gea following a corner.
United had been second best in those opening 45 minutes – striker Romelu Lukaku managed just nine touches in that first half – but Mourinho’s side was a different proposition after the interval.
Early in the second half United pulled level after Martial reacted swiftly to collect the ball from Ashley Young’s deflected effort and then volley home.
The Frenchman’s second was even better. After good work by Juan Mata and Marcus Rashford, Martial collected the ball on the edge of the penalty area, before curling a low shot past Chelsea goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga.
“It’s emotion, it’s football,” Rudiger told Sky Sports when he was asked about the frenetic touchline scenes after Barkley forced home Chelsea’s second goal so late in the game.
Barkley’s equalizer left Mourinho feeling frustrated.
“We were the best team on the pitch,” Mourinho told Sky Sports. “If you say before the game that one point at Stamford Bridge is a good result, it is so difficult to win here but after the game with the way the game was it is an awful result for us and a phenomenal result for them.
“We were in the game, we controlled their triggers, Eden Hazard and Jorginho was well controlled.
“After we were 2-1 up we had positions to score the third goal, we were the best team, we were calm in control.
“I hope every referee does the same as Mike Dean and gives six minutes, I don’t know where they came from. We always tried to play, there was no time wasting.”
The draw put Chelsea on 21 points after nine games with United on 14 points.