Claudio Ranieri’s baptism as Chelsea boss must have given him a good idea of what to expect of life in England. The joy of taking an early lead, the despair of going 3-1 down and the elation of fighting back to secure a point. More ups and downs than a Tory MP’s trousers.
Ranieri’s anticipated sweeping changes failed to materialise. The only surprise was the non-appearance of Dennis Wise but that was due to injury.
Graeme Le Saux took over as captain and had possible his best game for Chelsea since re-signing from Blackburn. He made a spectacular goal-line clearance and set up the last goal shortly afterwards. England’s left-back problems are over.
The draw was just reward for the loyal Blues fans who made the early start for the ridiculous 11:30am kick-off. The opening goal was greeted with delirium in the away section but it was short lived. At 3-1 down Chelsea looked finished but Jon Harley set up Flo for another before half-time and it was game on again.
The huge 67,000 crowd failed to get behind United and the Blues took advantage. While the away fans sang: “60,000 muppets” Chelsea worked their way back into the match.
Flo’s equaliser was a very well worked goal. Le Saux exposed United’s weakness at right-back, Zola controlled his cross, laid it off to Flo and he finished clinically.
Well worth the early start and a solid foundation for Ranieri to build from.