Edinson Cavani made his Manchester United debut from the bench but could not inspire his new side to a first league victory at Old Trafford as they drew 0-0 with Chelsea.

The Red Devils had the better openings in a cagey affair but could not avoid setting a club record of a fifth winless Premier League match in a row at home.

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Frank Lampard opted to switch system to three at the back for the Blues and that additional insurance contributed to a disappointing opening half of little goalmouth action.

Marcus Rashford saw the best chance of the first period well saved by Edouard Mendy, while the visitors will feel they were unfortunate not to be awarded a spot kick when Harry Maguire appeared to man-handle Cesar Azpilicueta while defending a right-wing free kick.

Manchester United's English defender Harry Maguire (R) tangles with Chelsea's Spanish defender Cesar Azpilicueta (L) during the English Premier League football match between Manchester United and Chelsea at Old Trafford in Manchester, north west England,

Image credit: Getty Images

Cavani was eventually introduced just shy of the hour and almost made an instant impact with a near-post flick that flew inches wide. However, the pattern of play remained much the same until Rashford had a stoppage time drive well saved by Mendy.

The result sees Chelsea edge up to sixth, four points adrift of leaders Everton having played a game more. United are two points worse off than the Blues down in 15th.

Both sides will now turn their focus back to Europe in the coming days. United will look to build upon their excellent Champions League start at PSG when they entertain RB Leipzig on Wednesday. Chelsea visit FK Krasnodar.

TALKING POINT

VAR - again. Lampard will be delighted with a clean sheet and how the tweak to his side’s formation negated United’s attacking riches. However, he won’t be too pleased with the outcome of his team’s first-half penalty shout.

VAR has been much maligned since its introduction to modern football and there will be more debate after this. Maguire clearly wrestled Azpilicueta to the ground and while you may wonder how the referee missed it, you’d expect VAR to check it. But that wasn’t the case and even more puzzling given that a challenge on Rashford that was far less clear-cut was given some scrutiny.

Chelsea's English head coach Frank Lampard gestures from the touchline during the English Premier League football match between Manchester United and Chelsea at Old Trafford in Manchester, north west England, on October 24, 2020.

Image credit: Getty Images

The inconsistency is frustrating for everyone involved and with no real noteworthy action to discuss following a boring stalemate, this incident will no doubt dominate plenty of the post-match reaction.

MAN OF THE MATCH

Thiago Silva (Chelsea). Dealt with everything United threw into the box. Handled the added danger that came with Cavani’s introduction and looks to have now settled well after a tricky start to life at the Bridge.

Edinson Cavani of Man Utd and Thiago Silva of Chelsea during the Premier League match between Manchester United and Chelsea at Old Trafford on October 24, 2020 in Manchester, United Kingdom

Image credit: Getty Images

PLAYER RATINGS

MAN UTD: De Gea 6, Wan-Bissaka 7, Lindelof 8, Maguire 6, Shaw 7, McTominay 6, Fred 6, Fernandes 6, Mata 6, James 6, Rashford 7. Subs: Pogba 7, Cavani 7, Greenwood n/a.

CHELSEA: Mendy 7, James 7, Silva 8, Zouma 7, Azpilcueta 7, Chilwell 7, Jorginho 6, Kante 6, Pulisic 6, Havertz 6, Werner 6. Subs: Mount 6, Abraham 6, Ziyech n/a.

Matchcast: Full match stats and commentary

KEY MOMENTS

31’ – MAN UNITED CHANCE. Almost some drama after a dour opening half hour. Mendy takes a pass from the left and is almost too casual looking for Silva inside the six-yard box. He miss-hits it and is lucky not to roll it into his own net!

35’ – MAN UTD CHANCE. Mendy shows his agility with a fine stop to deny Rashford's low shot after the forward had raced in from the right channel to seize upon Mata's clever pass.

59’ – MAN UTD CHANCE. Cavani flicks wide at the near post after a low ball in from the left. Nearly an instant impact after coming off the bench just seconds earlier.

Edinson Cavani of Manchester United reacts to an early missed chance during the Premier League match between Manchester United and Chelsea at Old Trafford on October 24, 2020 in Manchester, England.

Image credit: Getty Images

90+1’ – MAN UTD CHANCE. Rashford reacts to a loose ball on the edge of the box and fires in a first-time curling shot that Mendy does well to push to safety.

KEY STATS

Cavani (33y 253d) is the oldest player to make his Premier League debut for Man Utd since Zlatan Ibrahimovic (34y 316d) in August 2016.

Chelsea haven’t won in eight league trips to Old Trafford.

Man Utd have failed to win their opening three home league games to a season for the first time since 1972-73.

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