5 things we learn from the Old Trafford showdown

MAN UNITED 0

CHELSEA 0

ROONEY REMAINS PROFESSIONAL

David Moyes' decision to select Wayne Rooney against a team he quite obviously wants to join was a huge gamble, but it paid off.

Far from phoning in his shift, he was aggressive and determined throughout. The Chelsea supporters began the night applauding him and trying to cajole him into making his move to West London, but it soon became apparent that he was Manchester United's greatest threat.

Rooney has not treated his club well this summer, unsettling the squad when they were at their most vulnerable, giving Moyes a problem he really didn't need in his first season at Old Trafford.

But at least when it comes to the business of playing football, he can still be trusted to do his job.

MOYES ISN'T GOING TO PANIC

Jose Mourinho threw everything he had at David Moyes in the build-up to this game, telling the media that the Rooney saga was entirely his fault.

Moyes simply ignored him.

If Mourinho thinks that the Scotsman is out of his depth or nervous, he may need to think again.

United stuck with a settled line-up, save for the swopping of Ryan Giggs for Rooney, and held Chelsea at bay without breaking sweat.

When told that Mourinho would check with Rooney's representatives before making another bid, Moyes raised an eyebrow.

"That would be illegal," he said archly. Mourinho won't win any mind games here.

MOURINHO WANTS A STRIKER

Mourinho sent a clear message to Roman Abramovich yesterday morning (Singapore time), leaving out all three of his recognised strikers and fielding Andre Schurrle instead.

While the German has played as a centre forward before, he is hardly renowned for it. Unfortunately for Chelsea, the strategy came to nothing.

Mourinho has tried Fernando Torres, he has tried Demba Ba and he has tried Romelu Lukaku. He wants either Rooney or Samuel Eto'o. This was a high-risk strategy for making his point.

If a new arrival cannot be sourced, he's going to have work very hard to win back the affections of his spurned strikers.

TERRY IS BACK

Sidelined by Rafa Benitez last season, John Terry might have worried that he was becoming an expendable force.

He has responded in the best possible way. In three consecutive starts, he has been practically flawless in the heart of Chelsea's defence.

Only the apparent handball against Aston Villa can be held against him, but he got away with that. Terry and Gary Cahill were exceptional against United, keeping Robin van Perise, Rooney and Danny Welbeck at bay all night.

United had the better of the game, but they still didn't threaten Petr Cech often enough. Terry is unlikely to be again designated as a second-string defender now.

THE SEASON IS WIDE OPEN

This was not exactly a feast of football, but that could be a positive. Many observers had expected United, Manchester City and Chelsea to break away early, but there are signs of hope for the chasing pack.

City were well beaten by newly-promoted Cardiff, Chelsea were fortunate to beat Aston Villa and United do not look markedly superior to either of them.

There is, of course, a very long way to go yet, but the early signs suggest that this season might be one of the most fascinating since the inception of the English Premier League in 1992.

New managers, transfer upheaval, improved finances for the teams below. It's all so gloriously uncertain.


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