Could Zouma's unfortunate injury affect John Terry's Chelsea future?

Stamford Bridge game also shows United's more direct approach is helping their cause

BY Raf Diallo 17:55 Sunday 7 February 2016, 17:55 7 Feb 2016

Players call for the stretcher after Chelsea's Kurt Zouma was injured during the English Premier League soccer match between Chelsea and Manchester United at Stamford Bridge stadium in London, Sunday, Feb. 7, 2016. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)

Manchester United have been showing signs of a revival in the last couple of weeks and there was further evidence that they are rediscovering a little of their best after a 1-1 draw at Chelsea.

Jesse Lingard's swivel and goal just after the hour mark could have proved decisive as United attempted to keep themselves just about in touch with the Top Four.

But Diego Costa's late, late stoppage time equaliser tore two points away from the three that Louis van Gaal and his team thought they had earned away from home.

The 1-1 result had a few under-currents that could have a long-term effect for both clubs. 

Zouma injury effect

A decent game was unfortunately marred by a serious-looking injury for Kurt Zouma after landing awkwardly in the second half.

Hopefully it wasn't as bad as it looked - although the young French defender's screams were clearly audible revealing just how painful it was.

Before the game, ex-Ireland defender Kenny Cunningham was critical of Chelsea captain and centre-back John Terry for his "tacky" announcement of a summer departure.

If Zouma's injury is long-term, it could also force Chelsea's hand into offering Terry a one-year deal. 

Zouma, at 21, is already a first-team regular but was also bought as a key fixture in Chelsea's future. But while he recovers, the Londoners could try and minimise disruption at the back leading into next season by keeping Terry around.

But the first hope is that Zouma is not sidelined for long and makes a swift recovery.

Manchester United's Jesse Lingard celebrates scoring his side's first goal of the game with Wayne Rooney (left) at Stamford Bridge (Picture by: Nick Potts / PA Wire/Press Association Images)

A win slips away but Man United have some positives 

Prior to this afternoon's game, Man United had averaged 11.4 shots per game this season, which was among the bottom 10 sides in the Premier League statistically.

The wins over Derby County and Stoke City have shown them in a more liberated light and Stamford Bridge saw them attempt 17 shots.

Encouragingly, about half of those attempts at goal came from outside the box to test a Chelsea defence which would have been more than happy if United passed the ball square in front of them.

They also attempted 26 crosses into the box which brought some joy in the form of Lingard's well-taken goal as well as an acrobatic effort for Rooney later in the second half.

The balance of the midfield has changed. Where the Schweinsteiger-Schneiderlin axis gave them solidity but little forward impetus, Michael Carrick sat alongside a more box-to-box Marouane Fellaini at Stamford Bridge.

Left centre-back Daley Blind was the recipient of the most passes from Carrick, but significantly playmaker Juan Mata, Fellaini and Anthony Martial received the ball next most often from the Englishman.


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