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Live Commentary: Manchester United 0-0 Chelsea - as it happened

Relive the goalless draw between Manchester United and Chelsea as the Red Devils fail to win for the eighth match in a row.

Manchester United's winless run extended to eight matches this evening as they were held to a goalless draw by Chelsea at Old Trafford.

The hosts hit the woodwork twice in the first half, with Juan Mata rattling the crossbar in the opening minutes before Anthony Martial was denied by the upright.

Ander Herrera was also thwarted by a point-blank save from Thibaut Courtois after the break, while Nemanja Matic squandered a glorious chance for the visitors too.

Find out how all of the action unfolded courtesy of Sports Mole's live minute-by-minute coverage below.

Good afternoon! Thank you for joining Sports Mole for today's Premier League clash between Manchester United and Chelsea at Old Trafford. In any other season this would be a perfect title six-pointer to cap off a remarkable year of football, but both of these teams have suffered turmoil this campaign to such an extent that the result is unlikely to have a major bearing on who wins the league. It is still hugely significant for other reasons, however, and none more so than the future of Louis van Gaal, which could hinge on events here. First things first, let's have a look at the teams...

MAN UTD STARTING XI: De Gea; Darmian, Smalling, Blind, Young; Schneiderlin, Schweinsteiger, Mata, Herrera, Martial; Rooney

MAN UTD SUBS: Romero, Borthwick-Jackson, Jones, Carrick, Fellaini, Pereira, Memphis

CHELSEA STARTING XI: Courtois; Ivanovic, Zouma, Terry, Azpilicueta; Mikel, Matic; Willian, Oscar, Pedro; Hazard

CHELSEA SUBS: Begovic, Baba Rahman, Djilobodji, Ramires, Loftus-Cheek, Traore, Kenedy

What can we make of those two teams, then? Well, much was made of Louis van Gaal's decision to drop Rooney on Boxing Day, but the United skipper is back in from the start today and will once again lead the line. That is one of four changes for the hosts, with Darmian returning from injury, Schweinsteiger back from suspension and Schneiderlin also being brought into the side.

Chelsea, meanwhile, make three changes to the side that was held by Watford last time out, with Eden Hazard one of those to come back in. He is lead the line in place of the suspended Costa, despite not having scored a single goal yet this season. Mikel also starts in place of Fabregas, who is ill for today's encounter, while Zouma replaces Cahill at the heart of the defence alongside John Terry.

Could this be D-Day for Louis van Gaal? It certainly feels like it. Many expected the Dutchman to be sacked after the 2-0 defeat to Stoke City on Boxing Day, but he remains in charge for this match, although defeat to Chelsea would surely spell the end of his tenure. He continues to insist that he has the support of the board and the players, but patience in the stands has certainly already worn thin and the board must be considering parting company with the former Barcelona boss, particularly considering the availability of Mourinho.

Van Gaal has faced criticism pretty much all season due to his style of football, but that has really intensified in recent weeks following a run of seven games without a victory. Their last win came back in November against Watford, and that was only through a last-minute own goal from Troy Deeney. United have also lost each of their last four games - the first time that has happened in a single season since 1961. It is also a run that has seen them knocked out of the Champions League and the top four of the Premier League.

Things are no better just looking at domestic form, with United on their longest winless streak since 2007 (five games). They haven't gone six since 1992, but it is not looking promising for their chances of avoiding that. Over the past six games, only Southampton and Aston Villa have amassed fewer points in the Premier League, with United picking up just five in that time.

Defensively they have been perfectly sound. Only Spurs have conceded fewer, while at Old Trafford they have let in just three goals all season, with six clean sheets. However, they have also average just 1.22 goals per game at the other end of the field, which is their lowest tally since the 1989-90. The stats really are damning for Van Gaal, with this being United's worst ever performance in a Premier League season after 18 games. They have only lost of their 14 home games in all competitions this season, but that did come on their last match at Old Trafford - a 2-1 defeat to Norwich.

Still, things could be worse for United, as Chelsea will attest to. It has been an even worse season for the Blues, who have already got rid of their big-name manager and brought in a replacement until the end of the season. Guus Hiddink began his second reign with a 2-2 draw at Watford which leaves Chelsea now 16th in the table, only two points clear of the relegation zone. They can perhaps take encouragement from the form of other challengers, and they remain 'only' 13 points off the top four, but right now a Champions League challenge looks to be a long way away.

Only Sunderland Aston Villa, the league's bottom two sides, have lost more games than Chelsea this season, with the Blues falling to nine defeats already. They have won only one of their last five league outings - against the Black Cats in the first game without Mourinho - and are still without conesuctive league wins this term. Indeed, the only teams they have beaten since a 2-0 victory over nine-man Arsenal in September are all in the bottom four.

There is more bad news away from home too, where only Sunderland have managed fewer than Chelsea's paltry sum of five points. They have won just one of their eight league away games this season and only won three in all competitions all season - one of which was against Walsall. Their solitary league victory on the road came back in August against West Brom, with six winless trips around the country since that narrow victory.

There have been a few signs that recovery may be on the horizon under Hiddink, however, and they are aiming to make it three league games without defeat for the first time this season here. They have form too having inflicted more Premier League defeats on Manchester United than any other side (16), and having also won at Old Trafford more often than any visiting team in the Premier League era (6). They are, in fact, unbeaten in their last eight league and cup games against United.

PREDICTION: We're nearing kickoff at Old Trafford, so it is time for a prediction! This really is a tough one to call, with the failing giants both in a pretty bad way at the moment. United probably have to win for Van Gaal to keep his job, but Chelsea are improving under Hiddink and I can see the two sides cancelling each other out here. I'll go for a 1-1 draw.

Van Gaal and Hiddink are known to have a rather fractious relationship, but the Chelsea interim boss owns the recent history between the two. He has won the last three meetings, all with PSV against Van Gaal's AZ Alkmaar in 2005-06.

KICKOFF: Here we go then! It is still one of the biggest fixtures in English football, but neither side would have come into it in as much trouble as they find themselves in today. It should be a very intriguing contest...

OFF THE BAR! Almost an ideal start for United as the ball breaks to Mata from Rooney's pass, and the Spaniard unleashes a vicious effort from the right side of the area. However, his strike cannons off the crossbar, with Courtois beaten all ends up.

CHANCE! It has been a lively start to this match! Chelsea come close at the other end here as Terry gets a powerful head to a corner, but De Gea is there to get a strong hand to the ball and tip it over. Cracking stop.

It has been a positive start to the match from both sides despite their situations at the moment, and Mata clattering the bar early is perhaps the most important of the two as it lifted the mood inside Old Trafford a little.

SHOT! Decent football from United as the ball is fed into the feet of Rooney from the right, and the skipper lays it back to Schneiderlin. The midfielder looks to emulate Martina from Southampton with an outside-of-the-boot strike, but it curls wide of the near post.

United are dominating the early possession here, but the criticisms this season have surrounded how they use that ball. They have done fairly well so far, though, it must be said.

A good diagonal ball down the right picks out Oscar, but he is on the stretch and can't make anything of it. Chelsea are looking to get the ball forward quickly, though.

OFF THE POST! United hit the woodwork for the second time in the opening stages here! This time it is Martial who cuts in from the left, holding the challenge of Ivanovic off before drilling a low effort towards the near bottom corner. Courtois is beaten once again, but the ball bounces off the inside of the post and away to safety.

The early signs have certainly been positive for United, which they haven't been able to say very often this season. It must be said that the players look like they are fighting for Van Gaal.

The fans are getting behind the hosts too. Perhaps all is not lost for Van Gaal? Victory today could give him a stay of execution, and while it is still goalless, there is a better feel around the place than many might have been expecting.

Penalty shout for United as Martial, who is causing problems, dances his way into the box. He eventually goes down and the Stretford End calls for a penalty, but Martin Atkinson says no. It looked like a decent shout on first viewing, but the replay shows that the referee got it spot on.

This is so much better from United. This time Mata is through down the right following a poor kick from Courtois, but with Rooney in the middle, the Spaniard fails to make the most of it, with Terry clearing the eventual cross.

Chelsea are struggling to really get going here, and they look a little vulnerable at the back too. Mata has enjoyed himself down the right so far, but still it remains goalless.

Ashley Young is fortunate to get away with just a warning here having tugged Hazard back as the Chelsea man threatened to break away. One more foul and Young will be going into the book.

YELLOW CARD! Mikel is put into the book, however, for a blatant trip on Martial. There can be no complaints about that one.

SAVE! Brilliant strike from Rooney, who is playing more like his old self at the moment. A free kick is played short to the skipper, who advances before driving a powerful effort towards the top corner that De Gea has to tip wide.

YELLOW CARD! Schneiderlin also goes into the book for a crunching challenge on Willian, although both players missed the ball and Schneiderlin was no more to blame than the Brazilian.

United have enjoyed more than 70% of the ball in the opening half an hour here. There are the better team at the moment and, to be honest, it is the best that they have played for some time.

Poor challenge from Herrera on behind as he swipes the feet from Hazard, giving Chelsea a free kick in a good position. It is perhaps just outside shooting range, but Willian has been deadly over the dead ball this season...

The Brazilian looks to float it over to the back post for Zouma, but he can't turn it back into a dangerous area and it comes to nothing.

Ashley Young trips Eden Hazard as the Belgian threatens to break clear on a rare Chelsea attack.

Eden Hazard and Ashley Young during the game between Manchester United and Chelsea on December 28, 2015© Getty Images

The match has slowed down a little in the last 10 minutes or so, with United still seeing more of the ball but struggling to make as much ground in the final third. Chelsea are still offering very little themselves, though.

YELLOW CARD! Smalling is the latest name in the book for a trip on Hazard over by the touchline. Martin Atkinson takes his time to make the decision, but eventually makes the right one.

Good chance for Chelsea to break as Hazard spins away from a man in midfield and is able to drive forward into the United half. He has Pedro in support, but the counter slows down and eventually comes to nothing.

Shooting chance for United as a cross towards Rooney is cleared only as far as Schweinsteiger around 25 yards from goal. The German lines the shot up, but gets it all wrong and slices an effort well over.

Hazard is drawing plenty of fouls at the moment, but he makes a meal of this one from Blind. It is a foul, but Atkinson is right not to be fooled by Hazard's screams and only awards the free kick, nothing more.

There will be a minimum of one minute added time at the end of this first half.

HALF TIME: Manchester United 0-0 Chelsea

It remains goalless at half time, then, but United have more to feel optimistic about now than at the halfway point of many of their recent games. There were some boos at the break, but it was certainly an improved performance from the hosts. They seem to be playing for Louis van Gaal and are unfortunate not to be at least one ahead at the break.

The game was less than three minutes old when United came within inches of breaking the deadlock through Mata. The former Chelsea man collected a pass from Rooney before lashing a powerful strike past Courtois and against the crossbar. Mata could not have hit it much better, but United's luck was once again out as it cannoned against the woodwork.

That was one of two occasions that United hit the woodwork in that first half, with Martial also being denied having beaten Courtois. The winger cut inside past Ivanovic before drilling a low strike towards the near post, but it came back off the inside of the upright before bouncing away to safety.

Chelsea have offered very little themselves, although, they did come close to an early goal in the fifth minute when John Terry beat Rooney to a corner. The Chelsea skipper got plenty behind his header, but De Gea was there to make a fine reaction stop and turn the effort over the crossbar. That is the only thing that the United keeper has really had to do so far, with Chelsea struggling without a focal point up top.

Rooney and Schneiderlin have both had efforts from range that have come close, and the only thing really missing for United so far has been a goal. It has been one of their better performances of the season, and the team look more confident than many may have expected considering their current position, but they have so far been unable to turn that dominance into goals. There is always the danger that Chelsea could nick one, and that could well be the final nail in Van Gaal's coffin.

KICKOFF: United get us back underway for the second half here as they look to turn their dominance into goals. Could Van Gaal have 45 minutes left of his Old Trafford tenure?

CHANCES! Magnificent double save from De Gea to keep United ahead! Pedro twists and turns his way into a shooting position on the edge of the box before digging an effort away that De Gea palms away with a good one-handed stop. Azpilicueta is there for the rebound, but De Gea is up quickly and makes another good save to deny the full-back.

That is exactly what United have to watch out for having played so well in the first half. You feel that they need a goal sooner rather than later if they are to avoid getting a bit nervous as time wears on.

Good football from United in and around the area as Herrera and Rooney exchange passes, with the final ball almost falling to Herrera to have a go at goal, but Matic is there to mop up.

It has been a lively opening 10 minutes to this season half, with the game picking up pretty much where it left off in the second half. Still no goals, though, and you feel that one either way could open things up even more here.

WHAT A SAVE! Oh my word, this is surely the save of the season! Courtois somehow keeps the scores level with a truly magnificent stop to deny Herrera from point-blank range. Martial made it to the byline down the left before cutting a low cross into the middle that Herrera met for what should be a simple finish. However, Courtois is there to pull off an incredible save.

Quite how this is still goalless, I'm not sure. The woodwork has been hit twice and both keepers have been called upon to make fantastic saves, yet the net is still to bulge.

Good work from Oscar as he cuts inside and glides past a couple of red shirts before going down, but Atkinson is right on the scene and says no free kick. He has tried to let things flow when he has had the chance today.

CHANCE! Oh what a chance for Chelsea to break the deadlock. They hit the hosts on the counter, with Pedro leading the charge and Darmian finding himself in no man's land. That allows Pedro to pick out Matic striding forward, and the midfielder has all the time in the world pick his spot. However, he eventually blazes his strike well off target when he simply had to score. That is a golden opportunity.

Penalty shout for United as Mata goes down under the challenge of Azpilicueta, although the Chelsea full-back appeared to time his challenge well and Atkinson once again waves the claims away.

Matic looks to atone for that shocker of a miss earlier by letting fly from range, but he drags a tame effort well off target.

Just under 25 minutes remain in this match, and it will be interesting to see how Van Gaal approaches it. The performance has been good enough from the hosts, but will a draw be enough to save his job or will he have to go for broke?

Chelsea have enjoyed their best spell of the match over the last 10 minutes or so, putting the press on United, who are not playing as well as they were in the opening 45.

CHELSEA SUB: The visitors make their first change of the evening, and it is Willian who makes way to be replaced by Ramires.

MAN UTD SUB: The hosts respond with a change of their own as Darmian departs having only recently returned from injury. On comes Cameron Borthwick-Jackson in his place.

YELLOW CARD! A frustrated Hazard goes into the book as he leaves one on Young late after seeing Young get away with one on Azpilicueta seconds before.

Almost a chance for United as the ball is lifted over the top for Rooney, who looks to be clean through. He misses the ball anyway, but it wouldn't have counted due to the offside flag, although the replay shows that it was borderline.

MAN UTD SUB: Another change for United sees Mata make way to be replaced by Memphis Depay.

Almost a chance for United as Young feeds a pass in to Herrera, but the Spaniard just can't take it in his stride and it runs through to the keeper.

It is United who are asking the questions at the moment, with Chelsea pinned back into their own half right now. Courtois has not been tested since that incredible save to deny Herrera, though.

YELLOW CARD! Schweinsteiger goes into the book for a trip on Matic, and the German has no complaints about that one.

MAN UTD SUB: The hosts make their third and final change of the match, with Phil Jones replacing Blind. Not exactly an attacking switch from Van Gaal.

Good play from Young initially as he pushes the ball past Pedro and collects it on the other side in a good position, but his final ball is dreadful and comfortably dealt with.

CHANCE! Huge chance for United to grab what could have been a winner. Herrera back-heels the ball down the line for Borthwick-Jackson, who fizzes a beauty of a cross into the back post. Rooney is there to meet it, but it is a difficult one to take on the volley and he puts it over the crossbar. Even so, Rooney will be disappointed there.

It is very tense inside Old Trafford at the moment. Van Gaal could be approaching the final minutes of his Manchester United tenure, yet his subs have not been attacking at all and they aren't exactly throwing the kitchen sink at Chelsea. It has been a good performance, but it looks like being an eight game without a win.

There will be a minimum of three minutes added time at the end of this match.

YELLOW CARD! Rooney goes into the book for a poor challenge on Oscar, and he is perhaps lucky not to have seen a different colour there. It was over the top and could have been a lot worse for Oscar.

CHELSEA SUB: A late Chelsea change to waste time here as Ruben Loftus-Cheek replaces Oscar.

FULL TIME: Manchester United 0-0 Chelsea

There are boos at the final whistle as United once again draw a blank and once again fail to win, making it eight games since they last tasted victory. It was a much-improved performance from the hosts, although it remains to be seen whether that is enough to save Louis van Gaal's job. United came closest to scoring by hitting the woodwork twice, while Matic squandered Chelsea's best chance of the match when clean through on goal.

That is all we have time for this evening! Thank you very much for joining Sports Mole for tonight's clash between Manchester United and Chelsea, which ends goalless to keep the pressure on Louis van Gaal. I will leave you with our match report, and be sure to stick around for reaction from both camps. We also have a competition for you to take part in where you can win tickets for United's first game of 2016, when they take on Swansea City at Old Trafford. Details of that can be found here. From me, though, it is goodbye for now!

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Juan Mata in action during Manchester United's game with Norwich on December 19, 2015
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