Chelsea are on the brink of qualification for next season’s UEFA Champions League after a 1-1 draw with Manchester United at Old Trafford combined with a defeat for Arsenal left them with a two-point cushion in the race for fourth in the English Premier League.

Former Blues attacker Juan Mata fired Manchester United ahead but Marcos Alonso’s controversial goal ensured that Chelsea returned to London with a point.

Romelu Lukaku troubled visiting keeper Kepa Arrizabalaga early on before another former Chelsea player broke the deadlock for United when Mata netted the opener from close range.

Despite scoring their early goal, Ole Gunnar Solskjear’s side’s were arguably second best throughout the first half without really being troubled by the Chelsea attack. The Red Devils looked set to go into the break 1-0 up until disaster struck as Maurizio Sarri’s Chelsea were handed a route back into the match. Antonio Rudiger saw his effort fumbled by home keeper David de Gea and Alonso tucked the ball away from close range.

United were brighter at the start of the second half and Marcus Rashford tested Arrizabalaga from range before Eric Bailly forced a save from The Blues keeper. That was as good as it got for Solskjear’s side though as they made little impact during the final half hour.

Chelsea retained an attacking threat but they carved out few quality goalscoring opportunities as the match ended 1-1.

The Blues’ last two league games sees them host Watford at Stamford Bridge before they travel to Leicester City.