Manchester United have failed to win their first three home league games for the first time in 48 years after Edinson Cavani’s debut failed to inspire the hosts in Saturday’s dour 0-0 draw against Chelsea.
Uruguay striker Cavani almost scored with his first touch after coming off the bench in the second half, but United were unable to break down Chelsea’s well-drilled defence.
Beaten by Crystal Palace on the opening weekend of the Premier League season and crushed 6-1 by Tottenham in their previous home match, United once again looked lacklustre at an empty Old Trafford.
United’s only win in their last six home games was in the Europa League against Austrian side LASK last season, when they were already 5-0 up from the away leg.
They are languishing in 15th place after a spluttering start that raises serious questions about Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s hopes of ever turning United into title contenders.
Any optimism engendered by United’s midweek Champions League win at Paris Saint Germain evaporated in the Manchester rain.
United, bereft of any attacking inspiration, have two more chances to get back on track at home next week when they entertain Leipzig in the Champions League and Arsenal in the Premier League.
Chelsea’s conservative tactics were a means to an end for Blues boss Frank Lampard, who had been alarmed by the defensive issues that saw them concede three against West Bromwich Albion and Southampton.
Chelsea had conceded 63 goals in their previous 43 Premier League matches under Lampard, the worst rate of any permanent Blues boss.