Memphis not to blame for Chelsea draw, says Rooney

Reuters , Tuesday 9 Feb 2016

Chelsea and Manchester United
Chelsea's Cesar Azpilicueta, right, competes for the ball with Manchester United's captain Wayne Rooney during the English Premier League soccer match between Chelsea and Manchester United at Stamford Bridge stadium in London, Sunday, Feb. 7, 2016 (AP)

Manchester United forward Memphis Depay should not be blamed for the misplaced pass that allowed Chelsea's Diego Costa to score a late equaliser in the Premier League on Sunday, skipper Wayne Rooney has said.

United were leading 1-0 in stoppage-time when Memphis misplaced a pass to Morgan Schneiderlin, allowing Chelsea a phase of possession from which Costa scored.

Memphis, who joined United last year from PSV Eindhoven, has found it hard to settle in England, scoring twice in 19 league games, but Rooney defended the 21-year-old.

"I think we're all disappointed," Rooney told the Manchester Evening News.

"Memphis is a fantastic player and that happens, we all give bad passes away. A lot of things happened from when you give the ball away to when they've scored the goal, so I don't think we can stand here and blame Memphis."

Rooney said United had allowed Chelsea to seize the initiative after Jesse Lingard put the visitors ahead in the second half.

"The game was broken up a bit, we gave too many free kicks away and then we couldn't get up the pitch," he said.

"But with Chelsea, at times it's difficult, because they pushed players up front and they didn't really play with any system, so it's difficult to work out how to defend against them."

The draw left United fifth in the table, six points adrift of the top four.

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