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Diego Costa struck in injury time to deny Manchester United a vital win in the race for Champions League qualification at Stamford Bridge.
Jesse Lingard gave Louis Van Gaal's side a deserved lead on the hour-mark when, after a quick counter-attack, the impressive Cameron Borthwick-Jackson's cross found the attacker who swivelled beautifully before driving the ball into the top corner past Thibaut Courtois.
The visitors had the better of the first period, winning a series of corners but without creating too many good openings although Anthony Martial again looked likeliest to produce a bit of magic.
However, the game burst into life with Lingard's amazing intervention and the same player went close from 20 yards moments later with a dipping volley which went a couple of yards wide.
The introduction of Eden Hazard for the ineffectual Oscar saw Guus Hiddink's side finally look threatening at the other end and David de Gea made a stunning stop from Branislav Ivanovic's powerful volley, showing unbelievable reactions to tip over the strike from eight yards.
The hosts began to force Utd back and Hazard was involved again as Cesc Fabregas found space in the box and let fly but de Gea again saved well from close range.
Although Utd were tiring and dropping deep, they remained a threat on the counter and Rooney went close with an improvised overhead kick which went just a couple of yards past Courtois' post.
Chelsea continued to press at the other end and Costa headed over from inside the six-yard box with just a minute left on the clock.
However, after the first minute of six added on, Fabregas found Costa with an incisive pass and although Borthwick-Jackson tried desperately to clear, he only touched the ball past the advancing de Gea and Costa rolled it into the empty net.
There was still time for Rooney to go close for Utd with an audacious chip from close range which went just a couple of yards over the bar while Costa drew yet another great stop from de Gea but both sides had to settle for a point with Utd more disappointed with the outcome.