CHELSEA 2 - 3 MANCHESTER UNITED
(Juan Mata – 44 (Luiz OG – 2, 2
Ramires – 53) Robin van Persie – 12
Javier Hernadez – 75)
VENUE – Stamford Bridge
ATTENDANCE – 41,644
REFREEE – Mark Clattenburg
We’re Manchester United and we do what we want. The famous phrase used by United fans when questioned about the officials favoring them. The match reiterated the need for this phase as Clattenburg controversially sent off Fernando Torres for diving and brought Chelsea down to 9 men. Hernandez sealed victory for the visitors albeit he was in an offside position when he received the ball. Before all the controversy the match was interestingly poised at 2-2. United started the match in brilliant fashion, taking the lead in the 2nd minute. Persie’s shot bounced off the post and ricocheted off Luiz into the back of the net. The away team doubled their lead when Valencia’s cut back was thumped into the back of the net by the Dutch striker. Chelsea, stumped by the two goals came back into the game with Mata scoring a brilliant goal via a freekick just before halftime. The London club was back level at the start of the second half when some brilliant individual play from Mata and Oscar set up Ramires to head the ball home. Matters were settled by the Mexican Javier Hernandez but controversy was the agenda when Chelsea’s Ivanovic and Torres were sent off in different incidents. Manchester United broke their 10 year hoodoo at Stamford Bridge while Chelsea suffered back to back defeats after nearly a year.
Chelsea: Cech, Ivanovic, Luiz, Cahill, Cole, Mikel, Ramires, Hazard, Oscar, Mata, Torres. Subs: Turnbull, Romeu, Moses, Marin, Sturridge, Azpilicueta, Bertrand.
Man Utd: De Gea, Da Silva, Ferdinand, Evans, Evra, Valencia, Carrick, Cleverley, Young, Rooney, van Persie. Subs: Lindegaard, Anderson, Giggs, Hernandez, Nani, Welbeck, Scholes.
Chelsea–The Chelsea lineup is a pretty attacking one. The quartet of Torres, Mata, Hazard and Oscar start upfront. This is a pretty serious statement of intent from Di Matteo. Torres has not been in good form but he can change the game at any moment and loves scoring against United. Oscar And Hazard have been pretty impressive for the club so far and they will be looking to attack United with the impressive Mata playing behind Torres. The suspension of John Terry meant Cahill partnered Luiz in the centre of defense with Ivanovic and Cole on the full back positions. Shielding the back four as well as supporting the attack were Ramires and Mikel
Manchester United – Manchester United started with a traditional 4-4-2 formations with Valencia and the returning Young on the flanks. Rooney and Persie get the nod upfront. This is the first time the duo have started as a partnership. On previous occasions they have started with either Welbeck or Hernandez. It is an exciting proposition for the United fans. Ferdinand and Evra who were both rested in midweek return to the first team. De Gea is having an extended run in the side. Rafael and Evans complete the defense. Carrick and Cleverly start in the middle of the park supporting the attack.
Chelsea kicked off proceedings in the game and the match was barely 2 minutes old and the away side took the lead. A brilliant United move saw Rafael pass the ball the Rooney who cut back for Robin van Persie who thumped his shot against the Chelsea post which ricocheted off the Brazilian Luiz into the back of the net. Unlucky for the Chelsea man but the defending was awful and United moved forward way too easily. Chelsea had their first chance when Young lost the ball and Oscar with a brilliant touch nearly capitalized. United looked more comfortable on the ball with Chelsea still feeling their way into the game. The home side was stunned when van Persie doubled United’s lead.
Again United worked the ball to Valencia on the right flank far too easily. Valencia set up Persie who sidestepped Cahill and thumped the ball into the back of the net. Stamford Bridge was stunned. The home side was barely in the game and already 2 goals behind. David de Gea made a couple of decent saves from Luiz and Torres. The last quarter of an hour of the first half was all Chelsea while United struggled to get out of their half. Their probing eventually paid off with their talisman Mata scoring a brilliant freekick past the hapless De Gea. Rooney was shrugged off the ball by Hazard and Rooney in retaliation brought him card earning himself a yellow card in the process. Mata presided over the ball and the brought his side back into the game. United were just hanging on and David de Gea mistake nearly allowed Mata to equalize. The half ended with Chelsea on the upper hand and the away clinging on.
The second half started with Chelsea dominating the game as they did in the latter stages of the first half. The away team was struggling to cope up with the movement of the home team. Mata, who has been brilliant for Chelsea and has been running the show for the London club started the recovery in the first half and he was again at the centre of the equalizing goal. Oscar’s glorious ball was taken brilliantly by Mata with Evans in close attendance. Mata’s cross retrieved by Oscar who sent a cross of his own which was headed in the back of the net by Ramires , making a late dash into the box. The roof came off Stamford Bridge. The home team was on the ascendancy and the signs were ominous. The Spaniard goalkeeper De Gea who made important saves in the first half was called in action again with Hazard testing him at the near post. Around the hour mark came the defining moment of the game. Persie held the ball of Luiz and fed the ball to Young, who was on his to goal before Ivanovic intervened. Being the last man, Mark Clattenburg produced a red card for the Chelsea man. Six minutes later and Chelsea were down to 10 men. Torres seem to be have been caught by Evans albeit very slightly. The official interpreted it as a dive and Torres, already on a yellow card had to go.
It was a bit harsh on Torres but diving has become a real problem in football. Hernandez who loves scoring against Chelsea clinched the winner in controversial fashion. Robin van Persie’s shot was partially blocked by Petr Cech and the ball came to Rafael who set himself up for a shot but ended setting the ball for Hernandez, well offside to adjust his body well to tap the ball home. The home fans were livid with the officials and to be fair to them they had a case. Valencia was also booked for diving when it clearly showed Mikel impeded him. Clattenburg had a night to forge. He ruined a brilliant game though diving is a cancer and there will be casualties.
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