Chelsea 2 Manchester U 1

Nemanja Vidic

Chel­sea 2 Man­chester Uni­ted 1, Stam­ford Bridge, Eng­lish Pre­mier Lea­gue, Mar­ch 1, 2011. Reign­ing Pre­mier Lea­gue Cham­pi­ons Chel­sea won dra­mat­ic­ally at Stam­ford Bridge and left Sir Al­ex Fer­guson in a rage at what he con­sidered un­fair ref­er­ee­ing. Man­chester Uni­ted went ahead thro­ugh a fine ef­fort by Way­ne Roo­ney be­fore goals by Da­vid Luiz and Frank Lam­pard in the sec­ond ha­lf gave Chel­sea a 2-1 win.

On the 1st of Mar­ch 2011, Chel­sea and Man­chester Uni­ted locked horns wi­th each oth­er at Stam­ford Bridge in what turned out to be a crack­er of a Pre­mier Lea­gue fix­ture. The ori­gin­al mat­ch at Stam­ford Bridge on the 19th of Dec­ember 2010 had be­en called off two days be­fore the ga­me be­cause of heavy snow and this was the fir­st Pre­miership fix­ture be­tween the two clubs since the 3rd of April 2010. Man­chester Uni­ted had not ma­naged to win a mat­ch ag­ainst Chel­sea away from their Old Traf­ford fort­ress since the 20th of April 2002 when The Reds trashed The Pen­sion­ers 3-0 thanks to goals by Paul Scho­les, Ruud van Nistel­rooy, and Ole Gun­nar Sol­skjaer, and they knew that they were fa­cing a tough task in Lon­don. But whi­le Man­chester Uni­ted made the trip to the cap­it­al look­ing to stretch their un­defeated run in the Pre­mier Lea­gue to sev­en­teen ga­mes, Chel­sea had ma­naged to pick up just six points from their last sev­en top flight mat­ches. And wi­th Carlo Ancelotti’s men strug­gling to find form, they had now gone five Pre­miership ga­mes with­out a win. As for in­jur­ies, Man­chester Uni­ted had to make do with­out Owen Har­greaves, Mi­chael Owen, Paul Scho­les, and An­tonio Va­lencia, whi­le Didi­er Dro­gba and Frank Lam­pard bo­th re­turned to fir­st te­am ac­tion for the Stam­ford Bridge club. The Chel­sea play­ers, how­ever, were deeply wor­ried that the un­settled An­celotti was plan­ning to quit at the end of the 2010-11 cam­paign be­cause of his con­cerns about the fu­ture of the free fall­ing club. Man­chester Uni­ted, mean­while, had be­en in ex­cel­lent form wi­th three tri­umphs, one draw and one de­feat on re­cord for their last five mat­ches and Old Traf­ford boss Sir Al­ex Fer­guson was pre­par­ing his Pre­mier Lea­gue ta­ble top­pers for an­oth­er clas­sic en­counter wi­th fel­low Pre­miership chasers Chel­sea who were in fourth place in the standings.

Man­chester Uni­ted went in­to a fully de­served lead in the 29th min­ute of the en­counter when Lu­is Nani mo­ved the ball to Way­ne Roo­ney who fired an un­stoppable shot pa­st Chel­sea goal­keeper Petr Cech and in­to the back of the net. The West Lon­doners saw more of the ball fol­low­ing the re­start and the hosts ma­naged to level the score nine min­utes in­to the sec­ond ha­lf as Bran­islav Ivan­ovic flicked a cross from Mi­chael Es­si­en onto Da­vid Luiz who smash­ed the ball pa­st Man­chester Uni­ted net­mind­er Ed­win van der Sar. Well in­to the sec­ond ha­lf, Sir Al­ex Fer­guson ev­entually de­cided to make a double change in the 71st min­ute of the tussle, send­ing on Di­m­it­ar Ber­batov and Ry­an Gig­gs in place of Javi­er Her­nandez and Paul Scho­les re­spect­ively. Goalscorer Luiz should have be­en sent off for a mor­on­ic chal­lenge on Roo­ney af­ter 77 min­utes, but ref­er­ee Mar­tin Atkin­son de­cided to take no ac­tion. Three min­utes la­ter, Rus­si­an act­or Yuri Zhirkov used all of his thespi­an tal­ent to win a pen­alty-kick which Frank Lam­pard sub­sequently con­ver­ted in­to a goal. To make mat­ters worse for Man­chester Uni­ted, skip­per Ne­manja Vid­ic was sent off wi­th a sec­ond book­ing dur­ing the clos­ing sta­ges for a foul on Ramires. But des­pite los­ing 2-1 to Chel­sea away, Man­chester Uni­ted re­mained top of the Pre­mier Lea­gue ta­ble, four points clear of sec­ond po­si­tioned Ar­senal. Chel­sea Te­am: Petr Cech, John Terry, Da­vid Luiz, Bran­islav Ivan­ovic, Ash­ley Cole, Mi­chael Es­si­en, Frank Lam­pard Ju­ni­or, Ramires, Nic­olas Anelka, Florent Malouda, Fer­nando Torres. Sub­stitutes: Paulo Fer­reira, Jose Bos­ing­wa, Josh McEa­chran, Yuri Zhirkov, Didi­er Dro­gba, Sa­lomon Kalou, Ross Turn­bull. Man­chester Uni­ted Te­am: Ed­win van der Sar, John O’Shea, Chris Small­ing, Ne­manja Vid­ic, Pat­rice Ev­ra, Mi­chael Car­rick, Dar­ren Fletch­er, Nani, Paul Scho­les, Javi­er Her­nandez, Way­ne Roo­ney. Sub­stitutes: Ra­fael, Wes Bro­wn, Fa­bio, Dar­ron Gib­son, Ry­an Gig­gs, Di­m­it­ar Ber­batov, To­masz Kuszczak.


Manchester United Quickfacts

Man­chester Uni­ted be­at Chel­sea 6-3 away on the 2nd of Septem­ber 1959 thro­ugh a brace each by War­ren Brad­ley and Den­nis Vi­ol­let and a goal apiece from Bob­by Charl­ton and Al­bert Quixall.


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