Manchester U 0 Chelsea 1
Manchester United 0 Chelsea 1, Old Trafford, English Premier League, May 5, 2013. Manchester United suffered a rare home defeat as Sir Alex´s men lost 1–0 at the hands of Chelsea. The only goal of the encounter came with only three minutes remaining of normal time as Chelsea midfielder Juan Mata fired the ball past Danish international shot stopper Anders Lindegaard and into the net via the upright.
Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson was far from happy with the performance of referee Howard Webb after Rafael da Silva was presented the red card in the match against Chelsea. With the clock ticking down to the final whistle, the Brazilian was given his marching orders for kicking out at fellow countryman David Luiz in the 90th minute of the tie. Manchester United entered this classic fixture on the back of an energy sapping 1–1 Premier League draw with bitter adversaries Arsenal at Emirates Stadium, while Chelsea had managed to overcome Swiss Super League side FC Basel by 3–1 at Stamford Bridge in the UEFA Europa League in their last match. In the corresponding encounter of the 2011-12 campaign, The Reds had defeated Chelsea 3-1 at Old Trafford thanks to a goal each from Chris Smalling, Luis Nani, and Wayne Rooney. In their most recent meeting, however, The Blues had edged out Ferguson´s side by 1–0 at Stamford Bridge in the FA Cup Quarter Finals courtesy of a goal from new signing Demba Ba in the 49th minute of the battle. And even though the Premier League clash with table topping Manchester United at Old Trafford was Chelsea´s twelfth game in thirty-seven days, the Stamford Bridge club started the match on a positive note and Oscar dos Santos Emboaba Junior, also known under the name Oscar, could have handed the West Londoners the lead already in the fifteenth minute of play, but his ferocious effort was effectively stopped by home goalkeeper Anders Lindegaard. Then, with three minutes left of the first half, an excelent pass from midfield veteran Ryan Giggs found the on-running Robin van Persie, but the striker´s shot from inside the box went wide of the upright.
In the second period, Manchester United had their chances, but The Red Devils were mostly off target. Then, with a mere three minutes remaining on the referee’s watch, Spanish midfield architect Juan Mata eventually struck an opportunistic goal for the visitors with a dangerous low shot. There was even more drama to come at The Theatre of Dreams only a couple of minutes later, though, when Manchester United and Brazil international defender Rafael da Silva was presented the red card by match official Howard Webb following a rather tough challenge on fellow countryman David Luiz. The pressure was now placed on Manchester United, but the hosts failed to deliver the goods as the Premier League contest whittled away. After the 1-0 home defeat against longtime adversaries Chelsea at Old Trafford, Sir Alex Ferguson was not only utterly furious with former South Yorkshire Police Sergeant Howard Webb, but the seventy-one-year-old was also hopping mad at music hall fall guy David Luiz who managed to stretch his thespian abilities to the extreme. After pathetically dropping to the ground following Rafael da Silva´s challenge in the last minute of normal time, Luiz could actually be seen smiling. And according to the firebrand Manchester United boss, the Brazil and Chelsea defender made the most of the incident in order to get Rafael sent off. Manchester United Team: Anders Lindegaard, Rafael, Jonny Evans, Patrice Evra, Nemanja Vidic, Valencia, Phil Jones, Tom Cleverley, Anderson, Ryan Giggs, Robin van Persie. Substitutes: Rio Ferdinand, Alexander Buttner, Shinji Kagawa, Paul Scholes, Chicharito, Wayne Rooney, David de Gea. Chelsea Team: Petr Cech, Cesar Azpilicueta, David Luiz, Branislav Ivanovic, Ashley Cole, Juan Mata, Frank Lampard, Oscar, Ramires, Victor Moses, Demba Ba. Substitutes: Nathan Ake, Paulo Ferreira, Gary Cahill, John Terry, Yossi Benayoun, Fernando Torres, Ross Turnbull.
Rafael da Silva Quickfacts
Rafael da Silva´s first start for Manchester United came on the 23rd of September 2008 in a 3–1 League Cup Third Round win over fellow Premier League team Middlesbrough at Old Trafford.