Manchester U 0 Chelsea 1

Rafael Da Silva

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.


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