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West Bromwich Albion
West Ham United
May 8, 2011
• 11:10 AM
• Old Trafford, Manchester
Referee: H. Webb
• Attendance: 75445
J. Hernández 1'
N. Vidić 23'
F. Lampard 69'
That's that though. For Goal.com USA, I'm Shane Evans saying thanks for joining me for our LIVE coverage of the Manchester United-Chelsea match. As always, good day, Godspeed and Golden Balls!
It isn't totally over though. We still have some football left to be played and if United are to take home that 19th title, they'll need to get a point from one of their last two matches.
Walking off the pitch, Sir Alex bows to the United crowd and they sing his name. What a great way to end things.
A great match to end things this season. United are so close. So so so close!
...and the one that matters finally comes! Howward Webb blows his whistle and the match has come to an end!!!
The whistles from the crowd are everywhere...
One more minute and a 19th EPL title will all but be in Manchester United's hands.
Chelsea pressing hard in the match's last moments. Can they find an equalizer?
We'll have four minutes of stoppages to end this bad boy...
Yellow Card Didier Drogba
Another booking for Chelsea as Drogba goes in the book for a nasty two-footed scissor challenge. Someone is frustrated...
More United pressure nearly results in a goal but Hernandez scuffed his shot just inside the area. More great build-up.
Fabio Da Silva
At the other end, Chelsea work the ball around and it ends with Torres on the ball in a wee bit of space. He shoots low and hard to the near post and just misses the target.
Yellow Card Ramires
From the restart, Valencia cuts in behind and puts in a great hard cross to an open Hernandez who can't get the header right and puts it over the bar. Valencia though has been sensational in this one.
Mr. Giggs shows why he's still one of the best around as he orchestrates the United counter with ease. Eventually gets fouled and Ramires sees yellow because of it.
85 minutes in and Ji-Sung Park looks as fresh as he did at the tap. He's been everywhere.
Yellow Card Ryan Giggs
And Giggs gets booked for dilly-dallying on the ensuing corner kick.
Evans with some nice play along the left and cuts inside. He then slides it into Rooney who tries to shoot across goal but goes wide. Seconds later he has a pair of great chances go begging. In close, on goal, he can't finish. Will that come back to haunt the Red Devils?
We have entered the last ten minutes of the match with United clinging to their one-goal advantage.
...and United's hurting defense is now back at full strength.
Evans and Fabio off the pitch as Chelsea look to capitalize.
Walking wounded for United. Three players down in Rio Ferdinand, Jonny Evans and Fabio.
The Blues are still working hard to get an equalizer. Much of the play coming down the right through Ivanovic.
United keep up the pressure on Chelsea and again use their patient to their advantage. End result? A corner in their favor.
Less than 20 minutes remaining here. It's going to be a nervy nervy finish.
Ivanovic launches in a throw that is flicked on by Alex and volleyed by Torres. Play killed as Webb whistles for a foul on Alex.
Alex just saved the game for Chelsea. Right after the goal, United charged back into the Blues end. A turnover by Ashley Cole saw Hernandez into the box with the ball. He then played a low ball across goal to Rooney who hit it first time into a seemingly open net. Alex however was there to clear it off the goalline.
Assist Branislav Ivanovic
Goal Frank Lampard
Chelsea have life! A Ramires ball is played in from the near side. A header towards goal is tipped in by the toe of Frank Lampard. We have a 2-1 match now.
Fernando Torres gets a run on the ball but for some reason is all alone up front and loses control.
Drogba gets a good ball in and onside but it skips up onto his arm and his shot doesn't count. Was very close though.
United break 3-on-3 through Valencia but the winger's indecisiveness costs the Red Devils as nothing comes of it, despite shouts for a penalty.
Less than one half hour remains in Chelsea's title challenge. Should be an exciting conclusion.
...he'll replace Mr. Kalou who played quite well if you ask me.
It's going to be Fernando Torres coming on for Chelsea...
Park strides tirelessly forward and has Alex tackle the ball into touch. Great pressure-relieving run though.
United working hard to get the ball back whenever the Blues have it.
Chelsea beginning to see more of the ball with little effect as yet. Drogba as always working hard sees a through ball played into him go behind for a goal kick. Solid defense by Evans and Vidic.
Anelka and Torres both warming up. Two subs used. Who do you bring on?
Wonderful patient stuff by United in the build-up. Valencia brings a bit of controversy to the match as he chips in a cross that clearly strikes Frank Lampard in the arm. Should have been a penalty.
Malouda has a pop from distance. Nice low hard shot that goes harmlessly wide.
United definitely seeing more of the ball though, as you may expect.
Pretty slow start to the second period.
Withdrawn are David Luiz, Obi Mikel and John O'Shea.
John Obi Mikel
We're back with you. The ball just kicked and no Torres or Anelka for Chelsea. Instead, we have Alex and Ramires in the game. Along with Jonny Evans for United.
Catch your breath, everyone. We still have another half to be played.
45' + 3'
...and there's your halftime whistle. One team played like EPL Champions today. Newsflash: It's not the holders.
45' + 3'
Word is some wholesale Chelsea changes coming at the break...though ones you may not expect.
We'll have three minutes of stoppage time to close out an exciting first half.
Yellow Card Michael Essien
United almost get another after the restart as Rooney plays in Valencia whose low hard cross is put behind by Jon Obi Mikel from the doorstep.
Ivanovic may have got away with a card, Essien did not though. Another bad challenge on Park and another Chelsea card.
...and it doesn't appear that he will. Ivanovic just got away with one there. Very lucky boy.
This looks bad. Ivanovic with another bad challenge. Bad bad bad. Howard Webb yet to address the defender...
Yellow Card Wayne Rooney
Ruh-roh. Rooney jumps for a 50-50 ball, one that David Luiz tipped away. The United player sees yellow for being slightly clumsy. David Luiz definitely looks the worse off after taking Wazza's shoulder to his head.
Kalou floats a ball into the near side of the box and sees it cleared nicely by Vidic.
The match seems to have lost a bit of steam at this stage as both sides are apparently alright with going into the dressing rooms to assess the first period.
Chelsea definitely working towards something at this stage. Easily their best period of the match.
...and it looked good coming in but goes way wide. Lots of room on the right side of the net though. Almost too much.
Moments later, the Blues win another free kick from the other side of the area. Drogba again the man on the ball...
Chelsea win a free kick about 27 yards from goal that Drogba strikes. Comes in curving but Van der Sar is up to the task again and pushes it wide.
Trying to make up for his two earlier errors, David Luiz finds himself in some space and has a pop. Caught confidently by Van der Sar.
After the Chelsea chance, United resume their slow-down-the-pace approach. There is plenty of football left to be played, after all.
Chelsea try to get back into it quickly as a corner is directed to Kalou who heads at VDS. Great save by the Dutch keeper.
Again, poor marking by Daviz Luiz. This has been his worst 25 minutes in a Chelsea Uniform.
We have two! Corner goes short and is played back to Giggs who chips into the box. Nemanja Vidic is there and nods it home for the 2-0 United lead. This is what champions do, my friends.
Goal Nemanja Vidic
Assist Ryan Giggs
Ball finds park on the left who cuts inside and takes a real nice shot at Cech who pushes behind for a corner.
Rooney decides to slide the ball across to Fabio who plays in a decent cross that gets cleared.
United win a free kick in a good position as Ivanovic nearly gets himself sent off. Rooney and Giggs over the ball.
United now trying to settle things down a bit after a string of Chelsea opportunities. Wise move.
Malouda again looking dangerous as he bests Rio Ferdinand outside the area. Nothing comes of the chance though.
Malouda, Drogba and Kalou work Chelsea's best chance. Malouda with the floated ball into Drogba who heads wide but it drops to Kalou who fires a hard shot at Edwin van der Sar who saves nicely. Good chance for the Blues.
United keep up the pressure while Chelsea try to get anything together offensively.
United see their passing and raise them a beautiful fluid counterattack. Rooney to Valencia and back to Rooney at the top of the box. The Englishman fires from the top of the area and just misses the target wide left.
Finally the away side begin to see more of the ball. Nothing too threatening just yet though.
Yellow Card Branislav Ivanovic
Barely 12 minutes in, we have our first caution as Branislav Ivanovic goes in the book. Rooney is with the well-timed feint that sucked the Serbian into a poor challenge.
The combination of Park and Hernandez almost burn Chelsea again. The midfielder dinked a ball into the far post and Hernandez was alone waiting but couldn't put a toe on it. Missed chance for a second.
Chelsea are having trouble stringing more than three passes together as United are cutting them off at every corner. Will need to sustain possession more if they want to get back into this one.
Doing his best Rooney impression, Drogba takes one from even further back and sees it go wide. Ambition though, gotta love it.
Well then. Rooney finds some space from about 35 yards and hammers it at the far post. Forces a great save out of Petr Cech who parries behind for a corner.
As expected the one (but not only) Chelsea man working his socks off in the early stages despite already being down a goal: Didier Drogba.
All United so far as they have the Blues hemmed in their own end. Nearly worked a second, too.
The goal has the Red Devils buzzing. Flying around the ball and cutting off the Blues every time they get near it. To be expected really.
Lots of noise at Old Trafford as you'd expect from the goal. Lots of football let to be played though. 86 minutes worth to be exact.
Huge start for United who can feel slightly relaxed after a lightning fast goal. You have to say that David Luiz misjudged Park's pass to Hernandez causing the goal.
Assist Ji-Sung Park
Goal Javier Hernández
Well then. That was quick. Not even 30 seconds into the match, Giggs plays in Park, Park plays in Hernandez and the little Mexican slides it under Cech to open the scoring. WOWZERS!
Chelsea must win. United can draw. Simple stuff.
HERE WE GOOOOOOO!
Chelsea with the arguably stronger bench, one that boasts Fernando Torres, Nicolas Anelka, and Ramires as available replacements.
Ji-Sung Park and John O'Shea to start for United. Both will work extremely hard to shut down the Chelsea attack.
Doesn't get any bigger than this one, people. Buckle up. Strap in. Hold on tight. It's going to be something special.
The big news ahead of the match is that the Blues £50 million man Fernando Torres has been dropped to the bench in favor of Didier Drogba. With the match being a must win for Carlo Ancelotti and company, I guess you have to go with the proven entity. Drogba has definitely been the better player in a Chelsea shirt this season.
Hello everyone! Goal.com's Shane Evans with you for some LIVE commentary of today's epic clash between Manchester United and Chelsea at Old Trafford.
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