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May 8, 2011
• Old Trafford, Manchester
Referee: H. Webb
• Attendance: 75445
J. Hernández 1'
N. Vidić 23'
F. Lampard 69'
A fixture which delivered drama from start to finish at Old Trafford and the home side deservedly take the plaudits and in turn, surely now cement their 19th league title. Goals from Hernandez and Vidic pivotal moments and enough to build a mountain which Carlo Ancelotti’s men were unable to climb. Chelsea will look back at a first-half in which they simply didn’t turn up, a First-half in which they sealed the coffin in which their title dreams now rest. Full-time, MANCHESTER UNITED 2 CHELSEA 1.
ALL OVER. UNITED ARE JUST ONE POINT FROM BEING CROWNED CHAMPIONS.
Yellow Card Didier Drogba
Ashley Cole conceded a free-kick deep in Chelsea territory. United now surely have the title as the seconds tick by.
Hernandez is offside, Chelsea free-kick with two minutes of injury time remaining.
Injury time is to be four minutes.
Fabio Da Silva
TORRES WITH A CHANCE TO HAVE HIS NAME UP IN LIGHTS. The Spaniard gets the ball 18 yards out but his firm shot beats the left hand post. Close, but no cigar.
THE TITLE SHOULD BE DONE AND DUSTED. A driven Valencia cross is met by Hernandez. Six yards out, centre of the goal. Surely the winner, NO, Over the bar.
Yellow Card Ramires
Park defending high up the pitch. The South Korean diving in to cut a Chelsea attack at source. What a superb display by the wide man.
Yellow Card Ryan Giggs
Rooney has Three efforts inside a minute. The first dragged wide, the second snuffed out by Cech as the striker seemed to confuse himself, the third deflected over. Corner to United, just where they want to be.
If things stay as they are, Carlo Ancelotti will be even more furious at his side’s first-half display. Is another twist on the agenda though? United’s play now at a relaxed pace as the seconds tick away. Ten minutes to go.
BODIES ON THE LINE. Ferdinand and Evans lay on the deck as the pair defend gallantly. Ferdinand looks to have injured his knee on landing where as Evans has taken a blow to the face.
It doesn’t get better than this. All the training, all the matches, all the planning and plotting during the season comes down to a huge 15 minutes to the men from the Bridge. Can they show Championship spirit?
Chelsea could really do with a five minute spell where the test the United resolve. At the moment they seem unable to build the type of pressure needed to get themselves level.
The game all of a sudden seems stretched. Chelsea have to go for it. What a treat of a twenty minutes we are in for.
INCREDIBLE DEFENDING BY ALEX. Hernandez is slipped in and squares the ball for Rooney who has an empty net to finish the title race. BUT ALEX SLIDES ACROSS GOAL TO DENY ROONEY HIS MOMENT. Stunning clearance by the Brazilian.
Chelsea have 20 minutes to salvage their league hopes.
Assist Branislav Ivanovic
Goal Frank Lampard
TWIST AND TURNS. A Ramires cross is headed at goal by Ivanovic and the ball is prodded home by FRANK LAMPARD. GOAL FOR CHELSEA. GAME ON.
United break and have a three on three situation but Valencia hesitates and the move breaks down. The ball however rebounds to the former Wigan man who trips over Terry and GOES DOWN. NO PENALTY says Howard Webb.
Giggs’ 37-year-old legs seem to defy the ageing process. This time the midfielder snaps at the heels of Malouda to thwart a Chelsea attack.
Torres stands on the touchline and is stripped and ready to enter the fray.
The tempo has dipped massively since the first-half and United look to be in control of their Premier League destiny.
Patient Chelsea play ends in frustration as Drogba is again squeezed out by a combination of Vidic and Evans.
BIG PENALTY SHOUT AT THE STRETFORD END. Beautiful football by United ends with Valencia in a great crossing position. His cross hits the arm of the sliding Lampard and a huge roar from home supporters gets Howard Webb’s attention. The England man looks like he got lucky as his arm was unnecessarily high.
Malouda strikes from 35 yards but his effort is tame and Van Der Sar watches it go just wide without ever looking worried.
Lampard picks up a good pass from Cole on halfway but Park cleverly brings the England man down to destroy any danger.
A better start from Chelsea and a Ramires pass almost gets Drogba in. For a second the United defence looks exposed but they just manage to squeeze the big man out.
John Obi Mikel
Chelsea get the ball rolling for the biggest 45 minutes of their season. Ramires and Alex introduced.
Half-time at Old Trafford and United full deserve their 2-0 lead. In all honesty, it could have been far more and their energetic play has totally bamboozled a lethargic and mechanical looking Chelsea side. United have one hand and four fingers around the Premier League trophy.
Malouda shows smart feet to drift on from the left and his pass to Lampard is over hit, it finds Drogba instead and his shot is blocked for a corner.
Yellow Card Michael Essien
Rooney gets Valencia in behind the full-back and his pull back is about to be converted by Hernandez but Mikel makes a last ditch block to prevent the young star from grabbing his second.
CALLS FOR A RED CARD FOR IVANOVIC. The Chelsea full-back late on Rooney and already on a yellow card for an earlier challenge. Howard Webb refuses to brandish a second yellow.
Yellow Card Wayne Rooney
Greg Stobart, our man in the press box says: The Chelsea fans in the away end are singing “champions” - but they know it will now take an heroic comeback to overturn this deficit. Carlo Ancelotti's side have finally settled down but it will probably be too late to change the outcome after they were blitzed by United in the early stages here. The Stretford End certainly seem to think that an historic 19th title is already in the bag and are using every opportunity to taunt Liverpool.
Lampard has struggled to gain any sort of foot hold in the fixture so far and his side will need more from him if they are to scrap their way back into this match.
In almost a photo copy moment to earlier in the game, Malouda hangs up a nice cross but Drogba makes a poor connection with the header and only tests the corner flag. Half a chance.
United look happy to shut up shop until the interval. A two nil lead would be a mountain to climb for their opponents who currently look void of ideas going forward.
This time, the Ivorian’s radar is slightly off and the strike goes a few feet wide.
Another free-kick in a dangerous area. Any closer than last time and it’s in.
Great hit by Drogba, he beats the wall and van Der Sar is at his best to palm the ball away. Chelsea could have done with that.
This could be a start for the Blues. Free-kick, 30 yards out and central. Drogba stands over it.
Surely Chelsea need a goal before half-time or the red and white ribbons can be wrapped around the Premier League trophy.
Sir Alex Ferguson must be gobsmacked at just how easily his side have taken charge of this game. They look like they are playing a side from a lower league at the moment. More energetic, sharper and hungrier all over the pitch.
Goal Nemanja Vidic
Assist Ryan Giggs
SURELY NOW THE TITLE IS HEADING NORTH. A short corner returns to Giggs and the veteran hangs a delightful ball into the six yard box. It’s calling out to be headed and VIDIC DOES NOT REFUSE. His header beats Cech with ease. He couldn’t miss. MANCHESTER UNITED 2 CHELSEA 0.
Twenty minutes gone and Chelsea trail to a hugely important strike by Javier Hernandez. Only 36 seconds had elapsed when United flew into the lead and Ancelotti is going to need a mammoth effort from his players if the league title is not to be decided today.
Chelsea’s possession almost rewarded when Drogba rises to meet a Malouda cross. The Ivorian gets his header wrong but Kalou fashions a firm strike from the second ball and Van Der Sar is forced into a decent save.
It’s taken 17 minutes but the visitors finally seem to have woken up. A bout of possession not leading to any chances but much welcomed for Ancelotti.
Greg Stobart, Goal.com’s match reporter is watching the touchline from his seat in the press box. He says: Carlo Ancelotti is making a lot of 'calm down' gestures in his technical area to his players, who look concussed after United's breakneck start to the game. Chelsea need to hang in there and hope they can settle into the game when the tempo and the atmosphere drop a notch. But United look in rampant mood. The hosts could easily be two up and – in front of a full house and glaring sun – this has the feel of a cup final they have no intention of losing.
So far, Chelsea haven’t entered the United Penalty area. The fans in the Stretford End watching from afar as Hernandez, Rooney and Park cause the blues back line major issues.
Yellow Card Branislav Ivanovic
From the free-kick, United maintain possession and eventually Ji-Sung Park curls a deft ball between the defence and Petr Cech. Hernandez is inches from contact and a glorious chance. Chelsea could be blow away by half-time at this rate.
Chelsea are yet to get off the bus. The latest offender Michael Essien who under hits a pass in midfield and the vibrant Park pounces to win the ball and a free-kick.
United are bouncing under the Manchester sun. This time Park wins the ball in midfield and under demand from Rooney, passes the England man the ball. Rooney strikes from fully 35 yards and scorches the hands of Cech. Untied corner.
Chelsea look like a boxer on the ropes in the early stages. A ball drops to Valencia 18 yards from goal and only a brave block by Ashley Cole can divert the danger. High tempo from United has Chelsea up against it.
Our man at Old Trafford, Greg Stobart says: That is the loudest noise I have ever heard at a football ground; a deafening roar as Javier Hernandez gave United the perfect start in this magnificent arena. Poor defending from David Luiz in the build-up and Hernandez is just a ridiculously good finisher – he made no mistake.
What a twist, all the hype and build up thrown into a spin inside one minute. The goal came thanks to a stunning pass from Ryan Giggs into the feet of Valencia who picked out Hernandez with a straight forward pass through the Chelsea defence. Hernandez finished like a player full of confidence,
Assist Ji-Sung Park
Goal Javier 'Chicharito' Hernandez
UNBELIEVABLE START AT OLD TRAFFORD. United put one hand on the Premier League trophy. Hernandez slid in behind the Chelsea defence by Ji-Sung Park and the Mexican does what he does best, sliding the ball under Cech. MANCHESTER UNITED 1 CHELSEA 0.
The obligatories out of the way, talk over, were underway at Old Trafford. Chelsea attack the Stretford End.
Goal.com’s match reporter in the press box is Gregt Stobart, he says: The only moment of harmony you will see all afternoon at Old Trafford as both United and Chelsea fans cheer news of Arsenal's defeat at Stoke. You know you’re at a big game when the stadium is packed more than 15 minutes before kick-off and it's packed to the rafters here. Chelsea's supporters are goading to home fans by singing about re-instatement as England captain over Rio Ferdinand – but I'm really not sure the United fans care.
Torres drops to the bench in a show of strength by Carlo Ancelotti as surely Roman Abramovich bought the Spaniard for days like today. His solitary goal in a blue shirt in the recent win over West Ham, not enough to save him from a place amongst the subs.
Greg Stobart, Goal.com’s match reporter at the ground says: I've just said a quick hello to Frank Lampard Snr, who is in the directors box. Unsurprisingly, he is tipping Chelsea to win 2-1 and his son to score. Not impossible by any means – and Lampard Jnr's late runs into the box will be a key element of the game today.
Chelsea: Cech, Ivanovic, Cole, Luiz, Terry, Mikel, Essien, Lampard, Malouda, Torres, Kalou
Manchester United: Van der Sar, O’Shea, Fabio, Ferdinand, Vidic, Giggs, Park, Carrick, Valencia, Rooney, Hernandez
Our man in the press box at Old Trafford is Greg Stobart and he says: Huge sense of anticipation at a sun-baked Old Trafford this afternoon for a clash that is essentially regarded as the title-decider. If Manchester United win, a 19th league triumph will be all but theirs, but a Chelsea win will take the title race right to the wire. Chelsea could never have dreamed that they would be so close to top spot when they were 15 points back not long ago and Carlo Ancelotti's players look seriously fired up as they warm-up. Didier Drogba is a bundle of energy as he steams around the pitch to find balls he can lash into the goal – and he will have fond memories after his strike in Chelsea's 2-1 win here last year.
Welcome to Old Trafford for Goal.com’s live match commentary for the game everyone has been waiting for - Manchester United Vs Chelsea.
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