Now a colossal 14 points behind leaders Arsenal after this defeat, Man Utd were put to the sword by Cameroonian hit-man Samuel Eto’o, who bagged a super hat-trick, in what was a consummate display of predatory finishing.
Despite a brief attempt at a memorable fightback after Javier Hernandez netted late on, United could not muster enough attacking energy to truly trouble the Blues, who cantered to victory after Nemanja Vidic was sent off in stoppage time.
Chelsea player ratings:
Petr Cech: 7/10
Chelsea’s number one pulled off a number of saves early on, and looked solid enough, apart from one slip that almost cost his side in the second half.
Branislav Ivanovic: 6/10
Solid if unspectacular from the big Serb, with Ivanovic a little wayward with his crosses.
John Terry: 7/10
A powerful presence at the back, the Chelsea captain rarely looked troubled.
Gary Cahill: 7/10
Cahill had another solid game in the heart of the Chelsea back-line, and has certainly nailed down a centre-back berth at the club.
Cesar Azpilicueta: 7/10
Bombed up and down the flank, all the while keeping Antonio Valencia in check.
Excellent running and considered distribution from the Brazilian. Ran the show from midfield.
David Luiz: 7/10
Although lucky not to have been sent off in the early stages after a reckless challenge on Valencia, Luiz kept things ticking over nicely in the central midfield role.
The winger has the energy of a Duracell Bunny! The attacker seemed to be absolutely everywhere, and it is surely that energy that keeps him ahead of the likes of Andre Schurrle and Juan Mata in the starting XI.
Eden Hazard – 7/10
Impressive once again from Chelsea’s man of the moment; Hazard kept possession brilliantly throughout, and was a real danger when cutting in from the left.
Oscar – 6/10
Not as effective as in recent weeks, Oscar was a little wasteful with his distribution, and could have done better with a chance from only a few yards out.
Samuel Eto’o – 9/10
The typification of a goal-poacher on the day, Eto’o was always in the right place for the Blues, and bagged a crucial hat-trick to kill of the defending champions. Jose Mourinho will be ecstatic that one of his strikers stole the headlines for his goal scoring!
Mikel (for Oscar): Shored up the Chelsea midfield
Nemanja Matic (for Willian): A ‘welcome home’ appearance at the end
Fernando Torres (for Samuel Eto’o): Brief cameo
Manchester United Player ratings:
David De Gea: 6/10
Little he could do with any of the three goals, but made a fair few saves.
Passionate and aggressive, the Brazilian looked to really get his teeth into the encounter early on. However he wasn’t helped by Valencia on the right hand side, and was very lucky not to be dismissed for nearly hacking Cahill’s legs off at the death.
Nemanja Vidic: 4/10
Sent off in the last seconds for a pointless lunge on Eden Hazard, United’s captain effectively ended any slim hopes his side had of snatching a draw.
Jonny Evans: 5/10
Bad positioning gave Eto’o his second goal, and Evans never looked comfortable against the Blues’ live-wire attack.
Patrice Evra : 5/10
Charged forward when he could, the Frenchman saw a decent effort just whizz wide of the post in the first half.
Antonio Valencia: 4/10
Very little to report on the Ecuadorian. Never looked like getting the better of Azpilicueta, and couldn’t link up enough with the striker.
Phil Jones: 5/10
Asked to do far too much in the heart of midfield, Jones did his best, but was eventually overrun by the Chelsea attack.
Michael Carrick: 5/10
Kept United’s possession levels high, but couldn’t find that killer pass.
Ashley Young: 4/10
Never got into the game.
Adnan Januzaj: 8/10
Fantastic display from the youngster, and were Wayne Rooney or Robin van Persie playing, his vision and skill would have surely led to a United goal.
Tore at the Chelsea defence from start to finish, and was United’s great hope on the day.
Danny Welbeck: 5/10
Had a few sighters at goal, but the England man did not have much to work with up top for United.
Chris Smailling (for Evra): Came on and worked hard.
Javier Hernandez (for Young): Scored once again against Chelsea, but one wasn’t enough.
What do you think? Agree with my ratings? Let me know in the comments below…