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Manchester United 1-1 Chelsea
Old Trafford
16:00 GMT

Peter Liaros

Manchester United and Chelsea went toe-to-toe in one of the better games this season – United’s width and pace gave them an obvious advantage, but Chelsea were able to match them with their physical approach, discipline and control of the midfield.

If Chelsea and played with Robben and Cole from the start, you never know what direction the game would have taken – United could have had more space to attack, but they would have been under the cosh as well.

Good comeback by Chelsea – they took the second half just as United took the first one. This title race will go the the distance, and United will be hoping Arsenal can take a few points off Chelsea and help them build a lead before the two sides meet again at Stamford Bridge.

FT: Match report.

90 + 3: And that’s it, full time. Manchester United stays 3 points ahead of Chelsea in the title race.

90 + 1: SUBSTITUTION – CHELSEA on Renato Paulo Ferreira off Michael Ballack.

90 mins: 3 mins of injury time

87 mins: Essien hits the volley but it’s well wide. United fans are giving Ashley Cole some grief after his tackle on Ronaldo.

85 mins: SUBSTITUTION – UNITED on John O’Shea off Louis Saha (injury)

85 mins: SUBSTITUTION – UNITED on Darren Fletcher off Cristiano Ronaldo (injury)

84 mins: YELLOW CARD – Ashley Cole gets booked for his 4th trip on Ronaldo, who is limping off the pitch.

83 mins: Last years hero, Fletcher, is ready to come onto the field, will he be the hero again???

81 mins: Now its United’s turn to look dangerous, they are looking like scoring.

80 mins: Manchester United using patient passsing in defence, which ends up coming to a great and fast playt fown the wing which results in a corner

77 mins: Chelsea looking dangerous at the moment.

75 mins: Last time Chelsea versed United at Old Trafford, there was a hero, will United have a hero again today? Or will it end in a draw?

73 mins: SUBSTITUTION – CHELSEA on Joe Cole off Andriy Shevchenko

73 mins: Chelsea about to make a change.

72 mins: United are clawing their way back into this game with around 6 or 7 attacking opportunities, United taking control.

70 mins: I’ve been to busy watching this game, I haven’t been able to tell you the final score – TOTTENHAM 3 def. WIGAN ATHLETIC 1

69 mins: GOAL CHELSEA!!!!! Carvalho gets a header in from a Lampard corner and Chelsea draw level. United are falling to sleep at the moment.

63 mins: Great passing move by Chelsea involving Drogba and Ballack. It drops to Lampard but he blasts his shot over the bar.

63 mins: United have had the latest two attacking chances, both were missed, both were brilliant opportunities.

60 mins: Some great attacking chances for both teams at the moment, if anyone has a chance it would be Chelsea.

55 mins: Chelsea are asking questions at the beginning at this second half, whether they can get back into this game. I say they do, they are having alot of attacking opportunities this half.

48 mins: The corner has come to nothing, Chelsea clear straight to straight to Carrick and he feeds a wonderful ball to Rooney and he hits it across the fac of goal, and both Saha and Ronaldo miss it, great strike from Rooney.

48 mins: UNITED CORNER – A United counter attack has ended up with a corner.

47 mins: Chelsea have indeed started off the second half better than the first so you Chelsea fans, you have a chance.

46 mins: United kick-off the second half…

45 mins: HALF TIME SUBSTITUTION – on Arjen Robben off Geremi

45 mins: Arjen Robben is out on the field warming up for Chelsea, will he come into the freight? Will Chelsea come back from a horrible first half? Will United stick with the lead? Stay here for the second half which commences in around 1 minute.

45 mins: Chelsea’s possession doesn’t truly affect the way they are playing, Chelsea are playing backyard football while United are playing with ease. Saha’s goal would have stopped the talk in the media about his penalty miss in United’s loss to Celtic mid-week.



(Louis Saha ’27)

6(3) Shots (on Goal) 4(4)

6 Fouls 8

1 Corners –

39% Possession 61%

-/- Yellow/Red Cards 2/-

4 Saves 2

45 mins: An United go into the break with a 1-0 lead, the first time CHelsea have gone into Half-Time losing. Stats to follow…

44 mins: A nice pass from Tooney to Giggs who has cut inside then beats two Chelsea challenges. He is unable to deliver the final ball though and Chelsea will hope that is the end of United’s attacking for this half.

38 mins: Vidic being a victim to foul play today, first Drogba, then rammed down by Shevchenko, I think the Chelsea strikers are targeting him, after all, he is United’s best defender.

37 mins: Gee whiis, I was saying that only Ballack was being dirty today, more like Chelsea in general, stats on fouls coming soon…

33 mins: Vidic was wacked in the face by Drogba, should receive a red. Drogba is booked, not good enough there by the ref.

31 mins: United are on attacking flairs at the moment, every chance Chelsea gets, United get 5 in return, Drogba is down in the United half at the moment.

27 mins: GOAL UNITED!!!! Louis Saha you beeeeeaauty, the ball is lost by Chelsea, Rooney threads it to Saha and he just kicks it in.

26 mins: Ballack playing dirty today, 5 or so fouls, should have received a yellow by now, surely.

25 mins: Chelsea unable to get any shots in, great defence United all the time, Chelsea off their game today, not playing well at all.

23 mins: Ballack gives the ball away to Rooney who just sprints away from him but cannot link up with another United player.

21 mins: Ballack gives the ball away to Rooney who just sprints away from him but cannot link up with another United player.

19 mins: Makelele gets the first booking of the night after making a handball, then kicking the ball away, what on Earth is Chelsea doing today?

19 mins: United looking the much more confident side today, attacking with ease.

17 mins: Great strike Ronaldo, just stopped in flight by Cudicini

16 mins: UNITED FREE-KICK Another foul by Chelsea is just gifting United with opportunities.

15 mins: POSSESSION 50-50 at the moment, a back and forward game.
12 mins: UNITED FREE-KICK Ashley Cole clips Cristiano Ronaldo’s shin and is caught for a free-kick.
9 mins: Ronaldo working his arse off at the moment, he is basically doing 75% of the work today.
5 mins: Both teams working hard at the moment as United make a silly error in their own half.
1 min: The ball comes in from the Giggs and Rooney gets a head to it but it goes wide.
1 min: Ronaldo begins to gather pace when he gets stopped by Michael Ballack in Chelsea half, free kick to United.
0 mins: Kick-off – Chelsea
0 mins: Both teams out on the pitch
0 mins: 5 minutes or so to kickoff. Newcastle have caused a minor upset by beating Portsmouth 1-0 at home. Tottenham are on course for a second upset, leading Wigan 2-1 at half-time. Can United make it 3 upsets for today, or will we see Chelsea put themselves in the driving seat for the title?


Manchester United: Van der Sar, Neville, Ferdinand, Vidic, Heinze, Ronaldo, Scholes, Carrick, Giggs, Rooney, Saha.

Chelsea: Cudicini, Geremi, Terry, Carvalho, A Cole, Lampard, Essien, Ballack, Makelele, Drogba, Shevchenko.


It’s still November – 24 games to go, 72 points to play for.

But Alex Ferguson and Manchester United know that this is the best chance they have had in more than 3 years to establish themselves as favourites for the title race. You’re not in front of the queue until you’ve beaten the champions and like it or not, this is a big game for United.

Chelsea on the other hand shouldn’t be too worried. They’ve not started as well as they’d have liked to, but sooner or later someone was bound to match them for pace in the Premiership and this year it has been United. They’ve left the rest of the league biting dust far behind, and they won’t mind a two-horse race against a team they’ve historically had a good record against.

A win sees United go 6 points clear at the top, and installed as favourites by everyone else but Chelsea fans. A draw is what pundits are predicting, but it’s not something either team will want, especially with the advantages a win would bring. A win for Chelsea puts the teams equal on points, and will hand the initiative to Chelsea in the league.

Referee: Howard Webb


It’s a tough call – there are strong reasons for both sides to win this game. Ultimately it could come down to desire, a good start and the ability to last the full 90 minutes. United have the better in two out of three, but Chelsea have proven themselves to last the distance.

Peter Liaros: Manchester United win 2-1
Ahmed Bilal: Manchester United win 1-0
Rocky Dixon: Manchester United win 1-0