An action packed high profile game with plenty of controversies. That’s what Manchester United vs Chelsea is all about. Last season Jose Mourinho was happy to take a point from Old Trafford, this time around the Portuguese heaped praise on his players and illustrated that the aim was different.
It was a frustrating game for the Blues as United rescued a point in injury time. It was a heavy-weight clash; even though both teams faced injury concerns and suspensions. There was nervous intensity right throughout the 90 minutes; that’s however so often as seen in these showcase encounters.
The Reds perhaps edged the first half having created a decent number chances to get the opening goal. They showed great appetite and intent on the counter. Courtois proved once again why he is better than Cech; he was an authority personified, commanding his area, handling impeccably and saving superbly from Robin Van Persie when called on.
After such an impressive start in Chelsea colors, Cesc Fabregas was unusually subdued as Fellaini worked hard to close down Chelsea’s midfield. This helped the Red Devils in finding plenty of space in the middle of the park. There was one highly contentious moment when Ivanovic was dragged to the floor by Chris Smalling as they chased Cesc Fabregas’s corner into the box, but referee Phil Dowd was unmoved. De Gea was forced into action to push away Drogba’s low effort, ensuring that the scoreline remained goalless at the interval, despite both sides creating decent openings.
Chelsea increased the tempo at the start of the second half dominating with stability and control, keeping possession while trying to create an opening. Drogba scored his first league goal since March 2012, his first league start in two and a half years. The Reds looked as if they’d limp to defeat after the Blues had the lead.
While Chelsea accumulated a numerous amount of yellows, a moment of madness by Ivanovic saw the Serbian given his marching orders for taking out Di Maria in the dying seconds of the game. United come out on top in the goal line scramble despite Courtois keeping out Fellaini’s header, but Van Persie slammed home from the rebound.
Drogba 53′: Eden Hazard penetrated through the United defense but was somehow denied by De Gea from close range. However from the resulting corner, the Drogba jumped highest to lose his marker, Rafael and beyond van Persie on the line. A classic Drogba finish, the Ivorian was jubilant.
Van Persie 90′: Ivanovic receiving the second yellow in stoppage time made all the difference. The Serbian who was in charge of marking Fellaini now had free space to run at. A decent ball in by Di Maria saw Courtois save from Marouane Fellaini’s goal bound header, but Van Persie was on hand to thrash home the rebound in the fourth minute of stoppage time.
A good game fought between two great sides which involved two of the world’s best tacticians. Mourinho was delighted with the manner of his side’s performance but was disappointed not to leave Old Trafford with all three points in his kitty. The Blues remain four points clear of second-placed Southampton and six points ahead of last season’s champions Manchester City but this is a result that will almost have the after taste of defeat, even though Chelsea’s unbeaten run continues.
Edited By: Tamojit Chakraborty