Manchester United vs Chelsea: Rivalry Renewed

Two of world football’s great tacticians go head-to-head on Sunday when Chelsea travel to Manchester for the box-office Sunday Clash against Manchester United.

When the two sides meet, more often than not there is plenty at stake. Be it early season one-upmanship, march stealing points or trophies come the end of the season, neither of the side can afford to approach this fixture with anything but utter focus and 100 percent intensity. United-Chelsea is one of the most hotly anticipated matches of the season, and when these two sides meet, they rarely disappoint.

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However, the rivalry between the two clubs is not a traditional one and has only reached its current levels in the modern footballing era. Usually, rivalries in football arise due to geographical proximity or persistent competition. United-Chelsea rivalry is the case of latter.

Soon after Roman Abramovich took over as the owner in 2003, it signalled the emergence of a new contender to United. After joining of Jose Mourinho to Chelsea as the new manager in 2004, Jose landed the Blues their first title since 1955 and a fierce rivalry was so born.

Chelsea Vs Manchester United rivalry has reached a whole new level as they were the only two teams battling out for the title till 2011 since then. This fixture has always been mouthwatering and has produced many football classics and is always the most anticipated fixture of the season. UEFA Champions League 2008 Moscow Final, FA cup 2007 Final, Premier League Title 2010 decider, are some of the unforgettable fixtures between these two giants.

On 26 October, Mourinho’s men will travel to Old Trafford to face the red devils in an early season fixtures. The Blues have been brilliant till now and looking unstoppable, whereas Van Gaal’s men are still searching for stability and trying to match the resonance among the new signings. Here are some things to look forward to in the clash of these two giants.

Few Points below which have fueled the rivalry between Chelsea and Manchester United in the near past:

1.) Chelsea’s financial status in the Transfer Market:
Abramovich’s millions have given the West London side considerable clout in transfer markets and Chelsea has outgunned United on number of occasions, such as Michael Essien from Lyon, Michael Ballack from Bayern Munch and Arjen Robben from PSV Eindhoven and very recently, Eden Hazard.

2.) Jose Mourinho:
Under Mourinho, Chelsea had a significant period of domestic domination between 2004 and 2006, with Chelsea claiming back to back Premier Leagues. Chelsea won the 2004-05 camping with record 95 points, resulting in Mourinho strucking up rivalry with Ferguson.

3.) Mark Clattenburg’s case:
Chelsea players accused Mark Clattenburg that he had used racist and inappropriate language against number of players, with John Obi Mikel to the fore when the two sides met in October, 2012. United won the match 3-2 with an offside goal and two red cards for Chelsea, Fernando Torres and Branislav Ivanovic were sent off.

4.) John Terry’s Episode involving Ferdinand brothers:
In Rio Ferdinand and John Terry, both United and Chelsea have a dominating England international central defender, but they do not enjoy a good relationship with each other after the accusations of John Terry racially abusing his brother, Anton Ferdinand. So, whenever they met, there has been animosity on the pitch. And Roy Hodgson’s decision of picking the Chelsea man over the United defender in England Euro 2012 squad, unsettled the United fans and management.

5.) John Obi Mikel:
Very few know that Mikel signed for United in 2005 and was pictured at a press conference with number 21 shirt for Manchester United. However, he later claimed that he was forced into the move and instead preferred a switch to Chelsea. Alex Ferguson accused Chelsea for corruption and the rivalry among fans grew.

6.) Patrice Evra’s fight with Sam Bethall, a Chelsea groundsman:
Evra was handed a four-match ban and a £15,000 fine for the altercation with Chelsea groundsman Sam Bethall after a game in 2007-08 when punches were thrown on both sides and the quarrel neutralized when Park Ji-Sung, former United striker interfered and sorted issues.

7.) Juan Mata’s move to Manchester United:
He joined Chelsea in 2011 and had a glorious time here being awarded the Player of The Year for two consecutive seasons. However, after warming up the bench for some time after Mourinho’s arrival, he opted to move to Manchester United in January 2014 for £38 million. Few Chelsea fans are still upset because of his move to straight rivals. This is the first time when he faces his old team since becoming a red devil.

8.) Very Important Point – THE RECORD:
Chelsea have won 15 out of 31 clashes in all competitions with Manchester United since Roman Abramovich bought the club in June, 2003. In the same period, United had won 10 games only. Chelsea’s record is the strongest than all other Premier League Sides against Manchester United, with a number of wins at Old Trafford.

Key moments of the clashes between Chelsea and Manchester United:

  • Chelsea won three and drew one of their home matches against Manchester United under Jose Mourinho in his first spell as manager, conceding only one goal.
  • Mourinho’s first match in charge of Chelsea was a 1-0 win against Manchester United at Stamford Bridge in 2004.
  • Manchester United won for the first time in 10 years at Chelsea last to last season.
  • In 2006 Chelsea lifted the Barclays Premier League trophy after beating Manchester United at home.
  • In 1999/00 Chelsea ended United’s 29-match unbeaten run with a resounding 5-0 victory.

Edited By: Harshal Ahire

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