Manchester United versus Chelsea has become one of the most eagerly anticipated encounters in the Premier League era, with both sides battling for the title every season. However this season defending champions Chelsea are down under currently sitting 15th following their nightmarish start to the campaign while United on the verge of sacking their manager Louis van Gaal after a frustrating season so far languishing in the 6th place in Premier League table.
Before going into the match, let’s take a close look at previous top five clashes between these two Premier League giants
MANCHESTER UNITED 3-3 CHELSEA ( 2000)
Claudio Ranieri’s first match in charge of Chelsea became one of the most memorable clashes of the 2000/01 season. An extraordinary strike from Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink gave the Blues lead, before an equally stunning effort from Paul Scholes levelled the score-line in the 14th minute. Two back to back quick-fire strikes from Teddy Sheringham and David Beckham seemed to have put the match beyond Ranieri’s squad, but Tore Andre Flo’s goal just before the interval and after the break again drew the sides level. Not many teams manage to come back from 3-1 down at Old Trafford, but Chelsea produced a terrific away display.
CHELSEA 3-3 MANCHESTER UNITED (2012)
This time it was Manchester United’s turn to show a spirited comeback. Chelsea were leading at the half-time thanks to an own goal by Jonny Evans, before breath-taking volley by Juan Mata and a deflected shot by David Luiz left Sir Alex Ferguson’s men in danger. However, the Red Devils responded like true champions after conceding 3 goals. Two penalties from Wayne Rooney got Manchester United right back in the fight, and Javier Hernandez’s lethal strike equalised late in the day.
MANCHESTER UNITED 1-1 CHELSEA [UNITED WON 6-5 ON PENALTIES] (2008)
The Champions League final IN 2008 was certainly one of the most dramatic matches of recent times, and it was the Red Devils who lifted the most treasured silverware in European club football. In Moscow it was Cristiano Ronaldo, who often criticised for not producing in big moments, towered a stunning header which gave United the lead just after 26 minutes. Soon Frank Lampard fired home from close range to produce the equalizer. In the second half, a fiery game saw Drogba sent off in extra time for slapping Nemanja Vidic. The final show-down went to penalties, and when Cristiano Ronaldo fluffed his lines it seemed Chelsea’s name was on the coveted cup. But John Terry despite had the chance to win the Champions League for his team, slipped at the vital moment and unexpectedly hit the post which allowed Edwin van der Sar to save from Nicolas Anelka and write his name into Manchester United folklore.
CHELSEA 2-3 MANCHESTER UNITED (2012)
The most recent classic clash between United and Chelsea was also remains one of the most controversial matches Premier League history. Chelsea welcomed their rivals knowing a victory would give them a chance to go seven points clear of the Red Devils only a couple of months into the campaign. An own goal by Luiz and a clinical finish by Robin van Persie put the visitors 2-0 up in no time, but goals either side of half-time from Juan Mata and Ramires brought Chelsea level with their fierce rivals. A Chelsea win looked likely happening before Branislav Ivanovic and Fernando Torres were both controversially shown red card. Torres was given a second yellow for diving, and then the match completely turned around in favour of United and Hernandez, so often the scourge of Chelsea, netted the deciding goal from close range. A furious Stamford Bridge crowd saw Ferguson’s boys went to within a point of Chelsea, and the Red Devils eventually won a 13th Premier League title while Chelsea finished third.
CHELSEA 5-0 MANCHESTER UNITED (1999)
Manchester United stepped into the pitch being unbeaten in 29 league fixtures, having not tasted a defeat since December 1998. A vibrant Stamford Bridge really was sent into raptures as Gus Poyet headed his team in front only after 27 seconds and when Chris Sutton doubled the lead in the 16th minute United were shell-shocked. Nicky Butt was then sent off before the break without any proper reason, and the match became nightmare for the Red Devils as it progressed. Poyet netted another one in the 55th minute and diminished Ferguson and his boys’ all hopes, but Chelsea weren’t finished yet. An own goal from Henning Berg and a lethal strike by Jody Morris completed the demolition, and Manchester United had endured one of their most miserable outings since the inception of the Premier League in 1992.
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