Chelsea v Manchester United: Five classic matches
By Peter Smith
Last Updated: 17/04/15 2:23pm
Ahead of Chelsea's Saturday Night Football clash with Manchester United, we look back at five memorable encounters between the two teams...
Chelsea 2-3 Man Utd, October 2012
Roberto di Matteo’s Blues seemed on course for at least a point after battling back from a two-goal deficit, with a Juan Mata free-kick and Ramires header cancelling out David Luiz’s own goal and a clinical finish from new United recruit Robin van Persie.
However, just five minutes after Branislav Ivanovic picked up a second yellow for a trip on Ashley Young, Chelsea were down to nine men when Fernando Torres was controversially sent off for diving, despite Jonny Evans appearing to kick the Spaniard.
Javier Hernandez then converted United’s winner from an offside position to further anger the Blues boss. “It is a shame because it was a good game of football with two good teams and the officials ruined it,” fumed Di Matteo.
Chelsea got their revenge three days later with a thrilling 5-4 extra-time League Cup win over a youthful United, before knocking Ferguson’s men out of the FA Cup in a sixth round replay. However, while Chelsea lifted the Europa League, it was United who won the Premier League, a massive 14 points clear of the third-placed Blues.
Chelsea 3-3 Man Utd, February 2012
Earlier in 2012, it had been Manchester United staging a comeback at Stamford Bridge, fighting from three goals down to earn a valuable point in their pursuit of league leaders Manchester City.
An Evans own goal had given the Blues a first-half advantage and a stunning volley from Mata 24 seconds after the re-start, followed by a Luiz header five minutes later, seemed to all but assure Chelsea of three points.
However, two Wayne Rooney penalties and a Hernandez header shared the spoils – much to Chelsea boss Andre Villas-Boas’ frustration. The Portuguese had particular issue with Howard Webb’s officiating: “The first one is an obvious penalty, nothing to say, but the second one is very, very dubious," said Villas-Boas, referring to Ivanovic’s collision with Danny Welbeck.
Chelsea 1-0 Man Utd, August 2004
Eidur Gudjohnsen gave Jose Mourinho a winning-start to life at Chelsea, with an early strike against Manchester United in August 2004.
The forward capitalised on a Tim Howard error to bundle home 14 minutes in, and Chelsea, marshalled by Mourinho in the Premier League for the first time, held on for a win which set them on course for a first league title in 50 years.
“I am lucky to be here to work in the Premiership and I want to work every day to prove I belong here because I want to stay for a long time,” Mourinho said after the game.
Chelsea 2-2 Man Utd, August 2002
This thrilling early-season Friday night contest saw both teams create moments of magic at Stamford Bridge, as United twice came from behind to earn a point in west London.
William Gallas glanced home a Bolo Zenden free-kick before David Beckham curled home a fine left-foot strike to equalise. Zenden then capitalised on a Roy Carroll blunder, firing into the top corner after the United ‘keeper had thrown the ball back to Chelsea.
United were unlucky not to win a penalty when Carlo Cudicini hauled down Paul Scholes and Beckham then hit the bar with a chip, but Ryan Giggs was on hand to finish Mikael Silvestre’s cross to ensure the visitors took away a point – his 100th goal for the club.
Chelsea 5-0 Man Utd, Oct 1999
Treble-winners Manchester United had gone 29 games without defeat in the league before their trip to Chelsea in October 1999. However, that run came to an emphatic end at Stamford Bridge.
Massimo Taibi had allowed a Matt Le Tissier shot to squirm between his legs against Southampton last time out and, with just 27 seconds on the clock against Chelsea, made another blunder, colliding with Dennis Irwin to allow Gus Poyet to nod in Dan Petrescu’s cross.
Chris Sutton headed Chelsea two clear with his first league goal for the club and the Blues took full control when Nicky Butt was sent off for kicking Dennis Wise in front of the referee.
Poyet tucked in a rebound shortly after the re-start to make it 3-0, before a Henning Berg own goal and Jody Morris finish 10 minutes from time completed the rout.
United bounced back from their first loss since the previous December to win the league in impressive fashion – but, for Taibi, this was his fourth and final appearance for the club.
Watch Chelsea v Manchester United live on Sky Sports 1 HD from 4.45pm on Saturday