Old Trafford, this afternoon, witnessed United just about wrap up the Premier League title with a 2-1 win over our nearest rivals, Chelsea.
Mathematically, United need a point form their last two games to make certain but surely we`ll not let this slip away.
For this important fixture, Sir Alex Ferguson, as expected, selected his big-guns after resting several of them in midweek when Schalke were the visitors. One notable absentee was Patrice Evra who picked up a late knock and was replaced by John O`Shea.
Team – Van der Sar, Fabio, Ferdinand, Vidic, O`Shea, Park, Giggs, Carrick, Valencia, Rooney, Hernandez
Subs – Kuszczak, Smalling, Evans, Anderson, Nani, Scholes, Berbatov
United got the action started and inside thirty-six seconds were ahead. Some hesitancy in the Chelsea midfield saw Giggs and Park combine to slip Hernandez through and the Mexican, one-on-one, with Cech, made no mistake in scoring his 20th goal of the season. Old Trafford erupted in a sea of noise.
United 1 Chelsea 0 (Hernandez – 01 minutes)
United were playing some decent stuff and Rooney forced the excellent Cech into making a fine one handed save with a fierce low drive. Hernandez, lurking at the far post, almost scored a second but the slightest touch, by Luiz, from the Valencia cross disrupted the flight of the ball.
Chelsea, non-existent attacking wise, took nineteen minute sot get a chance on target with Kalou having a shot saved. Cech pulled off another smart save to deny Park but from the resulting corner, after the ball had been worked to Giggs, Vidic was on hand to head home the second goal of the game.
United 2 Chelsea 0 (Vidic – 23 minutes)
The defending Champions were up against it now but didn`t fade away. Two free kicks from Drogba kept Van der Sar on his toes. Both from thirty yards out saw Van der Sar relieved that he could parry the first away and even more relieved that the second went wide of the post with the Dutchman stranded.
After having already been booked, the home crowd bayed for Ivanovic to be shown the red card as the game threatened to boil over just before half time but Howard Webb was having nothing of it.
Half Time – United 2 Chelsea 0
Evan replaced O`Shea at half time with the visitors opting to replace Luiz and Mikel with Alex and Ramires.
A stale passage of play could have been livened up when Lampard clearly handled a Valencia cross whilst Kalou, seeking a penalty after contact with Vidic, may well have thought he had a valid claim turned down by Webb.
Struggling to make an impact in the final third, Chelsea introduced Torres for Kalou and although Torres played no part in the build up, the visitors were back in the game eight minutes later after Lampard scored from close range.
United 2 Chelsea 1 (Lampard – 61 minutes)
Despite being pegged back, United were looking lively going forward and Rooney, on another day, could have had a hat-trick. One effort was brilliantly blocked, on the line, by Alex whilst another effort bound for the net was deflected over the bar.
As time began to run out for Chelsea, Hernandez could have added the final touch to a great day but his header, from a Valencia cross, sailed over the bar.
Blackburn, and a record 19th title, here we come.
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