United leave Blues seeing red in Stamford Bridge thriller

United leave Blues seeing red in Stamford Bridge thriller

United leave Blues seeing red in Stamford Bridge thriller

It was a red evening in London, read, a Red Devils' victory and two red cards. Man United had swooped into the capital ready to shatter the pillars at Stamford Bridge in their eleventh league attempt. They did exactly that, in a 3-2 victory that left Roman Abramovich coiled up in his seat and Sir Fergie's men only one point adrift the host.

Vitriol and official complaints by the hosts had the name Mark Clatternburg written all over them. But do you think anyone United or from the chasing pack will give a sympathetic ear to Chelsea's cries? I don't think so. After all, the Manchester giants had done what others had failed domestically; put to the shredder the Blues' unbeaten sequence.

So there was controversy in the latter stages of what had been a thrilling game; a harsh second yellow card that gave Fernando Torres his matching orders and left Roberto Di Matteo's men hobbling down to 9 men. There was contact alright, albeit minimal, between the Spaniard and Johnny Evans. Was it a foul? Was it simulation? That's up for debate.

Moments later, Javier Hernandez would score from an offside position to give the red behemoth a sweet win. Chelsea were really trying to do damage limitation by then, having seen Ivanovic also sent off earlier when Roberto Di Matteo's men were on the ascendancy on the back of an impressive comeback from two goals down to restore parity.

And that's the thing, the aftermath of the sending offs shouldn't overshadow what had otherwise been a thrilling and intense game. United had called upon their artillery from the moment the whistle was blown. It was shock and awe for the watching fans, who saw their suspect defense taken to school in the first 12 minutes of the game. There was no way the legendary Scot was going to allow the playmaking trident of Oscar, Hazard and Juan Mata be the choir masters. He had to serve them an equal piece of the same pie, a piece that left the suspect, though formidable, Blues' defense all at sea.

Fergie was vilified when he brought in injury prone Robin van Persie in the summer, but the 24 million pound man has proven to be a summer bargain, if his goals this season are anything to go by. Last season, he got a hatrick at the Bridge, when his former Arsenal side annihilated the Blues. Last night, he had a hand in all the three United goals.

The first came only in the fourth minute. RVP's shot hit the post, only for it to rebound off David Luiz and into the net. And when Antonio Valencia had carved open Ashley Cole's fort, the Ecuadorian's pass was met by the unmarked Dutchman.

The manner in which the Red Devils went about their business in the first half showed why, for all their attacking talent, the Blues' weak point is in defense.  The red brigade were ripping apart Di Matteo's blueprint, and it took a while for the hosts to curb that tide.

As the first half wore on, the hosts went into the ascendancy. David de Gea has been termed error prone, but his reflexes are out of this world. Whether it's with his feet or his hands, he makes outrageous saves, and was called upon a number of times. However, he could do nothing when Juan Mata struck when it mattered most, a sumptuous freekick that evaded all before the halftime whistle.

Second Half

When the second half got underway, everyone could sense a comeback. And it came. Mata's sublime holding of the ball opened up United's defense, before Oscar's cross was met with a Ramires thumping header. Game on, or so we thought. The moment Ivanovic impounded on Ashley Young's goal scoring chance, it became difficult for Di Matteo. When El Nino was sent to the dressing room, it was all over. Chicharito's goal was the final nail in the coffin.

The result and talking points only make this week's League Cup affair between the two sides a tantalizing affair. And while the Blues will be looking to recover at the weekend, for the red behemoth, Saturday will be Arsenal making Old Trafford their next port of call. The league has certainly opened up. Wonder no more why it's arguably the best in the world.

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