Manchester United facing Chelsea often throws off a gust of expectation and goose pimples. Sir Alex Fergusson has mostly had the last laugh in previous encounters, and he did so again this Sunday. A clinical mix of set-passes and thorough inroads all but sealed the game for Man U in the first half itself.
It all started as early as the 8th minute when the Reds opened their encounter through a Chris Smalling header. He seemed offside, but all credits have to be given to the sparkling free kick by Ashley Young. Then, the game was a maze of dribbles and withdrawals, till its most elite moment came. Nani scored a glorious goal off a 25 yard free kick to make it 2-0 for United. Rooney pushed them to further abyss just before the half time bell, off a rebound.
Even Chelsea’s most optimistic supporters had left all hopes, when it came in the form of Torres at the advent of second half. Anelka found a classic space between defenders to land it in Torres’s feet who lobbed it into the net over the goalkeeper. This was however the only silver lining in Torres’s otherwise disastrous performance. He couldn’t capitalize on meaningful passes, missed a few shots and the worst came when he drove past Gaea only to miss a yawning and empty goalpost.
He was not alone in disaster however. Man U’s star forward Rooney who had scored the team’s third goal, found a ripe time to slip, en route to a penalty, leading to the shot rising into the stands. One wonders how the crowd would have taken it on other day. However, with a smooth lead, this major error was somewhat forgotten in a hurry.
Though these are initial times, and much remains to happen in EPL, Chelsea hasn’t done any good to their chances by losing against Manchester United.