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Bitter Ferguson frustrated by brilliant Blues


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Chelsea 2-1 Manchester United

FA Premier League - Tuesday 1 March 2011 - Stamford Bridge

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David Luiz and Frank Lampard scored as Chelsea came from behind to achieve a famous victory over Premier League leaders Manchester United at Stamford Bridge.

In a pulsating encounter that will no doubt prove a wonderful advertisement for Premier League football as well as a huge turning point in the title race, Carlo Ancelotti's Chelsea side demonstrated the same balance of grit, determination and flair that saw them win the Double last term - leaving purple-nosed Sir Alex Ferguson fuming at the final whistle.

Wayne Rooney fired the visitors ahead in stunning fashion after half an hour to demonstrate their intent - to achieve what may well prove to be their 19th domestic title - but a Chelsea response that was led by a brilliant first Chelsea goal by defending David Luiz, who smashed home a sumptuous volley ten minutes into the second half, defined the stuff of true champions as the Blues recorded a famous victory.

Yury Zhirkov and Didier Drogba soon entered the fray and turned the screw; Drogba's fire and commitment galvanising the home support, whilst Zhirkov earned the game-winning penalty with twelve minutes remaining after he was cynically hacked down inside the area. Chelsea might have extended their lead as the game drew to a thrilling, end-to-end conclusion; but whilst Petr Cech saved well from Fabio da Silva, Zhirkov saw a wicked drive turned onto the post by Vidic's thigh before Essien was denied at the death.

And a sending off for United's Serbian captain curtailed United, who were consigned to just their second league defeat this term. In an encounter that will no doubt be named the 'Battle of Stamford Bridge,' there was little between the two teams - but Chelsea looked nothing like a side fifteen points behind their rivals at the start of play. Ancelotti's men performed the better; they showed greater desire, commitment and passion, and on a night decided by clinical finishing, it was fitting that Frank Lampard should dispatch his 78th minute penalty which such aplomb; particularly on the anniversary of Peter Osgood's death.

The King's radiance permeated through the Stamford Bridge turf, and whilst a swashbuckling opening ten minutes was somewhat muted by a lacklustre Chelsea showing leading up to the break, there can be no denying the Blues' attacking endeavours saw them warrant a victory that has massive implications for the title race. Arsenal fans will celebrate this inadvertent favour from their London rivals, but with third place achievable with a victory in the Blues' game in hand over Manchester City, faint hopes of Premier League glory should neither be abandoned nor enhanced by a single triumph over Sir Alex's charges.

A simply magnificent game, United were restricted by an excellent Chelsea rearguard - and indeed the visitors should have found themselves behind early on when Torres expertly dispatched a volley into the top corner. Unfortunately, pushing inside the area cut celebrations short, and Stamford Bridge's fervent atmosphere was muted when Rooney gave the visitors a deserved half-time lead when he lethally fired past Cech from range.

That goal came as a result of lackadaisical and haphazard Chelsea defending - ironic considering the rock-solid nature of the Blues' backline for most of the game. Such a mistake would not be made again; with United's next best opportunities a brace of Rooney efforts well wide of the far post and a Fabio effort bundled away by Petr Cech. A similar story was brewing at the opposite end, as positive attacking intent was let down by a lack of incision at crucial moments. Yet somehow van der Sar maintained United's slender advantage when he pulled off a miraculous triple save to stop both Ivanovic and Torres from bundling the ball home to restore parity.

But a second half performance that demonstrated exactly why Chelsea are champions saw the Blues win over doubting supporters again. To a man, Chelsea were fantastic, and backed by a crowd buoyed by Luiz's superb equaliser after a superb flick-on by Ivanovic, there was no doubting Chelsea were the side looking for the three points the most.

That target was achieved when Zhirkov's burst into the box resulted in a controversial decision by referee Martin Atkinson, especially after David Luiz had escaped retribution when he should have been given a second yellow card. Instead, Lampard lashed home the spot-kick to send Stamford Bridge into raptures and to rile Sir Alex and send his nose a slightly darker shade of violet.

A wholly predictable response from Ferguson came after an admittedly controversial penalty kick won by Yury Zhirkov allowed Lampard to duly dispatch his seventh goal of an injury-beset season and seal a memorable and pivotal victory for the champions. Ferguson berated the officials and his opponents, claiming "that Chelsea aren't out of the title race if they keep getting decisions like that," before going on to cite how his team were "hard done-by." Even an absolute neutral would find it difficult to keep a straight face in the wake of a statement that was smothered with such cheek, bias and audacity.

Of course, it would be foolish to think Sir Alex would acknowledge blatant hard luck against the defending champions - a Torres goal ruled out for alleged pushing in the box must have came at a point where the United manager's glasses had steamed up after getting a little hot under the collar; especially since they are without both senior centre backs for their trip to Anfield on Sunday. With Nemanja Vidic's ultimate dismissal, five cynical fouls must have escaped his attention, as Ferguson demonstrated his best Arsene Wenger impression - clearly he didn't see it.

A frank assessment can be drawn from the pattern of the match - United had the better of the first half, and Chelsea dominated after the interval. The hosts by far had the better of the opportunities, and only a combination of luck, wonderful goalkeeping by veteran stopper Edwin van der Sar and the width of a post kept the score respectable for the team many expect to win the Premier League title this season.

What was not respectable, however, was Ferguson's response. In fact, it was down-right rude, and such immature and spiteful comments were smeared in a thick layer of trademark Ferguson hypocrisy. Maybe Sir Alex was a little furious that in the wake of a match dominated by the thuggery of Wayne Rooney for a disgusting elbow on Wigan's James McCarthy and the latest in a long line of Ashley Cole wrongdoings, he was outdone by Chelsea's Italian tactician - Carlo Ancelotti.

Or perhaps he was simply fearful that Chelsea - a side supposedly out of the title race - still cling to a microcosm of hope that they may make up a defecit which may be reduced to nine points should they win their upcoming game-in-hand against Birmingham. Further hope can be drawn from the need for United to visit the Emirates, as well as Anfield on Sunday - meaning that a crunch game at Old Trafford in May could possibly see Chelsea harbouring faint title hopes and thus representing something of a respectable defence of their Premier League title. Pragmatic thinker or otherwise, it does not take an advanced knowledge of mathematics to realise thoughts suggesting the title is not yet out of reach may still bear some truth to them.

However, realistically thinking - let's just be glad in knowing we have wrestled fourth place back from Tottenham - and further evidence of a Chelsea revival of sorts can be drawn from the romantic thought of third place being just a single win away.

The title remains an improbability, but in a game where hope and expectation are often amalgamated in a blur created by blind faith, it would be premature to think Chelsea are out of the race, yet also nothing more than wishful thinking to say they may wrestle the trophy from the prying hands of Ferguson and Wenger. A proverbial two fingers in the faces of Messrs Redknapp and Mancini seems a more achievable target - but whilst we believe, we can still dream.

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Chelsea (4-4-2): Cech, Ivanovic, Luiz (Bosingwa 80), Terry ©, Cole; Ramires, Essien, Lampard, Malouda (Zhirkov 70); Anelka (Drogba 60), Torres.

Man United (4-4-1-1): Van der Sar; O'Shea, Smalling, Vidic ©, Evra (Fabio 80); Fletcher, Carrick, Scholes (Giggs 70), Nani; Rooney; Hernandez (Berbatov 70).

The TalkChelsea.net man of the match was Chelsea's number 7, Ramires.

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Good review

Personally i think Essien was MOTM he looked so much like his old self Scholes looked completely out of his depth against him in the second half. Torres just needs a goal and we will see them in left right and centre.

Back in the top 4 now and if Tottenham drop points at Wolves and City labour to a draw against Wigan we will be in a glorious place to finish 3rd and with Arsenals track record of falling after Birmingham games who knows we might even get 2nd.

Great game to remember Ossie.

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Nice reading, I was waiting for it tbh heh.

The second half was definitely one of our best displays this season, full of fighting and commitment. The only thing that makes me quite sad it the fact that this famous win will most likely not win us the title. We are still too far.

David Luiz is a legend - scored in some style and gave Rooney what he deserved, although he should have been sent-off. But which player from United side shouldn't have in the last matches?? Also, I was quite sick of JT's passing, inside two seconds he totally screwed up two easy passes and gave United a chance to counter attack. Anyway, a big, big win, especially for ous confidence, coming to the last part os the season. Do not think of the title, top4 and the third place, that's the aim. Who knows what can happen then.

Ossie would have been proud of you guys. blue%20scalf.gif

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Thanks for reading and commenting, rep for you all!

I'm particularly proud of this piece. I though for once rather than offer a diplomatic view, I'd lay into that purple-nosed bastard! :lol:

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Great review.

Wow, David Luiz he's so great. Yeah I think he souhld have been sent off, but who cares. :P

I'd wonder how fast is Ramires on 100 m. I think he would beat Usain Bolt. Nah, just kidding but he's so fast! blue%20scalf.gif

Ossie would be proud of you boys!

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Great review as usual BL

4-4-2 is the fucking shiT!

Even on FIFA 11, I use 442 and I destroy teams badly. I hope we stick to this formation with Drogba and Zhirkov starting instead of Anelka and Malouda. One thing is for sure, Zhirkov is technically gifted and can create lots of chances than the now average Malouda who needs some benching.

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On a side note when Rooney scored and taunted us in the Matthew harding stand, if Drogba did that at the Stretford end he would be getting mullered by the media drunkards.

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Thanks for reading guys.

Milan, your legend status might well be appearing in the end of season awards ;)

I am honoured ^_^ Although it is nothing, just reading and commenting :)

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for a report on a completely different game read the Daily Mail ...thats if you are a Sci Fan....mat lawton is a bigger F*******g arsehole than

Andy F*******g Gray his MOM ....Rooney

Edited by zolayes
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