Premier League

May 8, 2011


Manchester United

2 - 1


Premier League

15:10 +00:00, May 8, 2011

Old Trafford, England

Referee: Howard Webb

  • 95'

    They know this is it, judging by the celebrations on the pitch and in the stands. United thoroughly deserve it on today's performance too, they were all over Chelsea in the first half. They now need just one point from games against Blackburn and Blackpool to be confirmed as Champions for a 19th time.

  • 95'

    FULL TIME It's all over! United celebrate as if they have won the title!

  • 94'

    Cole clips Park and with less than a minute left, that is surely that.

  • 93'

    Excitement grows in the stands as United move towards the brink of the title....

  • 92'

    Malouda outwits Rooney on the right but though his cross finds Drogba he wastes a pass.

  • 91'

    Again Valencia breezes past Cole and finds Rooney but he waits too long to strike and is crowded out of it.

  • 90'

    Four minutes added...

  • 90'

    Drogba's temper gets the better of him and lunges in two-footed on Carrick.

  • 89'

    What a chance for 3-1. Valencia's cross is cleared only as far as Giggs, who passes to Hernandez, but he scuffs his shot and it dribbles wide.

  • 88'

    Fabio hobbles off and Chris Smalling is on.

  • 88'

    A chance for Torres inside the box as he is left momentarily free, but he drags a shot wide of the post, to sum up his time so far in Chelsea blue.

  • 87'

    What a cross from Valencia! He drills a fierce ball from the byline to Hernandez, who heads over from five yards. It was ferociously hit though.

  • 86'

    Ramires is carded, for a pull on Giggs.

  • 85'

    Ramires crosses from wide but Ferdinand nods clear. Chelsea pushing plenty forward now.

  • 84'

    Another excellent tackle from Park, who has been at his industrious best today.

  • 83'

    Evans tries to waste time by the corner flag. Bit early for that perhaps.

  • 82'

    Now Rooney has two good chances inside 30 seconds, lingering too long when clean through first time round, then having a shot from inside the area deflected narrowly over the bar.

  • 81'

    Evans does well down the left, Giggs finds Rooney but though he has an excellent window to shoot in he drags it wide.

  • 80'

    This is petering out a little now. Still time for Chelsea to make it interesting though.

  • 79'

    As we restart, Ivanovic's long throw falls to Torres and his powerful volley is blocked by what looked like Valencia's arm. Nothing doing with Webb.

  • 78'

    Now Fabio hits the turf too. Time wasting tactics perhaps?

  • 77'

    Ferdinand nods away a cross and his legs go to jelly, then Evans is pole-axed after an aerial challenge with Ramires.

  • 76'

    We await Chelsea's final assault....

  • 75'

    Half a chance for Drogba as Ivanovic stands up a cross to the back post. He heads over though, and was offside to boot.

  • 74'

    Cole flies down the left but Essien waits too long to unload the pass and Van der Sar is out.

  • 72'

    Ramires has to track back now and concede a corner as Evans challenged him.

  • 71'

    Awful from Torres, just awful. He gets down the right, with Vidic to beat, but passes right to Carrick.

  • 70'

    Another one in the next ten minutes from Chelsea and this will get very interesting.

  • 69'

    Might that provoke a few jitters in United ... but they nearly score right away! Hernandez gets into the area and squares for Rooney six yards out but Alex makes a vital block!

  • 68'

    GOAL A lifeline, from Lampard. Ramires' cross is deflected, Ivanovic gets up and Lampard sticks out a leg to divert it in. He was onside too.

  • 67'

    A rather aimless and hopeless run forward from Torres, with no support apart from Alex.

  • 66'

    Cole's long ball is brought down by Drogba with a combination of foot and arm, before he stabs the ball wide. The free kick had been given though.

  • 65'

    Alex has pop from 35 yards but Van der Sar saves. Terry was a little lucky with the Valencia challenge, could easily have been given.

  • 64'

    Terry and Cech make a right mess of a long ball and United are three on three. Valencia dawdles, then goes down under a challenge from Ivanovic and claims a penalty but Webb waves it away.

  • 63'

    Giggs is serenaded by the fans again after chasing back to hassle Malouda.

  • 62'

    Kalou, who has been very ineffective, departs and Torres is on.

  • 61'

    Valencia and Park have been immense today. Again Valencia beats Cole before Ivanovic nods away his back post cross.

  • 60'

    Here comes Torres. I can only imagine the sulk on Anelka right now.

  • 59'

    United content to sit and play on the counter now, and why not.

  • 58'

    What humiliation for Luiz too. Not only was he at fault for the opening goal, he then argued with his manager, hence his hauling off at half time.

  • 57'

    Ancelotti only has one sub left remember. Torres and Anelka daren't look each other in the eye.

  • 56'

    Still no sign of a breakthrough from Chelsea yet, but a better showing in the second half, definitely.

  • 54'

    Excellent defending from Vidic as he stands up and tackles Kalou inside the box. Well timed.

  • 53'

    Neat football from United as sharp passes find their way to Valencia, he steps past Cole far too easily, then his cross is blocked by Lamaprd's arm. Could, and should, have been a penalty.

  • 52'

    Giggs has been imprious in this game. What a player.

  • 51'

    Weak also describes the shot Malouda has just dribbled wide of the target.

  • 50'

    Ramires has seen plenty of the ball since coming on - but his cross just then was weak and cleared by Vidic.

  • 48'

    Rooney takea tumble after chasing a lost cause but though he burshed Lampard he wasn't claiming a foul.

  • 47'

    Ramires very nearly sets up a chance for Drogba as he rampages into the area but Evans stands firm. Decent start from Chelsea.

  • 46'

    We begin again....


    Changes for Chelsea as Carlo tries to rescue his title aspirations, Ramires and Alex replace Luiz and Mikel. Johnny Evans comes on for O'Shea.


    There have already been two Premier League games today, if you missed them, then read our report on Stoke's victory over Arsenal and Wolves' much-needed win over local rivals West Brom.


    Nemanja Vidic scores United's second


    Well, that was a first half display of Champions. United flew out of the blocks, and scored within 36 seconds. Luiz was at fault for the first, with his poor positioning and failure to intercept Park's pass. As for the second, take your pick.


    Hernandez wheels away after his opening goal, which came after 36 seconds

  • 45'

    HALF TIME A perfect half from United, who have taken a giant leap towards the title. Hernandez and Vidic with the goals, and Chelsea now need three of their own in the second half, so as not to surrender their tag of champions.

  • 44'

    Very poor from Chelsea, they take a corner short, waste the ball, then Essien gives United a needless corner up the other end under pressure from Park.

  • 43'

    A vital block from Mikel after Valencia was released by Rooney. The cross was low and Hernandez was lurking.

  • 42'

    Essien is booked through, for a tug on Park.

  • 41'

    Despite a good two minutes of United players trying to get Ivanovic sent off - Giggs, Ferdinand and Rooney the main culprits - play has restarted.

  • 40'

    Ivanovic, has clipped Rooney late after the ball had gone. I don't think he'll get a second yellow, but he should be very, very careful from now on. If Ivanovic hadn't already seen yellow, he'd definitely have been carded for that.

  • 38'

    Rooney is going to be booked here, as he and Luiz went for a 50/50, Rooney shaped up to belt it, before pulling out of the tackle, but by that stages he was committed and he's flattened the Brazilian.

  • 37'

    Decent ball in from Kalou this time but Drogba again is beaten to it by Vidic.

  • 36'

    Malouda spins in a decent looking ball and though Drogba attacks it and gets above Vidic, he can't do more than glance the ball near to the corner flag.

  • 35'

    Valencia gets a rousing cheer as he tracks back to follow Kalou to the byline and win a goal kick in the process.

  • 34'

    A bit more pressure from Chelsea now, but not much in the way of end product. Mikel's shot is blocked by Vidic.

  • 33'

    Drogba's latest effort flashes wide, about two yards wide. VDS hadn't moved though. If it had been on target, it was in.

  • 32'

    Valencia lunges in on Malouda as the Frenchman attempts to cross. Another chance for Drogba.

  • 31'

    Great effort from Drogba, dipping towards the bottom corner, but VDS is across to parry out of the danger zone.

  • 30'

    Kalou is tripped by Carrick and Chelsea have a free kick 30 yards out.

  • 29'

    Luiz ambles upfield before firing a powerful shot right at Van der Sar. They have to get one back before half time to have any hope I think.

  • 28'

    "Are you watching Merseyside," sing the jubilant United fans.

  • 27'

    Rooney is like a man possessed today. Chasing around like an Olympic sprinter.

  • 26'

    Valencia charges through the heart of Chelsea's defence but has no pass on square. This is a performance that could get Ancelotti the sack, it's been that shoddy.

  • 25'

    They nearly grabbed one back there though as Malouda's corner was flicked on by Mikel and Kalou's close range header was saved by VDS. Ivanovic tried to turn the ball home with an overhead kick from an acute angle but can only hit the side-netting.

  • 24'

    Chelsea are being overrun here. If they don't sharpen up, this could be a hiding.

  • 23'

    GOAL Vidic! 2-0! From the corner, Giggs takes it short and gets the ball back from Park, and as his delicious cross comes in Vidic is there to nod home. A charge of Champions.

  • 22'

    Rooney takes the free kick wide, when Chelsea were expecting the shot, but Fabio's cross is cleared. As United rebuild Park stings Cech's hands with a shot.

  • 21'

    Rooney is blocked off by Ivanovic and is up straight away to moan at Howard Webb. He's already been booked the defender, so he needs to be careful. The free kick is central, 35 yards out.

  • 20'

    Weak from Kalou as Drogba holds the ball up well before offloading.

  • 19'

    Ancelotti is still not impressed with Luiz. The Brazilian smiles, ruefully.

  • 18'

    First real chance for Chelsea as Malouda's cross is met by Drogba six yards out but he can't get on top of it. Then VDS fumbles the high ball but gets back into position to save Kalou's effort. Much more like it from Chelsea.

  • 17'

    Essien has had a rotten game so far. His touch has deserted him.

  • 16'

    Drogba clips a ball into the area but O'Shea shields it from Kalou until Van der Sar comes to cliam.

  • 15'

    Rooney hunts down Mikel by the touchline and hassles him until the ball rolls out of play. The red shirts are right up for this one.

  • 14'

    Park whips the ball off Essien's toes and United break downfield. Rooney shoots from closer range, equally fiercely, but this one flashes wide of the post by a yard.

  • 13'

    A great atmosphere around Old Trafford as United's fans smell blood.

  • 12'

    Kalou has the first sight of space in front of United's back four but he wastes his pass for Drogba. Then Ivanovic lunges in late on Rooney and is rightly carded.

  • 11'

    So nearly another one for the little pea. Park's curling ball to the back post in missed by Luiz, but also by Hernandez, as he thrust a leg at it. A very good chance.

  • 10'

    A terrible touch from Essien allows Park to get in and Mikel is late and trips him. United free kick near half way.

  • 9'

    United are a yard quicker all over the pitch. Chelsea just haven't started yet. They may still be in the tunnel.

  • 8'

    A rasping drive from Rooney, from fully 30 yards out, is saved superbly by a flying Cech.

  • 7'

    Drogba gets his first effort off on goal but it was meaningless as he'd fouled Carrick to win the ball.

  • 6'

    Now Cole has to stand tall to block Valenica's start. Chelsea have barely got out of their half so far. United are rampant.

  • 5'

    Now Rooney has a chance to unleash from the edge of the box but he dawdled on the ball and Ivanovic bundled him over and cleared.

  • 4'

    Ancelotti has already asked Alex to start warming up after blaming Luiz for giving the ball away in the build up to Hernandez's goal. He is not happy.

  • 3'

    Goodness me. It was all so easy for Park to cut in and slide a ball right through the heart of Chelsea's defence. Such a cool finish too. How can Chelsea respond?

  • 2'

    Less than 40 seconds on the clock as Hernandez is sprung through by a Park pass and he fires coolly past Cech. What a start! My word.

  • 1'

    GOAL Hernandez! Unbelievable!

  • 1'



    Fergie and Ancelotti stand together in the tunnel, as the teams enter the arena. It's a huge game in the Premier League season, and it is moments away.


    It's all change for Man Utd, with only Van der Sar, Valencia and John O'Shea retained from the midweek rout of Schalke. All the big guns are back, including Rooney, Giggs, Hernandez, Carrick, Vidic and Ferdinand.


    As expected, Fernando Torres starts on the bench for Chelsea, with Drogba on his own up front. Kalou comes in for the Spaniard.


    As things stand, Manchester United lie three points ahead of Chelsea, and a win for them today will surely seal the title. Should Chelsea win, they would go top via a better goal difference, and would fancy their chances of retaining their crown.


    Welcome one and all to live coverage of the Premier League title decider between Manchester United and Chelsea. It's not quite a winner takes all clash, but it's not far off.


    Will John Terry be celebrating Chelsea going top of the table? John Brewin has our preview here.