Full-time - 90'
3 - 0
16:00 +00:00, January 11, 2009
Old Trafford, England
Referee: Howard Webb
Well, what a win for Manchester United! It was close for a while but the goal on half time proved the starting point for a battering. Three good goals, three points and they are now just five behind Liverpool with two games in hand. Oo-er. Thanks for your company. Until next time.
Drogba is penalised for a push on Evans, and he put his point blank header wide afterwards anyway.
Well, wouldn't you know it, Nicolas Anelka is still on the pitch. He nearly touched the ball then too.
Three added minutes as Ballack nods over from a corner.
Berbatov turns Terry and can roll a simple ball into the path of Rooney to make it 4-0 but is far too casual about it and Carvalho steps in.
How will Scolari react to this one I wonder? Big test of character approaching for his Chelsea side, especially with a visit to Liverpool on the horizon too.
Well, well, well. This is a new one for Chelsea - they're getting spanked. What a day for the Champions. And don't forget, they have two more games after this before Liverpool play again. If United win them both, they'll be top.
Ronaldo whacks in the free kick, Berbatov darts to the near post and volleys it home from six yards. What a comprehensive win.
GOAL! Berbatov has one!
A cynical tackle from behind from Belletti as Ronaldo skins him. A definite yellow card.
Franco Di Santo is coming on for Joe Cole.
Another error from Chelsea as Carvalho misses Ashley Cole's wayward pass, and Ronaldo's shot flashes inches wide of the upright.
Ronaldo is flagged offside as Berbatov puts him through. He finishes it off but the goal is disallowed.
JT gives away another free-kick which Ronaldo blasts against the wall. It loops towards the bar and Cech helps it over for a corner.
JT is having a torrid afternoon. It was he who lost Vidic for the goal and he's been giving the ball away all game - now he's been booked for a foot-up challenge on Park.
Giggs gets a huge cheer as he leaves the field - Michael Carrick on in his place.
What a well timed tackle from O'Shea as Belletti edged into the area.
Berbatov's flick finds Rooney offside. Good job for Carvalho, who was all over the striker as he raced clear.
Drogba robbed of possession again - he looks very out of sorts. Still dreaming of that move to Inter I reckon...
John O'Shea wants a piece of the action, chopping into Mikel, then Ballack. Fairly, of course.
"Are you watching Merseyside?" sing United's fans. Well, are you?
Joe Cole hits a shot but right at Vidic.
Drogba has completely missed his kick as the ball falls into his path from a free kick. Cue much derision from United's fans.
Slight opening for Drogba but he looks sluggish in a chase with Vidic and the defender gets to the ball first.
Another United counter attack sees Rooney swing in a ball in search of Park but Cech back-peddles to claim.
Chelsea fans look utterly miserable in their pen. United's fans are jubilant.
Drogba is stil out there the brave little soldier. Moving a little more freely now.
Drogba pulls up a little after a half-hearted chase, what a surprise. His team go two down and he suddenly develops a 'knock'.
Chelsea desperately looking for a lifeline but the ball isn't quite falling for them at present. Drogba could be doing more.
O'Shea is on for the crocked Evra.
Rooney gets a card after a late tackle on Carvalho. For my money, it should be his second after his dissent in the first half.
Park surges forward before Terry slides in and the Korean falls over. Webb says nowt doing. Chelsea have to pour forward now. Expect more goals.
Instant change for Chelsea. Belletti is on for Bosingwa, while Evra is receiving treatment after his delicious cross set up the goal.
Great stuff, Rooney started the move, Ronaldo cut inside then back-heeled for Evra and Rooney somehow manages to stick his leg through Ashley Cole's and volley into the net from seven yards out.
Anelka's ball into the box oh so nearly finds Lampard, then Rooney sets United away on the break.
Ronaldo has a go for goal from the free kick, ridiculously. Then Joe Cole tidies up nicely by his own corner flag.
Ronaldo runs into Mikel and pulls his indignant face. Result? Free kick awarded by Webb.
Tevez gets a huge ovation as he warms up on the touchline.
Fletcher heads away the corner, then Mikel's ball back in is woeful - miles from any of his team mates and straight out for a goal kick.
Superb defending from Bosingwa after lovely flicks from Rooney and Berbatov released Ronaldo. Bosingwa stood him up, then nicked the ball. Then Ballack wins a corner at the other end.
Drogba feeds Lampard inside the area, then lashes his shot out for a throw in when the ball is returned. Then Anelka tries a shot but scuffs it harmlessly wide.
Now Drogba runs at the defence before finding Joe Cole. His cross is poor though and Vidic gets to it before Anelka, then Neville mops up.
Ronaldo does extremely well to dig out a cross on the left hand side and two Chelsea players let it run. Had a red shirt been attacking it we could be chatting 2-0.
Giggs' flick looks for Park but his control is found wanting. Then Ronaldo wins a corner off Bosingwa.
Drogba is in swiftly on Fletcher but Vidic mops up. This'll be a good chance to see if the Drogba Anelka partnership can work - on the biggest stage.
Joe Cole jinks inside and flicks a ball with the outside of his right boot to precisely no-one. Chelsea need a spark from somewhere.
Enough about corners, back to the action and Berbatov hurling himself to the floor and buying a very soft free kick from Howard Webb, who is having a poor game so far.
Sorry, I've not explained that very well. Rooney took the ball over to the corner flag, put it in the angle then immediately out again without Chelsea cottoning on. Then Giggs wandered over and charged towards the area with the ball, as it had already been made 'live' by Rooney. But then the flag went up. Clear as mud? Good.
Word is the reason for the goal being disallowed is that Rooney didn't inform the linesman of his plan to take it immediately, and short, then leave it for Giggs to make hay as the Chelsea players stood bemused.
First opening of the half goes to Drogba whose heavy touch inside the area allowed Evans to slide and clear. A better slice of control and Drogba was in.
The second half is underway and a change for Chelsea. Anelka is on for Deco, who is injured presumably.
And that's half time! United probably just about worth it but what drama at the end. United's cheeky corner ends up in the net but is ruled out, then the retake lands in exactly the same place but the goal is given. See you in 15 minutes!
What a minute of action. Man United took the first corner quickly and scored, but Howard Webb disallowed it. Then from the retake, Giggs crosses and Vidic's header squeezes in at the back post.
Pinball in Chelsea's box as Mikel hands possession in the area to Park, he squares to Ronaldo who mis-hits, then Fletcher follows up and his shanked volley is deflected for a corner.
Excellent block from Terry as Park and Rooney swapped passes. Park lashed a half volley from 15 yards out, to the left of centre, and Terry forced it behind for a corner.
Giggs steps in well to clear up Evans' mistake.
Lampard found Ballack on the left edge of the area but his dinked ball was the wrong option - he should have fired it across the six yard box with pace. In my humble opinion.
Giggs beats two men then splits Rooney and Berbatov with a poor pass.
Super header from Gary Neville as Bosingwa swung in a dangerous ball. Ballack was lurking. With intent.
Rooney wastes a chance to break as Drogba spins and looks to shoot but Evans is there again. Lampard was standing free as a bird wide right if anybody had spotted him.
A tidy spell of possession from Chelsea ends with Lamaprd feeding Drogba and the striker winning a corner off Evans.
Ronaldo tries to get past Joe Cole and cross but Cech claims his weak, and deflected, effort.
Terry gets up well as Vidic challenges, Cole hacks clear.
Evra is felled by Mikel. Free-kick wide left, about 40 yards out.
I can smell a red card coming....
Cole gets down the left again and crosses, but Drogba can't control the bouncing ball as the other Cole, Joe, threw himself to the floor.
Big Phil is getting mighty het up on the sidelines, waving imaginary cards at the ref and generally hollering at anyone who moves.
Lovely United move as Evra and Rooney combine, Berbatov feigns Carvalho to work space for a shot but his left-footed effort is weak and Cech claims.
Entertaining game, but no clear cut chances as yet. We need a goal.
The first flashpoint comes between Carvalho and Ronaldo. The defender had big handfuls of the winger's shirt as a cross came in but Chelsea got the free kick. Then the two had a word and referee Webb booked both. Ronaldo, unbelievably, hard done by this time I feel.
Bosingwa charges in on Rooney and is duly booked, despite the United striker doing exactly the same a minute ago, and launching a verbal volley at the ref for good measure, and not getting a yellow.
Chelsea having a spell now as Bosingwa piles a cross in. Ronaldo just sat and watched from the deck as they broke.
Rooney's red mist descends as he hacks into Bosingwa from behind, then aims a volley of dissent at Webb. The ref bottles it by not booking the little radgie gadgie, then he gets up to nod Lamaprd's free kick away from danger.
Ronaldo's shot gets a deflection off Drogba and goes behind for a corner.
Giggs goes for goal but its right at Cech and he parries away. As United regroup Joe Cole fells Rooney as he feigned to take a shot. Ronaldo territory.
Giggs over it...
Cole is penalised for handball after Ronaldo's cross hit him flush on the wrist. Right on the edge of the area but free kick, not penalty, given.
Ronaldo is starting to get into the game, running at Ashley Cole again. Lamaprd closes him out this time though.
Huge ovation for Giggs who tracks Bosingwa down the flank and ushers the ball out for a goal kick. Canny play from a canny player.
Ronaldo and Ashely Cole clash, the former claiming obstruction. Free-kick duly given.
Now Evans is punished for what looked like a perfectly legitimate aerial challenege on Joe Cole. As Lampard fires it in Chelsea's players go up for handball but it looks like Evra just got his bonce to it first.
Neat play from Chelsea as Vidic charges out to block Mikel's shot, then Ashley Cole and Deco swap passes forcing the Serbian defender to race back and block the left-back. Decent double from Vidic there.
Lovely bit of banter from the Stretford End - they're cheering every time John Terry touches the ball due to his penalty miss in the Champions League final last May. Nice touch.
Ballack's free-kick goes under the wall but hits Drogba and bounces clear. That may well have been sneaking in.
Ballack wants it.
Now Darren Fletcher is penalised for diving in on Deco. Danger here as the free-kick is central and 25 yards out. The usual suspects there.
Drogba buys a foul with that 'how dare you' expression of his. Its about his only touch so far though.
Giggs goes on the burst - who thought he still had it in him? - but his ball looking for Rooney is sloppy.
Gary Neville, that smashing chap, clatters into Deco and concedes a free-kick just on half way. Then Evra does the same fouling Bosingwa.
Now Carvalho has to be alert to dispossess Rooney who had waltzed into the box. Its all United at present.
Another Cech wobble as he comes to claim Ronaldo's cross. He clipped Terry's heels, fell over and was thankful to Bosingwa for hacking the ball clear.
Ballack clears the corner before Park pops up on the right flank running at Ashley Cole. Throw in won.
Park wins a corner for United after turning Bosingwa.
First booking of the game for Lampard as he swings a boot at Ronaldo after the winger went past him. An early marker laid down by Howard Webb.
As if to underline the global significance of the game a stream of adverts in Chinese are visible on the fancy pitchside hoardings.
A massive cheer greets a shanked Petr Cech clearance - his first of the game, before Chelsea break and Lampard's tame shot trickles wide.
Chelsea get us underway....
The teams come out to a fanfare of noise and a very excited PA announcer shouting the odds. Jose Mourinho is in the stands, as is Fabio Capello and no doubt anyone who is anyone in football is watching all round the world.
So, Rio fails to make it despite all the trumpeting that he would, whereas Drogba gets the nod ahead of Anelka, who as the league's top scorer with 14 goals, can rightly feel a bit miffed with a place on the bench.
Chelsea: Cech, Bosingwa, Carvalho, Terry, Ashley Cole, Mikel, Joe Cole, Lampard, Ballack, Deco and Drogba.
The teams in full, starting with Man Utd: Van der Sar, Neville, Vidic, Evans, Evra, Ronaldo, Fletcher, Giggs, Park, Berbatov and Rooney.
The teams are in and injured Rio Ferdinand is missing from the centre of the United defence. Ricardo Carvalho returns to bolster Chelsea's back-four.
Join us at 16.00 UK as Premier League champions Manchester United host Chelsea at Old Trafford.
Edwin van der Sar
John Mikel Obi
Franco Di Santo
Franco Di Santo