Full-time - 90'
1 - 2
11:45 +00:00, April 3, 2010
Old Trafford, England
Referee: Mike Dean
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FULL-TIME. United 1-2 Chelsea. Cheslea are two points clear of United after goals from Cole and substitute Drogba. They were good value for their three points and that could be the title-winning performance. Macheda's goal made things interesting but the Blues held on and Ancelotti can celebrate success at Old Trafford.
But it's nowhere near the big Dutch keeper and it's all over....
Free-kick United just inside the Chelsea half and Van der Sar is in the area.
Giggs chops down Ballack in midfield.
Nani palmed off by Ferreria and United have a left-wing free-kick.
Cech gives it straight back to United.
Ball in from Giggs but it's headed out by Vidic and Chelsea have a goal kick.
Free-kick for United about 35 yards out after Ballack fouls Giggs.
United launching it forward with Vidic.
Four minutes of stoppage time called.
But it's poor and he's put it into Cech's hands.
Neville comes down the right. Great opportunity for Berbatov from the cross...
But it's a poor attempted through ball.
Nani looking dangerous on the edge of the box...
Neville and Berbatov have a misunderstanding but Giggs chases back and picks Kalou's pocket.
Valencia penalised for a foul on Zhirkov. United looking frustrated.
United have now conceded eleven league goals in 17 league games at Old Trafford this season.
Malouda does well and releases Zhirkov down the left who takes it into the corner. After some twinkle-toed footwork it goes out for a goal-kick.
Neville with a left foot cross and it's well over and wide.
United sub: Gibson on for Fletcher.
Zhirkov crosses in and it's great defending from Vidic to ease Drogba away from the ball.
Neville clears and as United are desperate to attack, Chelsea have settled the pace down.
Fletcher booked for United after complaining about a free-kick decision against United.
It's a fierce effort but wide.
Now Chelsea come forward with Malouda and he passes it to Lampard who unleashes fro 25 yards...
He's been exciting since he's come on but it's a tame cross on this occasion.
Throw in down the right wing and it's switched over to Nani on the left.
Two and a half minutes between the goals and Old Trafford has errupted now. United on the move now.
Game on then, I guess I underestimated United's ability to score immediately!
Chelsea sub: Ballack for Deco.
United 1-2 Chelsea. Nani gets the cross in and it comes in off his hand. Lucky but United are straight back in it.
United on their way forward again, they have to throw caution to the wind.
That's surely game over now and Chelsea are heading to the top of the Premier League.
He was MILES offside. Well, two yards. But it was a shocking decision - really bad officiating.
United 0-2 Chelsea. Drogba played in by Kalou and he's thrashed it past Van Der Sar.
And releases Kalou ont he break down the right. He cuts inside and looks for a shot but it's a wild left-foot effort up and over the bar.
Fletcher crosses it towards Berbatov but Cech collects.
Zhirkov down the left and he puts a dangerous cross in but it's just escaped all four Chelsea shirts in the box.
Vidic clears it up well after a nice piece of play between Kalou and Drogba.
Vidic marauds forward and plays it to Evra on the left, who is offside.
Nani gets the ball 35 yards out and tries to cross it in but it's loose and long.
This is only Macheda's second league game at Old Trafford - he scored the winner against Aston Villa on his debut last year.
Chelsea sub: Kalou on for Cole.
Giggs' ball and United players screaming for handball against Malouda. Not a lot he could do about it and it's a United corner instead.
Cole gets a yellow card for delaying the taking of the free-kick.
First invovlement is for Nani to win a free-kick on the left of the area.
United sub: Nani on for Scholes.
United sub: Macheda on for Park.
Evra released down the left by Scholes and it's time for a United change.
Deco gets booked for taking down Giggs.
New Ivory Coast boss Sven is in the crowd looking on at his captain.
Didier Drogba has scored 10 goals in eight league matches since returning from the Africa Cup of Nations.
Chelsea sub: Drogba on for Anelka.
Chelsea defending resolutely at the moment - it took an hour but United have finally stepped it up a notch.
Drogba preparing for action. Pretty good sub to be able to bring on!
The red wave comes forward again but Berbatov penalised this time for a handball.
Giggs plays in Evra down the left and the ball is switched to Neville who somehow keeps it in after sprinting about 50 yards. But it's cleared up by Zhirkov.
Poor headers from Berbatov - he needs the ball on the floor to make things happen.
Scholes picks out Neville who produces an impressive cross. Berbatov heads over.
Cole and Ferreira exchange passes and Zhirrkov has it fown the left but Valencia holds the Russian off.
But now the Blues break with Malouda.
45% of posession in the last five minutes has been in Chelsea's final third.
Terry with a crunching tackle on Park - got all the ball.
The crowd noise really mounting a United try to crank it up a notch. It's pinballed around the area and it's some pretty desperate defending from Zhirkov as he prods the balla way ahead of Park.
Evra crossed it in and Cech flaps at the back post but Chelsea escape. Evra gets it down the left again but blazes a very speculative effort wide.
But United are chasing down everything now and they are winning the ball back more often.
Deco brought down on the right wing and Chelsea just trying to calm things down.
United's best spell of the game there - a sustained period of pressure on the Chelsea area with Giggs the chief protagonist.
Berbatov heads wide from Giggs' cross.
Giggs dribbles it into the area and Cech gets in just ahead of the onrushing Park.
Chelsea have won their last five league matches against 'Big Four' clubs, keeping clean sheets in the last four of those victories.
United open Chelsea up for the first time. Fletcher plays it to Park in space and he takes a touch away from the defenders and into the area. But Terry is back across and does enough to force Park into skewing his shot.
The Blues have a free-kick down the right wing now and they try to work it quickly to the left. But Anelka is offside. Another good idea but poor execution.
United have come out looking much brighter but the best chance of the half so far has been Ferreria's for Chelsea.
Giggs tries to dink one in to Berbatov but he's offside and never looked like getting to it. Good idea but a real wasted opportunity.
Free-kick for United. More in range than the last one. Park was taken down and United are about 20 yards out, in a left-middle position.
United's turn again now and Berbatov looks to play Fletcher in but Zhirkov has stayed strong.
But the ball falls into Van der Sar's hands.
Chelsea stream forward now on the break at pace. Amlouda finds Anelka- it goes left to Cole and it's four vs four.
But a foul throw from Zhirkov - don't often see that outside oof Sunday League.
Really poor ball from Scholes - he's spooned it out of play.
Nice effort but it was never really troubling Cech.
Valencia crosses left footed and Evra stands on the edge of the area and hits a crisp volley just wide.
Terry intercepts and passes to Deco who looks for Malouda down the left. Pass is a little short though and Neville clears.
Fletcher fouled by Deco.
Nice attempted through ball from Vidic after some pressing high up the pitch but Giggs is offside.
Cross frrm Gary Neville after Scholes picked him out. Headed out by Terry.
Scholes sells Fletcher a little short with a pass and Anelka nearly pickpocketed him but the Scotland midfieleder tidied things up.
United keeping possession but Cole wins it back for Chelsea.
Ferguson looks incensed.
Anelka and Malouda were lurking at the back post. It was a lovely through ball from Joe Cole to split the United defence.
Evra chases him and the Portuguese right back pokes his effort past the post. It was a glorious opportunity.
FErreira clen through...
Drogba, Kalou and Ballack all warming up for Chelsea. Macheda and Nani getting warm for United.
Foul by Gary Neville on Malouda.
United have kept possession since kick-off and have certaily started more brightly. Cross come sin towards Giggs but it's headed away from Alex.
No changes as yet, the line-ups are the same.
So I'm sure there have been plenty of stern words from Sir Aelx at half-time and undoubtedly the hairdryer would have been out.
We're off for the second half...
HALF-TIME. United 0-1 Chelsea. No more than Chelsea deserve, the Blues have been utterly dominant. Malouda and Cole look dangerous every time they have the ball and Anelka has worked hard. United look lost without Rooney and Berbatov is looking increasingly frustrated. Grab yourself a cup of tea and I will see you in 15 minutes.
The whistle goes for half-time...
Chelsea break at pace but it doesn't quite fall for Cole.
Free-kick for United after Terry fouls Berbatov. About 25 yards out and I think Giggs fancies it.
Chelsea keep possession well but United have just nicked it off them.
Mike Dean has given 16 penalties in 24 games this season - the highest in the Premier League.
Yellow card for Gary NEville who cynically brought down Malouda inside the Chelsea half.
Berbatov has the ball inside the area but he dwells on it too long and then crumples in a heap when Lampard makes the challenge. Poor from the Bulgarian. Good covering from Lampard.
Scholes looks for a stunning reverse 40-yard pass. Well, it would have been stunning if he pulled it off but Neville isn't as fast or elasticated as he used to be.
United throw-in, deep in Chelsea territory but wasted as Park and Fletcher get in each other's way.
Chelsea take it quickly and Zhirkov tries to get inside Valencia but the Ecuadorian stays strong and watches the ball out.
Vidic eventually gets frustrated and commits the foul on Anelka.
United get back to defend but Chelsea happy to just keep hold of the ball. Ferguson's side are chasing shadows as they have been for much of the half.
Ball comes in and Fletcher has a swing at it but Chelsea clear their lines and can break now.
Giggs switches it to Evra and United win a corner.
Park and Valencia combine and this is a good sustained preriod of pressure from the home side. But chelsea are keeping them out and there has been no sign of an end product.
The Blues have netted 82 goals in 32 league games, the highest tally in England.
Lampard does well against Valencia and shepherds the ball out for a Chelsea goal kick.
Evra now down the left for United, Scholes and Ferdinand work it between them and United have some possession.
Free-kick for United and they work it short before Neville puts the cross in towards Vidic. Cleared.
Scholes has been booked for an earlier attempted challenge on Malouda that the Frenchman skipped over.
Malaouda on the charge, He finds Anelka who fires a shot straight into Vidic.
Manchester United have won their last nine league games without Wayne Rooney, a run stretching back to December 2008.
Deco releases Malouda who in turn releases Anelka but the pass is just overhit.
Just saw that Neville one, it could have easily been a penalty - a really reckless challenge from the United skipper.
United have been so frivolous in possession and Chelsea have closed well and they are really frustrating the reigning champions.
It was a big shoudler charge I guess but Neville had his eyes nowhere near the ball.
Penalty shout for Chelsea after Neville shoves Anelka over. Shake of the head from Mike Dean again.
Giggs puts pressure on Alex but the Brazilian keeps calm to ease the ball abck to Cech.
And just as I do, Valencia gives it away.
United keeping posession - haven't said that too often this half!
Park has now gone to left wing and Giggs is taking up more of a central berth.
Scholes with a typically rash challenge on Deco. He's had a couple of those in the past few minutes, but he escapes a yellow.
The Russian defintiely stuck his leg out, Chelsea are a tad lucky there.
Zhirkov catches him but Mike Dean never looked like pointing to the spot.
He's done well now though and is brought down in the area...
United have really struggled to assert themselves so far and Park looks lost.
Chelsea and United have met 35 times in the Premier League, with the Blues winning 11, United 10 and 14 games drawn.
The corner falls to Valencia who tries to pick out a difficult pass to Park and sure enough, it comes up short.
Chelsea not taking the foot off the accelerator at all.
Poor pass from Deco and the move breaks down a bit but the Blues win it back and have a corner.
Chelsea break now with Anelka and it's two on two.
Vidic picks out Valencia with a great ball but the winger's cross is too long for Berbatov.
That week off looks to have done Ancelotti's side the world of good.
Chelsea happy to quieten things down and keep the ball after a great start.
Really excellent play from Malouda and a smart finish by the dangerous Cole.
United 0-1 Chelsea. Fantastic work from Malouda, he gets to the byline with some excellent skill, puts the cross in and it's flicked in at the near post by Cole.
GOAL! Joe Cole.
Cole is finding himself in little pockets of space in front of United's back four.
Cole collects it on the edge of the area and he's done really well to hold of Giggs but the wily Welshman perseveres and wins it back.
Good possession from United but Chelsea have got it back now - Terry is roundly booed by the United faithful every time he touches the ball.
Valencia and Park work it down the right and I think United fancy that Valencia has the beating of Zhirkov.
Malouda's cross headed out by Vidic and the ball is dropping for Lampard but the Serbian is out fast to boot it away before in drops at the midfielder's feet.
Lampard's corner cleared away.
Anelka earns another Chelsea corner of Vidic. He's been coming out wide plenty early on and his movement is causing Untied problems.
Fantastic from Giggs and Evra and the Frenchman accelerates down the left channel into the area before releasing a tame shot into Cech's hands.
Berbatov has time and space to bring it down in front of the back four but Mikel's in quick to cover.
Cech spoons his kick out and it's a United throw high up the pitch.
Long ball from Van der Sar but it's cleared up comfortably by Terry.
Vidic kicks it straight to Deco who plays it to Anelka. Anelka crosses and Cole scuffs a shot into Va der Sar's grateful grasp.
Cole again in space on the edge of the box and again he fails with his through ball - Ferdinand sniffed it out this time.
This time it's Scholes who fails to pick out an accurate pass after some good closing down - that's right, some good LEGAL closing down from Scholes. I am as surprised as you are.
United back on the attack again with Berbatov in some space but he's played a really poor ball that I thinkw as intended for Valencia. All it found was the touchline.
Valencia with a fantastic piece of control and he accelerates past Zhirkov, puts the cross in but it's wide and over from Berbatov's header.
Cole given acres of space and he tries to thread the through-ball to Anelka but Vidic does well to hold him off.
Terry miscues but Chelsea are pushing forward again now and they have a throw-in in an advanced position.
Zhirkov with some space down the left but he's dispossessed and United push forward now.
Fletcher brings down Malouda and he's not happy about it but it's definitely a freee-kick.
A big challenge from Neville on Malouda - he didn't pull any punches there.
But possession is back with Chelsea now. Park chasing down well - he's playing more in the hole than anything else, just off Berbatov.
Finally United get themselves into the game a little.
Neville and Valenica interchange well down the right and the United right-back puts the cross in but it's headed away.
Lovely skills from Berbatov down the left wing - consecutive Maradona turns take him to the byline but his cross doesn't make it to Giggs in the box.
United have barely touched the ball in the opening four minutes!
Alex flies in with the header but it's nudged wide.
Chelsea looking very good early on and they have a corner now after some pressure from Anelka on Vidic.
Cech comes a long way out - about 30 yeards out of his goal - but he's beaten Park in the race and he clears it forward.
Great header away from Ferdinand - Anelka was in at the near post.
Chelsea keeping hold of the ball well- a great ball from Lampard to Ferreira down the right. he keeps it in well and gets a cross in towards Anelka.
Early shot from Deco - good work from Malouda and it was an effort from 25 yards that just drifted wide. Bright start from the Blues.
Chelea get things under way and quickly knock the ball around the back four.
Earlier this season, Terry was the matchwinner when Chelsea beat United 1-0 at the Bridge - now the reiging champions will be ready for revenge.
I think it's definitely a good move from Ancelotti to keep faith with the team that demolished Villa 7-1 last week - imagine how you would feel if you were dropped having played in a match like that?!
Teh two battles that intrigue me the most are an in-form Malouda taking on Neville and how Berbatov copes up front up against Terry and Alex.
Here come the players, and the winners of the last five championships - they're out on the pitch and we're close to the beginning of what is sure to be a mouthwatering encounter.
The players are in the tunnel and as per usual, captains Gary Neville and John Terry look fully focused on the job in hand.
It's not an understatement to say this is just MASSIVE. It could well be a title-decider, and I'm guessing Arsenal fans will be keeping their fingers crossed for a draw - that result will enable the Gunners to close the gap to just two points with a win over Wolves later.
Chelsea: Cech, Paulo Ferreira, Alex, Terry, Zhirkov, Joe Cole, Deco, Lampard, Mikel, Malouda, Anelka. Subs: Turnbull, Drogba, Ballack, Kalou, Sturridge, Belletti, Bruma.
Man Utd: Van der Sar, Neville, Ferdinand, Vidic, Evra, Valencia, Fletcher, Giggs, Scholes, Park, Berbatov. Subs: Kuszczak, Carrick, Nani, Rafael Da Silva, Macheda, Gibson, De Laet.
Right hen let's give you some full team news...
Dimitar Berbatov starts as the lone striker for Manchester United with Wayne Rooney crocked. The Bulgarian really has to perform today.
Didier Drogba has been left on the bench. It seems Carlo Ancelotti will keep faith with Nicolas Anelka following last week's 7-1 thrashing of Aston Villa.
Join us at 12.45 BST for live coverage of this Premier League title clash.
Edwin van der Sar
Ritchie De Laet
John Mikel Obi