Full-time - 90'
2 - 1
19:45 +00:00, March 1, 2011
Stamford Bridge, England
Referee: Martin Atkinson
Rooney is complaining bitterly to the referee, but Chelsea were the better side, certainly in the second half. It was a cracking game and the title race is wide open!
FULL-TIME. A great second half performance by Chelsea has turned the tide and the Blues send United crashing. David Luiz was impressive, but perhaps could have been sent off, before Lampard got all three points.
United's last hoof up field is cut out and Drogba has the ball in the opposing corner again.
Drogba cuts the ball back to Torres in the box, but he shows poor control. He gets it back, but then misplaces his cross.
Vidic now won't play at Anfield against Liverpool. That was a knocking bet.
Vidic walks, it was pretty blatent. And a second yellow.
Ramires gets past Vidic and the Serb hauls him down outside the box. He's off!
Drogba causing United a real headache now in the corner. Someone could get sent off...
Giggs goes in the book for that.
Chelsea run the ball into the corner and Giggs hacks down Drogba.
Drogba shoved down by Vidic as he was breaking down the right. Vidic is warned..
Four minutes left of added time
Fabio knocks it forward ro Fletcher, but the ball overruns the midfielder and he is far too tired to chase.
Ramires comes across and just hammers the ball into row Z from the middle of the pitch.
Nani onside, but Cole comes across with a good tackle and the danger goes. The Blues just need to hold onto the ball.
Lampard heads the ball clear, but the ball breaks to Fletcher, who shoots over. For a moment I thought it was Scholes, and United probably wish it was.
Fabio runs onto a ball from Rooney after good work from Giggs. Cech forced to come out and block the danger..
Darren Fletcher imploring his side to get going.. but they do look tired.
Torres misplaces another pass. £50 million? Not impressive tonight.. but there's still five minutes left.
Cech needs to come and meet a corner, second time the ball comes in he's able to catch it.
Zhirkov now forced to defend. That would have been quite a goal if it had gone in...
Really open game now. Chelsea using attack as a form of defence, but they can't commit too many players.
Ramires charges down the right, gets his cross in and Drogba is there, but the ball is deflected over the bar.
Probably more luck than judgement there..
What a block from Vidic. Zhirkov hammers a volley in and the ball flies between his legs to come off the post.
Fabio comes on for Evra
Corner for Chelsea...
Chelsea powering forward again... Vidic now comes across and clears as Torres moved in the box.
Nani finds Luiz in the way again.. he's been in top form.
Now what have United got? Is that the penalty to save Chelsea's Champions League hopes?
Chelsea turn it around and Van der Sar nearly got a huge hand on it, but it's in the back of the net.
GOAL Lampard scores. High into the roof of the net!
It was messy and the Russian ran through after the ball went through Smalling's leg... Lampard to take.
PENALTY! Smalling brings down Zhirkov...
Rooney slots a great ball to Evra down the left, but the defender's cross finds only Cech's hands.
Torres takes it and fails to spot the run of Essien. He eventually chips it towards him, but it's a poor pass.
Luiz tripped Rooney as he was running to get on the end of a pass and he really should have been booked there. Hero to villain.
David Luiz celebrates with Didier Drogba after netting the leveller
Luiz needs to be a lot better in those situations.
Rooney stands up Luiz in the box. He turns his man and unleashes a shot into the body of Cech, who palms it away.
Essien in the book after he lost the ball.
What a waste. Bodies in the box and Drogba chooses to shoot high and wide.
Chelsea line up a free kick. It's Drogba now, from a long way out...
Corner comes in and Ivanovic is there, it arrived at knee height and he just could not direct it goalwards.
Drogba picks it up in space and runs at the United defence. His shot flies behind for a corner and he gestures to the crowd to get behind his side.
Malouda off, Zhirkov comes on.
Berbatov on for Hernadez and Giggs equals Bobby Charlton's record by coming on for Scholes.
Excellent ball from Evra, but Luiz shows great anticipation to come across and snuff out the danger.
Terry powers down the left, but just overhits his pass to Malouda and the ball runs out of play.
Berbatov stripped and ready to come on...
Drogba slots the ball through to Torres who is hanging on the shoulder of Smalling. He's just offside though, as he runs through on goal.
O'Shea gets the better of Malouda again. The Frenchman has not looked the same force as he did at the start of the season.
Two heavy tackles, one from Ramires, one from O'Shea. No whistle.
Malouda tackles Smalling and can get through, the defender gets back as the winger is bearing down on goal and chance goes. That should have been taken by Malouda.
Both sides are showing themselves more than capable of getting the goal...
Rooney breaks down the left, he passes to Nani who evades Luiz and sends it back to Rooney. Running through on goal down the left, he gets it across the face of goal and no-one is there...
Rooney slots the ball home, but the flag is up. He was just offside.
The ball comes in, too far for Torres, but he claims it on the edge of the box and tries to curl a shot. It flies well over.
Hernandez hammers Malouda on the break. That could have been dangerous but he couldn't get it out of his feet.
Carrick cuts inside, and hits a shot, but it deflects wide and out for a throw.
Anelka comes off, Drogba comes on.
David Luiz clatters into the back of Rooney.
Cesc Fabregas on Twitter: David Luis is looking to be a very good player and still only 23. Hes got class. Defenders playing well with the ball always my favourites.
Anelka, who hasn't been in the game much, tries a shot from miles out but it deflects into Van der Sar's hands with ease.
Drogba warming up on the sidelines now... he's ready to come on.
Luiz is getting roundly applauded everytime he goes for the ball. An instant hero.
Evra on the ball and he looks ok, although gives the ball away to Luiz. Scholes gets it, but Luiz chases him down and even Torres puts in a sliding tackle.
Hernandez is down after being hit by Luiz, and Rooney has caused some anger by keeping his foot in on Cech. Getting a little feisty now.
The Chelsea crowd are really singing now. Just what the game needed.
Fabio and Rafael warming up, as Evra looks hurt. Your guess is as good as mine over who they both are.
Who would have bet money on Luiz to open his Chelsea account before Torres?
Evra now down injured. Not quite sure how he managed to sustain that.
What a finish. The ball came in, and United failed to clear. Evra was dragged inside and Luiz hammered it home at the near post after waiting for it to drop.
GOAL David Luiz hammers it home! The equaliser has come!
Chelsea building an attack and they force a corner. Lampard swings it in, but it doesn't find a blue shirt.
Wayne Rooney fires United in front
Van der Sar wasting time already after a knock down. United will be happy with 1-0.
Great work from Evra down the left, the ball breaks and Rooney picks it up. He curls it, trying to get it in the top corner, but it flies wide.
Torres wins a throw. He's haring around the pitch and looks like he wants to make an impression.
Lampard is lining it up. Long way out... The ball skids along the turf and Van der Sar gathers with ease.
Scholes takes down Anelka in the middle of the park. He never could tackle.
Torres could have got on the end of a loose ball there, but was sitting on his heels. United defending deep, so there may not be many more chances.
United are sitting back and inviting pressure. They look to be ready to counter attack with the pace of Nani and Rooney. Soaking up the Chelsea moves at the moment.
Carrick chips the ball in and it's just too high for Rooney to get his head on.
David Luiz getting forward well, but no he's out of position and Rooney can break for United.
Chelsea with all the possession so far. Knocking it around nicely.
And here we go...
Wayne Rooney celebrates his goal.
If you've got ESPN UK, make sure you're watching Reading against Everton. The Royals are currently winning.
Looks like Mr Drogba might be coming on for the second half.
Ryan Giggs is approaching his 20-year anniversary. What a player.
A late rally for Chelsea in the last few minutes but United have been largely untroubled after an efficient display. Chelsea have looked anxious and have been clearly second best. 45 minutes to save their season?
That's half time.
...Cole takes the free-kick to the sound of jeers of United fans, as it goes harmless over the bar.
Vidic is booked for a cynical hack on Essien, who was making space to shoot on the edge of the box. Chance for Lampard perhaps?
Lampard threads a ball through to Malouda who peels into space on the left but he slices his cross as Van der Sar watches is sail high over his bar and into the disapproving crowd.
United can breathe again.
Astonishing miss by Chelsea! Lampard goes straight for goal with the free kick, as Van der Sar fumbles it to Ivanovic. The Serbian musters an effort from close-range but Nemanja Vidic is there to clear the ball from under his own crossbar.
Chelsea have United stuck in their own half as Torres wins a cheap free kick off Evra on the right. Chance for Chelsea to get the big men up from the back and a ball into the box...
United get everyone behind the ball again as Chelsea's counter-attack slows into a laboured period of possession in the United half. But they still have United pinned back...
Chelsea continue to toil as they search for a goal back before half time but they are looking one-dimensional and lacking any invention in attack at the moment.
Stat: That was the first goal that Wayne Rooney has scored from outside the box in the Premier League since Feb 2008 v Newcastle. Arrow.
It can't be said that goal wasn't deserved as United have dominated the last 20 minutes or so. Nani, Rooney and Hernandez have given the Chelsea defence a torrid time in this first half.
GOAL Chelsea 0-1 United That goal's been coming. A pass from Nani finds its way to Wayne Rooney 25 yards out and he takes a touch before firing hard and low beyond Cech, just inside the left-hand post.
Darren Fletcher bursts into some space behind Ashley Cole on the left wing and his tantilising ball towards Hernandez at the far post is cut out by David Luiz, who has now just been floored after Evra's shot left him winded.
United definitely playing the better football here though. Chelsea have struggled to compete in midfield since their early flourish. Ramires yellow card isn't helping their cause either.
United force a corner but Nani's ball in is plucked from the sky by Cech, despite pressure from Smalling.
Rooney tries to dribble his way past David Luiz on the edge of the box but the Brazilian is having none of it and clears his lines.
Rio Ferdinand on Twitter: Nani with the kind of delivery that has a forward licking his lips just there!
Rooney is penalised for shoulder barge on Ramires after what he thought was a foul against him wasn't given. Silly boy.
Fletcher and Carrick doing a wonderful job of pressing the Chelsea midfield in this first half.
Rooney fluffs his header after Nani did well to cross from the left. David Luiz was slightly out of position as the ball sailed over his head, but Rooney mistimed his jump and the ball bounces harmlessly wide for a goal kick.
United are doing a better job of keeping the ball at the moment, despite struggling to do too much with it.
Chelsea counter attack and the ball eventually finds it's way to Nicholas Anelka in a similar position on the field to the one from which he scored against FC Copenhagen. But the Frenchman was under pressure from Vidic and dragged his shot wide of the far post.
Big chance for United! A slick move involving Hernandez then Evra ends with Evra playing the ball across the face of goal to Rooney, who was trying to get to the far post for a tap-in, but he couldn't get there in time. Evra could, and probably should, have shot there.
Ramires is booked for Chelsea after an over exuberant challenge on Michael Carrick.
Another chance for Chelsea! This time it falls to Essien after a strong run from Malouda down the left. Malouda played the ball inside to Essien but the ball got stuck under the Ghanian's feet. He eventually got a shot away but it was just wide.
Humourous cries of "shoot" every time Ashley Cole gets the ball.
It's been a full-blooded start to this one as Ashley Cole clatters into Michael Carrick.
Nani claiming handball but it was Terry's chest.
End to end stuff here as Nani gets another chance after getting away from Ramires, but the brick wall that is John Terry blocks Nani's shot with his chest.
Chance for Chelsea! The ball breaks to Malouda on the edge of the box and the Frenchman fires the ball low and hard but too central and van der Sar gathers.
Torres and Vidic tussle for the ball but Torres is penalised by the referee for yanking Vidic back with a hand on the Serbian's shoulder.
A whirlwind start here.
At the other end, Nani puts in a low cross for Hernandez from the left but Terry blocks the Little Pea's path to the ball and Cech gathers.
Torres bursts into space on the left wing and his low cross is turned behind by Vidic for an early Chelsea corner.
So United get us underway at Stamford Bridge.
Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti: "It's very difficult for us to close this gap, it will be very difficult to come back and Manchester United can decide their destiny. But we want to finish in the top four, this is our aim."
United, meanwhile, field an unchanged team for the first time in 165 matches. Yes, 165 matches! Interestingly, Hernandez retains his place in the starting line-up ahead of Dimitar Berbatov. Shows you just how highly the pint-sized Mexican is rated by Sir Alex Ferguson.
Drogba is on the bench.
Chelsea make just one change from the win over Copenhagen, with David Luiz - ineligible for Chelsea in the Champions League - coming back in for Bosingwa.
MAN UTD: Van der Sar, O'Shea, Smalling, Vidic, Evra, Fletcher, Carrick, Scholes, Nani, Hernandez, Rooney.
Subs: Kuszczak, Brown, Berbatov, Giggs, Fabio Da Silva, Rafael Da Silva, Gibson.
CHELSEA: Cech, Ivanovic, David Luiz, Terry, Cole, Essien, Lampard, Ramires, Anelka, Torres, Malouda. Subs: Turnbull, Drogba, Mikel, Bosingwa, Zhirkov, Kalou, McEachran.
Let me waste no further time in bringing you the latest team news...
So this could quite possibly be a defining night in the Premier League title race. If Chelsea can snatch a win, their season will be well on the way to being back on track. But a United win could all but wrap up the title by March 1.
Hello everyone, Michael Da Silva here for what should be an absolute cracker between Chelsea and Manchester United at Stamford Bridge.
Check out John Brewin's preview of a game which should have taken place the week before Christmas.
Ancelotti and Ferguson will not be so chummy once the two teams line-up at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday.
Join us at 1945 GMT to see if Manchester United can move seven points clear at the top of the table - or if Chelsea can do Arsenal a big favour.
John Mikel Obi
Edwin van der Sar