Man U’s mission fails at Chelsea
Written By: Robert Halter
Without their main strike force of Robin Van Persie and Wayne Rooney the odds were staked against Manchester United with the Red Devils boss, David Moyes yet to win a tactical battle against Blues manager, Jose Mourinho, having already lost four of his seven encounters while in charge of Everton although Man U started in an attacking mode as Danny Welbeck exchanged passes with Ashley Young and it took a strong block by Petr Cech to prevent Young giving the Red Devils an early lead. But it was the Blues that struck gold in the sixteenth minute, when Jonny Evans headed the ball out and from long distance, Samuel Eto’o sent a curling strike that took a cruel deflection off Michael Carrick, before the ball bent past David De Gea into the left side of the goal. Five minutes later, Eden Hazard cut inside the left section of the penalty area and it took a saving intervention from Evans to stifle the Blues forward play. After Gary Cahill lost the ball out on the right flank in the twenty seventh minute, Patrice Evra tried to seize the initiative for the Red Devils but his speculative effort crashed into the left side netting. But ten minutes later, Welbeck should have levelled the score but fluffed his lines from close range for a comfortable pick up by Cech, after Adnan Januzaj had produced a perfectly measured square pass. An ambitious scissors kick sailed over from Oscar, after Hazard gave Eto’o the chance to cross in the forty first minute. But just before the break, Eto’o struck again to round off a perfect Chelsea move, as Ramires was the driving force inside the United half, and from Cahill’s low right wing cross, Eto’o tucked the ball past De Gea. It was game over on forty nine minutes, as Eto’o completed his hat trick by stabbing the ball in from a yard out, as he latched onto the rebound off De Gea from Cahill’s header, after a well taken corner by Willian. The Red Devils reacted by changing Evra for Chris Smalling before switching Young for Javier Hernandez. Chelsea then later changed Oscar for John Obi Mikel. But United did pull a goal back in the seventy eighth minute, as Welbeck found Phil Jones in the area and he toe poked the ball in the box, with Hernandez the quickest to react as he applied the finishing touch from close range. The match winner Eto’o was then replaced for Fernando Torres, who later picked up an injury and also new signing Nemnaja Matic made his welcome return to Stamford Bridge as Willian was taken off. United’s day was made even worse in stoppage time as referee Phil Dowd gave the Red Devils captain, Nemanja Vidic a straight red for his two footed lunge into Hazard while Rafael escaped the same fate by picking up a yellow for his reckless challenge on Cahill. The result left the title challenge of the reigning champions Manchester United in tatters while Chelsea kept up their chase with Manchester City and Arsenal at the top of the leader board.