United wasted little time taking the lead after only four minutes, with a little help from David Luiz's back. Wayne Rooney made a great run in from the right and centered to Robin Van Persie whose shot slammed off the post and ricocheted off Luiz's back and past Petr Cech. You wouldn't have known by RVP's celebration that it was an own goal but he was excited so I guess we'll give him a pass.
RVP was at it again in the 12th minute. Antonio Valenica, a late replacement for Nani in the lineup, sent a low cross in the box that found van Persie all alone, eight yards in front of Cech. RVP, who'd totally beaten Gary Cahill on the play, easily buried the shot and put United ahead 2-0.
How bad was it for Chelsea? They didn't get their first official shot until the 24th minute, but it was nearly a goal. United gave a way a free kick from about 25-yards when Michael Carrick took out Ramires. David Luiz stepped up and sent his free kick past the wall, forcing a great kick save by David De Gea.
The Blues did improve late in the half, coming close a couple times including a near own goal by Jonny Evans, who put the ball off the post. In the ensuring chaos, Cahill got a header on target but it was stopped by De Gea's legs. Fernando Torres also forced a tremendous save from De Gea in the 42nd minute.
United simply couldn't get the ball out of their end and Rooney's frustration boiled over in the 44th minute as he took down Eden Hazard with a sloppy tackle right at the top of the penalty box. Juan Mata took the free kick and send a curling ball just inside the post and just over the diving glove of De Gea to pull Chelsea back within a goal right before halftime.
Fantastic stuff from Chelsea considering the way they started the game, should be a great second half.