Chicharito's controversial late goal proved the difference as Manchester United took advantage of two second half red cards against Chelsea to win 3-2 at Stamford Bridge
Manchester United won a wild match at Stamford Bridge that saw them squander a two-goal lead only to take advantage to two red cards against Chelsea to win 3-2 on a 75th minute offside goal by Chicharito.
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 Valencia, 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 dominated the final 15 minutes of the half, putting a ton of pressure on United who simply couldn't get the ball out of their end. Their frustration, or at least 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.
Chelsea started the second half like they finished the first half and wasted little time equalizing. Juan Mata chased down a ball close to the end line on the right side, turned and sent the ball back across goal to Oscar on the left side who's cross in to the center of the box was headed past De Gea by Ramires who'd made a great late run in to the space left by the United defenders.
Just when Chelsea looked in total control, a great pass by Van Persie sprung Ashley Young who was brought down outside the box by Branislav Ivanovic, earning him a straight red for denying a goal scoring opportunity. There wasn't much contact on the replay but Ivanovic likely knew what he was doing and Young certainly knew what he was doing to make sure he went down in a heap. The bottom line is that it was a foul and the right call on the play.
Chelsea were reduced to nine men a few minutes later after Mark Clattenburg harshly booked Fernando Torres for simulation, despite contact from Jonny Evans. It was Torres' second yellow card and thus, he was sent off leaving the Blues in serious trouble for the final 20 minutes.
United took advantage in the 75h minute. Petr Check made a great initial save, but the ball was cleared off the line right to Rafael who fired the ball on goal where it was redirected in by Javier Hernández. Adding to Chelsea's frustration with the officials, Chicharito was in an offside position when the Rafael made contact.
Clattenburg blew his whistle to end the match after five minutes of stoppage time as a vitriolic chorus of boos rained down from the Chelsea supporters. They certainly had a legitimate complaint considering the second red card was suspect and Chicharito's match winner was offside.
This is the first league loss of the season for Chelsea and allows United to move within a point of the Blues at the top of the table. It's also United's first Premier League victory at Stamford Bridge in a decade.