Football: Manchester United beat title rivals Chelsea in an eventful clash at Stamford Bridge. In so doing, Alex Ferguson’s men inflicted upon nine-man Chelsea their first league defeat of the season.
Striker Javier Hernandez scored the winning goal after Chelsea came back from conceding two early goals. However two Chelsea players, Branislav Ivanovic and Fernando Torres, were both sent off in the second half, allowing their opponents to take the victory.
Chelsea began the match disastrously. David Luiz put through his own net with four minutes gone after Robin van Persie’s shot lashed off the post. The Brazilian defender was helpless to stop the ball ricocheting off him and over the goal-line.
The visitors’ second goal, however, owed much to the sharpness and ingenuity of United’s forward line. With the pressure being piled on Chelsea, Antonio Valencia collected a ball on the right wing before delivering a low, accurate cross into the penalty area. Chelsea’s defenders were unable to intercept the pass. The ball was slammed home by van Persie.
Juan Mata pulled a goal back, his fourth of the season, with a stunning curling free-kick shortly before half-time to leave the match tensely poised heading into the interval. Ramires added his side’s second on 53 minutes, a close-range header, to pull Chelsea level. For the first time in the match it seemed that they would regain their composure and begin to dominate their opponents.
However it all fell apart for the league leaders shortly after this. Branislav Ivanovic received his marching orders on 62 minutes when he brought down Ashley Young after the winger raced onto a through ball.
Seven minutes later Fernando Torres was dismissed for a second yellow card following suggestions of a dive from the Spaniard in a bid to win a free-kick.
With Chelsea manager Roberto di Matteo hastily re-arranging his troops the visitors took the lead through Hernandez, who flicked the ball in from close range despite looking like his was in an offside position.