Date:Thursday November 5 2009
United visit Stamford Bridge on Sunday with the slim hope of getting something against in-form Chelsea. We are in bad form, we'll miss key players - and even history isn't on our side as we haven't been able to win at Chelsea since 2002.
Back then United were chasing an unprecedented fourth league title - as we're doing now - but Chelsea weren't title contenders, they were struggling to reach the last Champions League place. They ultimately failed to do so, not least to this game.
Though United were obviously the better team back then Chelsea had been preparing for the clash with confidence after beating United 3-0 at Old Trafford earlier in the season. We were chasing Arsenal, two points ahead with a game in hand while even Houllier's Liverpool were ahead of us in second place. The table looked like this:
1. Arsenal 72 (33 games)
. Liverpool 71 (34)
. Manchester United (34)
A defeat at Chelsea would have spelt the end of our slim title hopes and our worst fears looked set to come true as the Blues dominated the opening minutes. But United held firm then went ahead with an absolutely superb free-kick from Paul Scholes and from that moment on we never looked like losing.
Cudicini denied Van Nistelrooy on 21 minutes but 20 minutes later Solskjaer released the Dutchman once more and he rounded the keeper to slot into the empty net.
United were clearly enjoying themselves in the second half and only Cudicini kept the scoreline respectable for Chelsea but in the end Van Nistelrooy set up Giggs who, instead of crowning his own brilliant display with a goal, presented Solskjaer with an even easier finish and the rout was completed, the defeat at Old Trafford properly avenged.
Of the players playing that day, Lampard and Terry will certainly be on the pitch on Sunday while Scholes, Giggs, Brown and O'Shea (an unused substitute back then) might feature for United. But the circumstances are different, too: this time Chelsea are the better team and they are the main threat to our Premier League crown. To be honest, I expect a similarly one-sided thrashing like what we witnessed in April 2002 - but United will take the damage this time.
Date:Thursday November 5 2009
Is He Coming Back? (Thursday February 26 2015)
Blackett Pens New Contract (Thursday February 26 2015)
United Losing Pereira? (Thursday February 26 2015)
Old Trafford Still Scary? (Thursday February 26 2015)
Another Central Defender Linked (Thursday February 26 2015)
Which United Midfielder Has Shone This Season? (Thursday February 26 2015)
Sack Van Gaal? (Wednesday February 25 2015)
United - Best Defender So Far (Wednesday February 25 2015)
De Gea Exit Fears Eased! (Wednesday February 25 2015)
Substance Over Style? (Wednesday February 25 2015)
|2. Man City||26||16||7||3||31||55|
|4. Man Utd||26||13||8||5||18||47|
» Everton : 26/02/2015 22:07:00
|Pulis - Safety First Then We'll Take Stock
» WBA : 26/02/2015 20:27:00
|Allardyce Looks Ahead to Palace Game
» West Ham : 26/02/2015 17:42:00
|Noble Pens New Contract
» West Ham : 26/02/2015 17:27:00
|Audio - Allardyce on 2022 World Cup Scheduling
» West Ham : 26/02/2015 17:19:00