Writer: Red Boy
Date:Wednesday April 6 2011
United won at Stamford Bridge for the first time in ages to put one foot in the semi-finals thanks to a strike from Rooney.
Sir Alex Ferguson probably pulled off something of a surprise with his starting eleven. Ferdinand returned from injury, displacing Smalling at the heart of the defence, Ji-Sung Park held his place in the centre of the park and Hernandez was chosen to partner Rooney up front. Van der Sar who missed the trip to Upton Park with a groin problem returned between the posts.
United - Van der Sar, Rafael, Ferdinand, Vidic, Evra, Park, Carrick, Giggs, Valencia, Rooney, Hernandez
Subs - Kuszczak, Berbatov, Smalling, Nani, Scholes, Evans, Gibson
United weathered an early spell of Chelsea pressure that saw a dangerous looking Bosingwa ball in cleared and a Drogba shot fly high and wide. Slowly United started to get a hold on the game but could make nothing out of two quick corners.
Just past the halfway mark in the first half United took the lead when a superb cross field ball by Carrick was brought down, immaculately, by Giggs who curt inside his marker to set Rooney up with the easiest of tap-ins from ten yards out.
Chelsea 0 United 1 (Rooney - 24 minutes)
United looked to be in control and our hosts were losing possession too easily. But as the half approached a conclusion United had to rely on a little bit of luck. Drogba engineered a half chance and Torres, unluckily, saw his shot strike the post before Evra did extremely well to clear a Lampard effort, from the rebound, off the line.
United resilience saw shots from Lampard and Bosingwa blocked and our lead was preserved as the half time whistle sounded.
Half Time - Chelsea 0 United 1
Sir Alex kept faith with the eleven that had earned us the first half lead and had o weather an early Chelsea surge. Rafael had to leave the field of play after clashing with Drogba and Nani came on to replace him with Valencia dropping into the full back role.
Our hosts poured forward in the second half but without really testing Van der Sar. Perhaps the nearest they came was when Torres arched his neck to test Van der Sar with a header after a decent Ramires cross.
United didn`t need to push forward although Nani tested Cech with a shot But, as is always the case when we play at Stamford Bridge we had to survive a penalty appeal in stoppage time when Evra caught Ramires in the area. Was it a penalty? Quite possibly but don`t these things even themselves out over the season, well that`s what Rio Ferdinand suggested!
Wembley beckons, or at least a semi-final against Schalke 04!
Date:Wednesday April 6 2011
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