CL - United 2 Chelsea 1 (3-1 on aggregate)
At an atmospheric Old Trafford it was Manchester United who ran-out as winners in this clash as two of the top teams in the Premier League went head-to-head in the Champions League.
Leading 1-0 from the first leg, courtesy of a Wayne Rooney goal, United knew that Chelsea would have to perform better than they had at Stamford Bridge. And fair play to the Londoners, they did.
Sir Alex Ferguson selected a starting eleven that contained only two changes to that which had won at Stamford Bridge with Nani and O`Shea coming in for Valencia and Rafael respectively. Our guests opted to return to a 4-3-3 formation with Torres preferred up front to Drogba.
The first half saw Chelsea edge possession without really testing Van der Sar. Some neat interchanges ensured Chelsea kept the ball but they looked to lack penetration. Possibly the one exception being when Lampard was presented with a decent chance but tried, unsuccessfully, to place it into the corner of the net when it was screaming to be hit hard.
As the first half moved into the latter stages United thought they taken the lad on the night when Hernandez netted, but an eagle eyed assistant had spotted that the Mexican was just offside and the goal didn`t stand. But, as the half approached its conclusion United were to take the lead.
The goal came about after an attack had been cleared but some clever movement of the ball saw it worked out to the right flank where O`Shea found Giggs and the Welshman delivered an inviting ball for Hernandez to finish with some aplomb. 1-0 on the night and 2-0 on aggregate, the half time whistle was greeted with some raucous cheering.
Knowing his side had it all to do, Carlo Ancelotti replaced the ineffective Torres with Drogba at half time and it was to be the Ivorian who was, eventually, to get the London side back into the match.
But, before Drogba weaved some magic, Chelsea lost Ramires after the young Brazilian received a second yellow card for a rash challenge. Playing against ten men it should have been a doddle but when Drogba collected the ball outside the area, chest it down and turned before firing past Van der Sar, the mood changed inside Old Trafford, but not for long.
With the visiting support still celebrating in the belief they had got back into the match United were to resume their lead, on the night, with a dramatic quick reply. Twenty-one seconds after conceding the goal, United swept forward and a clinical ball from Giggs was expertly dispatched by Park.
It was 3-1 on aggregate now and there was no way back for Chelsea. The dream of the treble is still on as we now await a two-legged Champions League clash against Schalke 04.
Vital Man United on:
Vital Man United on:
Join Vital Man United
It's easy to REGISTER HERE, simply click the link and enjoy getting involved!