19/01/14 Reverse order Timestamp format
I intend on being transparently and wholeheartedly biased this afternoon as United romp to an impressive away victory. Let's do the business at The Bridge. Come on United.
Here are today's line-ups;
Chelsea: Cech; Ivanovic, Cahill, Terry, Azpilicueta; Ramires, David Luiz; Willian, Oscar, Hazard; Eto’o
Subs: Schwarzer, Cole, Mikel, Matic, Lampard, Mata, Torres.
Manchester United: De Gea; Rafael, Evans, Vidic, Evra; Valencia, Carrick, Jones, Young; Januzaj; Welbeck.
Subs: Lindegaard, Giggs, Smalling, Hernandez, Cleverley, Fletcher, Kagawa
Referee: Phil Dowd
Fantastic news that Rafael features, despite rumours otherwise. Also great to have Señor Jones back fit.
Peculiar inclusion of Ashley Young, but I'll reserve judgement until he whips in several consecutive mediocre crosses.
Januzaj in behind Welbeck again. Bizarre that he hasn't opted for Kagawa in the number 10 role, and Januzaj instead of Young out on the flank (as worked so well during the second half vs Swansea.) But hey ho, in Moyesey we must trust.
Game is underway.
Nice start by Carrick, who looks sharp immediately. MUFC passing nicely.
Welbeck and Young exchange passes and Young fires off the shot from 12 yards out. Cech saves comfortably
Adnan forces a corner, Ashley Young doesn't bypass the first man with his attempted cross.
United have started the more sprightly here. Adnan overhits pass to Welbeck, but Danny manages to keep the ball in play.
Valencia cuts inside, cleared for a United corner.
Adnan whips ball in with pace, but to no avail.
Eto'o appeals for a foul by Evra, but ref dismisses it.
United retain possession in own half. Ramires brings down Valencia, free kick awarded.
Valencia with a cheeky touch onto the oncoming Rafael, but Terry heads the cross clear. United managing to manufacture some decent openings in first ten minutes.
Adnan tackling back. He literally "can do anything", that lad, as the ditty asserts.
Luiz employing an American Football-esque block on Phil Jones in the midfield.
Ramires breaks away with the ball, but fails to gain any purchase on the strike. Collected by DDG
Oscar, to Hazard, to Willian. Willian shoots, to no avail. That's the Chelsea triumvirate the Reds must be mindful of this afternoon.
Chelsea beginning to retain possession in midfield. United pressing, not affording Chelsea time and space. Culminates with Young impatiently bringing down Oscar by tapping his heels.
As an aside, Vidic is sporting lurid Orange boots. Surely this sort of garish attire contradicts every ideal Nemanja represents?!
Goal: Chelsea 1-0
Weak defensive header by Evans. Eto'o picks up the ball, sells Jones a fairly cheap dummy and fires the ball (via a significant Carrick deflection) into the top corner.
David Luiz cynically clatters into Valencia on the touch line adjacent to the United bench. Mourinho can't see what all the fuss is about.
Evra 1-2 with Young, tackled by Ivanovic, out for a corner
Vidic heads the ball back into the area but comfortably gathered by Cech.Cech immediately dispatches ball to set Chelsea on the counter. Thwarted.
Prior to the goal, United appeared the more threatening. Chelsea now more assertive with the momentum.
Hazard breezes past both Rafael and Vidic. Cross cleared by Evans.
Corner flashes across the goal, but isn't met by a Chelsea player (mercifully)
Hazard and Cahill play a neat 1-2 but Hazard's cross is disappointing (from a Chelsea perspective.)
Terry makes Adnan aware of his presence by bringing him down 35 yards out. Average free-kick delivered by Young
David Luiz blocks Rafael. Luiz has evidently morphed into an American footballer today
Chelsea break away. Ramires out wide right to the oncoming Ivanovic, who overhits the cross
Valencia, having joy against Azpilicueta, whips in a floated cross. Cleared by Ivanovic at back post
Carbon copy transpires a minute later
Evra to Januzaj inside the Chelsea box. Bit overelaborate from Adnan, and nothing materialises.
Oscar tries to meg Evra, but fails. Evra breaks clear down Chelsea's left, and fires off a thunderous shot, straight into the side netting
Hazard sprints down United left. Evades Jones, but not Nemanja.
Adnan forced off the ball by Ramires. Oscar set free, but the shot is rather tame and travels well wide
Januzaj outfoxes/outmuscles Luiz, and sprays a wonderfully-teasing cross into Chelsea box. Alas, nobody is present to slot the ball home
A bit sloppy inside United's half. Ultimately, United win the free kick through Valencia
Welbeck misplaces a 5-yarder to Toni. Bit sloppy here, but we certainly aren't being outplayed.
Welbeck wins back ball, United back in Chelsea half.
Evra concedes possession and compels Young to thwart Ramires, rather cynically. Dowd brandishes the yellow card.
Bit of uncultured head-tennis ensues for a minute or so.
Januzaj from the left threads a ball across Chelsea box. Ball gets stuck under Danny's feet, hampering his ability to gain much purchase on the shot. Cech gathers the ball, and Danny remonstrates with Dowd regarding Azpilicueta's use of force.
Luiz and Jones clash heads. Jones the first to rise to his feet. If he's going to endeavour to impose his will on this game, Jones probably isn't the man Luiz wants to test.
Januzaj cheekily megs Ivanovic to an on-running Evra. Inside Chelsea box, Evra lays ball inside, attempting to find Welbeck, but cleared.
Adnan cuts inside onto his right foot and attempts a shot.
Chelsea break, from left to right, Willian to Hazard. Eto'o shot gets deflected onto Oscar, who fires over with a speculative bicycle kick. United let off the hook there.
Gary Neville mentions the absence of Rooney and RVP. It does feel particularly conspicuous today.
Chelsea win a free-kick 20-yards out. Luiz and Oscar stand ominously over the ball.Last minute of the half, this would be disastrous.
Ball deflected out for a Chelsea corner.
Welbeck clears Willian's corner at the front post. Ball finds its way out to Ramires, who (far too easily) slots the ball through to Cahill. He places ball across the goal to Eto'o, who dispatches with relative ease. Far too much space available to Chelsea.
Goal: Chelsea 2-0 United
Hopefully Moyes will make some positive substitutions.A situation that is surmountable, especially for United, though it's harder to feel positive about our chances in light of this season's form.
As I alluded to pre-match, I'd definitely substitute Young for Kagawa, and put Adnan out left (where he's looked most threatening all afternoon.) Put Kagawa in number 10 berth, where he should've started.
Sky showing replays of the Welbeck incident. Glenn Hoddle (who sounds like Celebrity Big Brother's Lee, from Blue) vehemently refutes a penalty, even though there's a blatant case for it. Cheers Glenn
We definitely haven't offered enough moving forward, and look far too over-reliant on Adnan. But, we certainly haven't been outplayed. We could've arguably had a penalty, and two instances of hapless defending have undone us.
Hallmark of top sides (like Chelsea) to win when not playing particularly well. Signature of mediocre sides to not get the rub of the green.
Second half commences. Team remains unchanged.
Oscar runs aimlessly wide but manages to find Eto'o inside United box. Eto'o forces a corner off Vidic.
Chelsea corner results in an Eto'o hat-trick. Cahill loses Evans, heads towards goal, parried by DDG right into the path of Samuel, who slots home with ease.
Goal: Chelsea 3-0 United
Camera pans to Moyes; arm-crossed, disgruntled expression. Smalling replaces Evra. Rafael switches to left-back, Smalling to right-back
Odds on Chelsea 3-4 United anyone?!
Ah, go on then, I'd settle for a draw.
Valencia tries to thread through Smalling on the right. Cleared by Ramires
Adnan attempts to weave his way through a sea of blue shirts but is dispossessed. The lad can't do it all himself
Eto'o still sensing more goals in this for him.Hernandez replaces Young. Baffled as to why Ashley started today, and as expected, he offered little. But he can't be made a scapegoat for today
Hazard, back to Willian, to Eto'o to Ramires. Under pressure from Rafael, shoots over the bar
Hernandez out to Valencia, sprints 40 yards to receive the return ball. Hernandez subsequently whips across a lovely ball from the right, but nobody present to meet it. Great impetus from Chicho, and United need to build on that type of energy.
Willian picks the ball up inside the United half and gets off a decent shot, but right into the ever-trustworthy arms of DDG.
Chicho dropping deep for the ball again. He's desperate to inject some life into what's becoming a lifeless performance.
Rafael and Adnan link nicely on the left, cross from Rafael cleared from Azpilicueta.
Ball finds Oscar, to Hazard, whose shot is deflected for a Chelsea corner
Smalling marking Cahill on this occasion (not sure how much difference that will make...refer to Kompany header at the Etihad a couple of years ago)
Welbeck pick pocketed by Oscar in United's half. Nothing comes of the Chelsea attack.
Chicho comes seeking the ball again. Crosses into a box filled with Blue shirts.
Oscar replaced by Mikel
Calamitous sequence. Smalling crosses, Cahill clears, hits Ramires and has Cech sprawling.
Welbeck meets a lovely out-swinging corner and heads wide.
Cech engages in a spot of showboating, much to the dismay of José.
Ball finds its way out to Adnan on the left, who teases in another cross
Chicho's passion in this second half has been exemplary.
G Nev alludes to the fact that this United side requires 2/3 signings minimum, though (disconcertingly from a Red perspective) questions whether they'll occur in January.
Abramovich shown giggling with his über-affluent pals. The nights out they must have.
United fashion ball out wide left, but Rafael's cross doesn't threaten. Insipid offence from United
Chicho, prisoner to his own zealousness, concedes a foul on Hazard.
Roy Hodgson an onlooker in the crowd (cue Cleverley jokes.)
Sat directly in front is Ed Woodward. Is it me, or does he look like the younger, slightly more gormless brother of Ian Hislop?
And so the revival begins.
Goal: Chelsea 3-1 United
Chicho has thoroughly deserves his goal. Good interchange between Valencia and Welbeck, who surges into the box and finds Jones, whose shot is met at the back stick by Hernandez
Chelsea guilty of switching off there, cruising at 3-0.
Valencia needlessly concedes the free-kick as Azpilicueta cleans up at the back
Chicho threads through a pass to Welbeck, ball intercepted. United pressing forward now with promise
Adnan crosses from the left, but to no avail. Collected by Cech
Torres (who replaced hat-trick man Eto'o) is on the field by the way.
Rafael and Adnan still fighting for possession down the left-hand side
United seemingly looking to Adnan to produce something at every available opportunity. Hernandez drops deep yet again and fizzes a lovely cross-field pass to Smalling, who helps ball back across the goal. Unchallenged, Terry clears the danger.
Ramires crosses from left, cleared by Rafael. United goal kick.
Mikel bundles over Rafael in halfway line. Free-kick
Chelsea's attractive physio tends to a grounded Torres.
Carrick finds Smalling with a 40-harder, Smalling finds Hernandez, who heads goal wards. Easily caught by Cech
United play ball neatly out of defence, as 4 mins injury time is indicated. It doesn't seem to inspire much of a lift from the travelling Reds.
Carrick threads ball into Chelsea box, but defended with ease. Chelsea break away, and Vidic catches Hazard with a needless challenge just inside United half. Refs brandishes the red card, which on review, does seem harsh.
A moment which encapsulates United's frustration today.
Ivanovic down under the challenge of Rafael at the back post.
Rafael's two-footed tackle is met with anger by Chelsea players.
Ref awards yellow card.
Full-time is signalled by Phil Dowd.Chelsea 3-1 United.