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 DowdJonathan Shrager
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.Jonathan Shrager
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 comfortablyJonathan Shrager
Adnan forces a corner, Ashley Young doesn't bypass the first man with his attempted cross.Jonathan Shrager
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.Jonathan Shrager
Eto'o appeals for a foul by Evra, but ref dismisses it.Jonathan Shrager
United retain possession in own half. Ramires brings down Valencia, free kick awarded.Jonathan Shrager
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.Jonathan Shrager
Adnan tackling back. He literally "can do anything", that lad, as the ditty asserts.Jonathan Shrager
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 DDGJonathan Shrager
Oscar, to Hazard, to Willian. Willian shoots, to no avail. That's the Chelsea triumvirate the Reds must be mindful of this afternoon.Jonathan Shrager
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.Jonathan Shrager
As an aside, Vidic is sporting lurid Orange boots. Surely this sort of garish attire contradicts every ideal Nemanja represents?!Jonathan Shrager
Goal: Chelsea 1-0Jonathan Shrager
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.Jonathan Shrager
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 cornerJonathan Shrager
Vidic heads the ball back into the area but comfortably gathered by Cech.Cech immediately dispatches ball to set Chelsea on the counter. Thwarted.Jonathan Shrager
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.Jonathan Shrager
Corner flashes across the goal, but isn't met by a Chelsea player (mercifully)Jonathan Shrager
Hazard and Cahill play a neat 1-2 but Hazard's cross is disappointing (from a Chelsea perspective.)Jonathan Shrager
Terry makes Adnan aware of his presence by bringing him down 35 yards out. Average free-kick delivered by YoungJonathan Shrager
David Luiz blocks Rafael. Luiz has evidently morphed into an American footballer todayJonathan Shrager
Chelsea break away. Ramires out wide right to the oncoming Ivanovic, who overhits the crossJonathan Shrager
Valencia, having joy against Azpilicueta, whips in a floated cross. Cleared by Ivanovic at back postJonathan Shrager
Carbon copy transpires a minute laterJonathan Shrager
Evra to Januzaj inside the Chelsea box. Bit overelaborate from Adnan, and nothing materialises.Jonathan Shrager
Oscar tries to meg Evra, but fails. Evra breaks clear down Chelsea's left, and fires off a thunderous shot, straight into the side nettingJonathan Shrager
Hazard sprints down United left. Evades Jones, but not Nemanja.Jonathan Shrager
Adnan forced off the ball by Ramires. Oscar set free, but the shot is rather tame and travels well wideJonathan Shrager
Januzaj outfoxes/outmuscles Luiz, and sprays a wonderfully-teasing cross into Chelsea box. Alas, nobody is present to slot the ball homeJonathan Shrager
A bit sloppy inside United's half. Ultimately, United win the free kick through ValenciaJonathan Shrager
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.Jonathan Shrager
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.Jonathan Shrager
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.Jonathan Shrager
Januzaj cheekily megs Ivanovic to an on-running Evra. Inside Chelsea box, Evra lays ball inside, attempting to find Welbeck, but cleared.Jonathan Shrager
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.Jonathan Shrager
Gary Neville mentions the absence of Rooney and RVP. It does feel particularly conspicuous today.Jonathan Shrager
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.Jonathan Shrager
Ball deflected out for a Chelsea corner.Jonathan Shrager
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.Jonathan Shrager
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.Jonathan Shrager
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 GlennJonathan Shrager
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.Jonathan Shrager
Second half commences. Team remains unchanged.Jonathan Shrager
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 UnitedJonathan Shrager
Camera pans to Moyes; arm-crossed, disgruntled expression. Smalling replaces Evra. Rafael switches to left-back, Smalling to right-backJonathan Shrager
Odds on Chelsea 3-4 United anyone?!Jonathan Shrager
Ah, go on then, I'd settle for a draw.Jonathan Shrager
Valencia tries to thread through Smalling on the right. Cleared by RamiresJonathan Shrager
Adnan attempts to weave his way through a sea of blue shirts but is dispossessed. The lad can't do it all himselfJonathan Shrager
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 todayJonathan Shrager
Hazard, back to Willian, to Eto'o to Ramires. Under pressure from Rafael, shoots over the barJonathan Shrager
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.Jonathan Shrager
Willian picks the ball up inside the United half and gets off a decent shot, but right into the ever-trustworthy arms of DDG.Jonathan Shrager
Chicho dropping deep for the ball again. He's desperate to inject some life into what's becoming a lifeless performance.Jonathan Shrager
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 cornerJonathan Shrager
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)Jonathan Shrager
Welbeck pick pocketed by Oscar in United's half. Nothing comes of the Chelsea attack.Jonathan Shrager
Chicho comes seeking the ball again. Crosses into a box filled with Blue shirts.Jonathan Shrager
Oscar replaced by MikelJonathan Shrager
Calamitous sequence. Smalling crosses, Cahill clears, hits Ramires and has Cech sprawling.
Welbeck meets a lovely out-swinging corner and heads wide.Jonathan Shrager
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 crossJonathan Shrager
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.Jonathan Shrager
Abramovich shown giggling with his über-affluent pals. The nights out they must have.Jonathan Shrager
United fashion ball out wide left, but Rafael's cross doesn't threaten. Insipid offence from UnitedJonathan Shrager
Chicho, prisoner to his own zealousness, concedes a foul on Hazard.Jonathan Shrager
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?Jonathan Shrager
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 HernandezJonathan Shrager
Chelsea guilty of switching off there, cruising at 3-0.Jonathan Shrager
Valencia needlessly concedes the free-kick as Azpilicueta cleans up at the backJonathan Shrager
Chicho threads through a pass to Welbeck, ball intercepted. United pressing forward now with promiseJonathan Shrager
Adnan crosses from the left, but to no avail. Collected by CechJonathan Shrager
Torres (who replaced hat-trick man Eto'o) is on the field by the way.Jonathan Shrager
Rafael and Adnan still fighting for possession down the left-hand sideJonathan Shrager
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.Jonathan Shrager
Ramires crosses from left, cleared by Rafael. United goal kick.Jonathan Shrager
Mikel bundles over Rafael in halfway line. Free-kick
Chelsea's attractive physio tends to a grounded Torres.Jonathan Shrager
Carrick finds Smalling with a 40-harder, Smalling finds Hernandez, who heads goal wards. Easily caught by CechJonathan Shrager
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.Jonathan Shrager
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.Jonathan Shrager
A moment which encapsulates United's frustration today.Jonathan Shrager
Ivanovic down under the challenge of Rafael at the back post.Jonathan Shrager
Rafael's two-footed tackle is met with anger by Chelsea players.Jonathan Shrager
Ref awards yellow card.
Full-time is signalled by Phil Dowd.Chelsea 3-1 United.Jonathan Shrager