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Manchester United 1 Chelsea 1

Chelsea comeback to earn a well deserved point at Old Trafford.

The eagerly awaited clash between Chelsea and Manchester United produced a match that enthralled the watching nation. United had the better of a somewhat disappointing first half whilst Chelsea dominated the second half.

For the clash, Mourinho was able to announce a full strength squad with both Didier Drogba and Michael Ballack having recovered from the injuries sustained against Werder Bremen in midweek.

The first half was a half of few clear cut chances with the action, at times, being too frenetic for any individual to have any time on the ball to carve out a chance. Any chances that came either team`s way, in the early stages, were somewhat speculative, a typical example being when a Rooney header sailed well wide in the first minute.

Chelsea tried to get Drogba and Shevchenko into the action and one long ball in the seventh minute saw Van der Saar race out of his area to hack clear as Shevchenko looked to trace onto a loose ball. Ashley Cole, pushing forward on the left flank, fired in a cross that drifted just wide before United began to up the pressure.

First Cudicini had to claw away a Rooney cross before a Ballack handball gave Ronaldo the chance to try his luck from distance. Thankfully Carlo was up to the task and turned his shot over the bar. From the corner Rooney saw his shot charged down as the Chelsea defence pushed out.

However, just as you thought Chelsea had weathered the storm United took the lead. Chelsea`s forward play broke down and the ball was moved forward quickly to Rooney. The striker fed Saha and with Carvalho looking as if he`d covered all angles, the French striker curled a low shot pass the despairing dive of Cudicini.

Chelsea tried to respond but without any real conviction. Geremi was seeing a lot of the ball without delivering any telling crosses. Shevchenko saw a weak shot saved low down before Lampard forced Van der Saar to save low down with a rasping drive from twenty yards.

Drogba and Vidic clashed in an aerial tussle and Drogba was shown the yellow card. However, in all honesty, Howard Webb was doing a difficult job in a testing fixture. As the half drew to a close, Geremi saw an angled shot parried away by the keeper but it was to be United that went in at half time leading by that solitary strike from Saha.

The second half saw Mourinho make an instant change introducing Robben in place of Geremi with Essien switching to right back. Compared to the somewhat sterile first forty-five minutes, the second forty-five was to be an exhilarating affair.

Chelsea were to produce the sort of display that showed Manchester United that they are not ready to give up their Premiership crown. Slowly but surely Chelsea began to force United back, however, the home side were still to be dangerous as two searching crosses into the Chelsea six yard box provided two heart stopping moments as the Chelsea defence struggled to clear the ball.

However, it was to be Chelsea that were to pepper the United goal with chance after chance. Shevchenko and Lampard both fired over before Drogba threw himself full length at a Ballack cross only to see his header go wide. With United back pedalling Lampard found space to try his luck from range, one forced the keeper into a save whilst the over flew over. However, the tempo was being set.

Two corners were forced in quick succession, the first saw Robben deliver a cross that was easily dealt with before a Lampard corner, won after good work from Essien, was to give us a decisive moment. Carvalho out jumped Heinze to despatch a thumping header past Van der Saar. With the away support jubilant Scholes saw a long range effort deflected wide off of a prone Saha.

Mourinho introduced Joe Cole in place of a tiring Shevchenko as Chelsea went for the winner. Lampard saw another effort fly just over before Robben delivered a telling ball into the area only for it to race to safety with no Chelsea forward in sight.

Ferguson tried to shore up his team by taking off the injured pair of Ronaldo and Saha introducing Fletcher and O`Shea but it was Chelsea that were to have the final half chance when Makelele saw a long range shot fly wide. The late introduction of Ferreira for Ballack wasted valuable seconds and in all honesty the draw was the fair result. It leaves the race for the title wide open.

Team - Cudicini, Geremi (Robben), Terry, Carvalho A.Cole, Makelele, Essien, Lampard, Ballack (Ferreira), Drogba and Shevchenko (J.Cole)

Unused Substitutes - Hilario, Boulahrouz,

Scorers - Carvalho

Booked - Makelele, Drogba, A.Cole

Sent Off -Nil

Referee - Howard Webb

Attendance - 75,948




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The Journalist

Writer: Merlin Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Sunday November 26 2006

Time: 6:21PM

Your Comments (oldest first)

Change to most recent first
me mom didint let me watch the game. Wished we won.
d3
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26/11/2006 18:33:00

can't believe carvalho was'nt man of the match.why do we give teams a 45 minute start,it takes us to go a goal down to get our arse in gear.lampard was awful,he may score a goal now and then to get himself out of trouble but for me he can be mediocre a lot of the time.ballack was'nt great either.
springy
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26/11/2006 18:43:00

CARRICK - MOM - WHAT ARE THEY ON? I thought the game passed Frank by today although it must be said there was no time for anyone in a congested midfield.
merlin
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26/11/2006 19:26:00

Carrick MOM.....'i can't believe'. it had to be either Carvalho or Essien. Scholes had a good game.
Adilson
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26/11/2006 19:40:00

a draw was a good result for all other teams around them, especially arsenal, even though i can't see us catching chelsea or man u
PUREGOLD
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26/11/2006 19:48:00

Sky favour that Manc lot!
merlin
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26/11/2006 19:48:00

ha ha no carrick played better then all ur midfield 2day he deserved it
rooneyisgod
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26/11/2006 21:13:00

didnt see the game but i bet it was good
marshinrover
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26/11/2006 21:31:00

sounds lie a fair result with no side losing ground in the title race at the end of the day....
ernshaw
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26/11/2006 22:33:00

Carricks time was class.. Change those rose tinted specs..18 million for Carrick or 21 million for swp... SWP might start a trend of all your miserable players transferring to the IRONS.. Spartak were just not as good as Manure.. you were lucky.. and you know it
cusop
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27/11/2006 03:07:00

a point each a fair result. springy got it right, why do we always only come out firing after starting slowly? It nearly hurt us badly today. Not a good display really, Carvalho and Essien very good. Cusop, check the possession: 59 to 41 Chelsea's way. Yes, they had chances, but we did too. Should've made them count. JM was right a few weeks ago when he said we needed to take our chances. I'm now officially getting worried about Shevchenko. How many chances will he get given. Anyway, 10 points clear of Arsenal, only three behind the Mancunian's. Not a bad weekend in honesty.
dg147
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27/11/2006 04:50:00

I can't believe it either. The MOM should have been either ME or AC. ME kept Rooney in check. AC did the same against Ronaldo. I see some of you are disappointed with our start but I must say our players ARE humans. We would like that BUT you can't really expect them to do that all the time. Afterall, it's MU's home match. The focus was not to concede goal but it was a great goal by Saha. I think 1-1 is slightly undeserved. It should have been 1-2. I thought our second half was better than their first half. ME was supreme on the right and AC did marvellously on the left. I think to get 1-1 at OT, you really can't ask for more. If it was 1-2, it would have been a small bonus.
jogabonito
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27/11/2006 06:58:00

I am beggining to worry about Sheva, in a big match like this he was completely anonymous, Essien was fantastic stepping into the breach after Geremi disappointed. A fair result and it's race on. Just hope we can take the points at Bolton, they'll be on a real high after Saturday.
Westl
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27/11/2006 10:21:00

You lot blind!? Carrick was outstanding! His range off passing had you on the ropes for the whole 1st half!!
BaldyYid
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27/11/2006 10:47:00

Great game, two top sides Utd far the better of the first half and should have had the game sewn up, Chelsea dominated in the second half and I think all in all a fair result.
CCFCBLUE
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27/11/2006 12:09:00

I have no worries for Sheva and I thought Geremi had a good game. He wasn't sub because he played poorly, it was just tactical reasons.
jogabonito
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27/11/2006 12:58:00

i agree baldyyid and i think we were the better team we had the first half and they had the second but we had more chances in the second then they had in the first.
rooneyisgod
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27/11/2006 14:27:00

lookat the stats - you were a poor second!
merlin
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27/11/2006 16:51:00

Joga, did you actually watch the match? Every chance Geremi had to attack he gave it away or made a poor cross! Just when will you start worrying about Sheva?
Westl
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27/11/2006 20:56:00

I did. And I watch it again. To be fair, it wasn't that bad for Geremi and in comparison, AR lost more balls in DANGEROUS areas than Geremi. And Geremi had a fantastic shot at goal. I'm fine with him. As for Sheva, he played as well as he can at the moment. The instinctiveness between AS and DD is still no perfect but I reckon it will get better. I will be shocked if AS is dropped from the next few matches. He will play against Arsenal, Newcastle and Everton. One not-at-the-peak-and-getting-used-to-EPL Andriy Shevchenko is still a better choice than any out and out striker in EPL.
jogabonito
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27/11/2006 23:59:00

 

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