8th May’11 – Manchester United edge closer to their 19th Premier League title after beating Chelsea 2-1 at Old Trafford. United are now 6 points clear to their nearest rival Chelsea with only 2 games remaining in the season. One point from the final two games against relegation-threatened Blackburn next Saturday and Blackpool on the final day of the season will be enough to seal a championship which will take them past the mark Liverpool have been on for so long.
It was definitely a title decider with Chelsea only 3 points behind United. Sir Alex Ferguson made 8 changes in the starting line up from Schalke Game and put his strongest team forward. Chelsea needed to chase the game as they had to win to be in the race of the title. But United were in the lead before everyone in the stadium got settled.
Just 36 seconds on the clock, Ryan Giggs began the move, stroking a short pass forward for Park Ji-sung, who played Javier Hernandez through beating a diving leg from David Luiz and the Mexican finished the move driving pass a low shot pass Peter Cech. This was Mexican’s 20th goal of this season who was just brought on by Sir Alex before the season in $6Million. There was a banner stating – Giggs tearing you apart since 1991. And that’s what he did to Park this time around.
More opportunities were created by the likes of Rooney, Park and Valencia but the second goal came from a short cornor taken by Giggs to Park. Park played the ball back to Giggs and he crossed the ball which was met by Nemanja Vidic’s header on the far post. Manchester United was looking like a team on a mission to close this game before half time. Chelsea created some opportunities but were denied by Edwin Van Der Sar who is retiring at the end of this season.
Chelsea made 2 changes at half time and brought on Fernando Torres at the hour mark. The changes brought the reaction Ancelotti was looking for though as Ivanovic climbed highest to reach a Ramires cross and headed down for Lampard, who prodded home from close range. United should have snuffed the visitors’ lingering hopes out immediately though as Hernandez nicked possession away from Ramires and seemed to have presented Rooney with a tap-in, only for Alex to slide across to make a crucial goal-line clearance.
Rooney created 3 more chances for himself but just couldn’t go on the score sheet. The final Whistle was greeted by the biggest cheer of this season as players started celebrating on field with Sir Alex Ferguson jumping with his assistant coaches. It appeared that he turned 18 again and was full of joy as he was about to win his 1st premier league title. Maybe that’s the attitude and hunger which is keeping him going till now. United have earned 52 points out of the possible 54 points this season at Old Trafford and have definitely built a fortress there.
United know they could be celebrating history at Ewood Park next Saturday just as Manchester City are taking the field for their first FA Cup final in 30 years. The title is in Red Devils grasp now. 1point from either game and Liverpool cannot put the banner of 18 premier league title in Anfield from next season.
Hail United, Hail Fergie.
Final Score: Manchester United 2 – Chelsea 1
Javier Hernandez 1’ Frank Lampard 68’
Nemanja Vidic 23’