United Prevail On A Day Of Scoffed Chances

There were four goals, a missed penalty and some rash tackles but it was Fernando Torres who grabbed all the headlines for the wrong reasons after Chelsea’s 3-1 loss to Manchester United at Old Trafford. Torres did manage to find the net for only the second time in a Chelsea jersey but with a host of missed chances, he was the laughing stock of United’s fans at the end of the day.

United prevail on a day of scoffed chances

United prevail on a day of scoffed chances

Ferguson, as anticipated, put out a different squad from the one that travelled to Portugal in midweek with Hernandez finding his place alongside Rooney while Fletcher and Anderson were given the responsibility to man the midfield. Meanwhile Chelsea missed the services of Didier Drogba up front while Sturridge was given a start ahead of Nicolas Anelka.

Chelsea had the first shot of the match with De Gea parrying off a Ramires shot with his legs but it was United who took the lead in the eighth minute. Ashley Young floated in a freekick over the Chelsea defenders only for Chris Smalling to bury his header into the far corner. This prompted a quick response from Chelsea who dominated possession for the next phase of the game.

Anderson’s mistimed pass found Torres who found himself one on one with the goalkeeper but the Spaniard dragged his shot wide. Chelsea continued attacking with De Gea looking untroubled while handling an Ivanovic header while Lampard slashed his volley wide. But the biggest chance in the half came when Torres found himself onside and rolled the ball across the goal but Ramires’ stretched shot was wonderfully saved by De Gea. With a number of chances going astray, Nani took the only one that he got. After collecting Johnny Evan’s pass, Nani penetrated through the Chelsea defence and struck a stinging shot even before anyone realized it. The ball flew past a helpless Cech and into the top corner.

With this goal, United found immediate confidence and this was evident just before half time when Phil Jones charged forward into Chelsea’s box. Terry’s clearance could only find Nani as the ball bounced off him into the path of Rooney who calmly slotted the ball past Cech.

3-0 at halftime!!

If the Red Devils thought they had the match sealed, then they were wrong as Chelsea pulled one back after only 30 seconds. Nicolas Anelka, replacing Lampard at half-time, provided a killer pass to Torres who smartly found the net for only his second goal since joining Chelsea in January. Juan Mata forced De Gea into another save but Ferguson’s boys should have had extended their lead when Nani broke onto a Rooney pass and charged into the area and his shot struck the crossbar. He managed to hold onto the rebound only to be brought down in the box by Bosingwa.

Rooney stepped up to take the spot kick and after having done no wrong this season, he slipped at the wrong time to smash his kick high and wide. With the game breaking into the next gear, Ferguson introduced Carrick and Valencia for Anderson and Smalling while Andre Villa Boas brought on Romelu Lukaku for Daniel Sturridge. Torres was always threatening to double his tally as he smashed a rebound over De Gea. At the other end, the woodwork saved the visitors for the second time as Rooney’s weak shot hit the post and as Hernandez smashed the rebound into the side netting as Ashley Cole came out with a lunging tackle on him. Hernandez limped off as he was replaced by last season’s top goal scorer Dimitar Berbatov.

The highlight of the game, though, came in the 83rd minute as Torres found himself alone in the box with De Gea. The striker rounded of the goalkeeper and after doing the hard work, inexplicably shot wide of the open goal as he sunk to his knees as it captured Chelsea’s story of the day.  United had a chance to extend their lead as Rooney unselfishly played in Berbatov whose weak shot was cleared off the line by Ashley Cole.

United held on to make it five wins out of five for their best start to a season since 1985 to strengthen their lead at the top of the table while Chelsea were left ruing their missed chances as Villa Boas tasted his first loss as Chelsea boss.

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Monish Menon


Hi, I am Monish Menon from Hyderabad and currently working at Franklin Templeton Investments as a Compliance Business Analyst. Sport has always been my passion since I was a kid and I invest all my non-existent free time by watching, playing, writing and analyzing various sporting events across the world. Apart from being a diehard Manchester United fan and a Ferrari supporter, I believe that Roger Federer is still the best tennis player and Sachin Tendulkar is God. I play club cricket and I also am a part of my organization’s cricket and football squad. Being such a sports fanatic, writing about it is something that came naturally to me and I am glad that I got an opportunity through thesportsmirror.com to share my thoughts with the rest of the world. For other articles written by me, you can visit my blog at www.monishmenon.wordpress.com


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