JOSE MOURINHO PRIMED his Chelsea troops to hunt Manchester United’s scalp and keep pace with Manchester City and Arsenal after their Saturday wins. Chelsea played 0 strikers up front at Old Trafford in the side’s scoreless draw earlier in the season but were set an attacking brief this afternoon.
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Full-time score below
15.57 – Welcome along to our liveblog of this top Premier League clash. Teams coming up. Nemanja Vidic looks up for the fight:
Pic: Sky Sports
Chelsea: Cech; Ivanovic, Cahill, Terry, Azpilicueta; Ramires, David Luiz; Willian, Oscar, Hazard; Eto’o.
Man Utd: De Gea; Rafael, Evans, Vidic, Evra; Valencia, Carrick, Jones, Young; Januzaj, Welbeck.
16.01 – KICK-OFF
16.03 – 2 minutes – United pressing in the opening stages but Valencia can get the cross delivered. Welbeck then links up with Young and the winger forces Cech into a diving save.
16.03 – 3 minutes – Corner for United. Vidic hangs at the edge of the box. A lot of jostling and Young can’t beat the man at the front post.
16.08 – 6 minutes – It is all United in the opening stages. Valencia makes a mug out of Azpilicueta but Ramires nips in to clear as the winger storms into the box along the byline. Januzaj playing as a second striker by the looks of it.
16.09 – 8 minutes – United have targeted Azpilicueta as a weak link and a nice flick from Valencia sets up Rafael for a cross but he can’t find a red shirt in the box.Januzaj tries a curler from 30 yards out but his shot is blocked.
16.12 – 10 minutes – Chelsea can’t get out of their half. Januzaj brought down on the left wing but his whipped cross is too shallow and is headed clear.
16.12 – 12 minutes – Hazard finds Willian who tries to test De Gea but his shot is deflected and loops up easily for the Spaniard to snatch.
16.15 – 14 minutes – Young has a nibble at Oscar’s ankles but Phil Dowd opts for a stern word rather than a booking. Eto’o is struggling to get into this game as he can’t control a long ball over the top.
16.17 – 16 minutes – Januzaj squeezed off the ball as Welbeck runs in behind the Chelsea defence. United’s bright start is fading as Chelsea opt to pass the life out of the ball.
16.18 – GOAL! Chelsea 1-0 Man United (Eto’o ’16)
Just as I say he is struggling to get into the games, Eto’o cuts inside Jones — far too easily — and scores a curler that took a wicked deflection over Dea Gea via Carrick’s right boot.
Samuel Eto’o opens the scoring.
16.20 – 19 minutes – Young’s corner has too much pepper on it but Vidic heads it back towards goal. Cech gathers under pressure from Evans.
16.23 – 21 minutes – Luiz has been booked for clattering into Valencia on the sidelines, causing some friction between Moyes and Mourinho.
Hazard ghosts past Rafael and Vidic but his pull-back bounces out off Evans for a corner. Terrible defending from United as the ball skids through low and would be a tap-in if Chelsea had a man centrally placed inside the six yard box.
16.25 – 24 minutes – Bodycheck from Luiz but he can claim he was standing his ground. Chelsea are a fine side on the counter-attack as they stream forward but Ivanovic puts too much on his cross.
16.27 – 26 minutes – Interesting tactics from Chelsea. They look to be content to invite United on before breaking at pace and in numbers. Almost like the away team.
16.28 – 27 minutes – Evra closes Oscar down and decides to have a ping at Cech’s near-post but it hits the side-netting.
United fans singing ‘Jose Mourinho, you wanted the job’. Many United fans may wish he got the job ahead of Moyes.
16.32 – 30 minutes – Januzaj makes Luiz look foolish as he runs rings around him. His cut-back evades Welbeck and Young and the chance is lost. That was screaming out for van Persie (injured), Rooney (injured) or Hernandez (bench).
16.33 – 32 minutes – Cosy spell of Chelsea possession ends with Carrick picking Willian’s pocket before Hazard fouls Valencia.
16.34 – Here’s that Eto’o goal:
YouTube credit: Bianca
16.35 – 34 minutes – Young booked for pulling Ramires back.
16.39 – 37 minutes – Welbeck with the best United chance so far. He squeaks off a shot just as Azpilicueta comes it and bumps him from behind. He complains but he did get the shot off before the clumsy challenge.
16.40 – 39 minutes – Luiz and Jones clash mid-air with the United man winning out. We have a drop ball after a stoppage in play and Chelsea say they will give it back but Ivanovic kicks it out for for throw in the United half. Moyes not impressed.
16.42 – 40 minutes – Januzaj — United’s best player — nutmegs Ivanovic to find Evra but the left-back can’t find a taker for his cut-back. Januzaj then has a curled effort blocked in the box.
Chelsea break and Oscar misses with a spectacular volley from eight yards out.
16.46 – GOAL! Chelsea 2-0 Man United (Eto’o ’44)
Disaster for United as they clear a corner (after a Luiz free is deflected). Ramires finds Cahill on the edge of the box and he finds Eto’o six yards out. He sweeps home Chelsea’s second.
16.48 – 47 minutes – Moyes looks shell-shocked on the sidelines. His team has edged it as a contest but where Welbeck and Young missed, Samuel Eto’o did not.
16.48 – HALF-TIME
17.04 – Second half KICKS OFF!
17.05 – 46 minutes – Early free in for United as Ivanovic jumps in on Young. Headed clear again. Pitiful delivery.
17.07 – GOAL! Chelsea 3-0 Man United (Eto’o ’48)
Corner whipped in, Cahill heads down but De Gea saves. Valencia stands watching as Eto’o, from a yard out, slams home.
17.11 – 52 minutes – It may be a case of damage limitation for United now as they could get tonked if they chase this game. Evra off and Smalling on.
17.13 – 54 minutes – United, if they are dreaming of a comeback, will need to get Hernandez off the bench and score a goal in the next five minutes. Yellow card for Valencia. Ah, here comes Little Pea.
17.18 – 58 minutes – United fans still singing in the away section. Pride really all that United (circa 2014) can play for.
17.19 – 60 minutes – Hernandez adding some much needed spark to United as Chelsea hold back in numbers and take the soft jabs.
17.20 – Here is Eto’o's second goal:
17.23 – 63 minutes – Hazard works out some space for a shot as he cuts in and this time Carrick’s deflection takes the ball up and over for a corner.
17.27 – 67 minutes – How low can United sink one wonders. This will be their seventh league defeat of the season. They will be six points back from Liverpool Spurs, who won 3-1 against Swansea today. Mikel on for Oscar.
17.28 – 69 minutes – Welbeck goes close with a header but it veers wide:
17.30 – 71 minutes – Cech is very lucky not to concede to Hernandez after doing a ‘Boruc’
17.33 – 73 minutes – United feebly knocking at the door here but, goalkeeping errors aside, don’t look like scoring. Smalling has got up well in support of Valencia since his arrival.
17.35 – 76 minutes – Here comes Fernando.
17.37 – GOAL! Chelsea 3-1 Man United (Hernandez ’77)
Welbeck hares into the box and pulls the ball back for Jones. His side-footed effort gets a touch from Hernandez and United have a goal. Eto’o off for Torres there too.
17.38 – 79 minutes – Snatching something from this game could transform United’s season but they are not the same team of old. Chelsea should see this out.
17.40 – Here’s a shot of that Hernandez goal:
17.42 – 82 minutes – Mourinho on course for his 100th league win as Chelsea boss. United trying to play with urgency but Chelsea are pressing them high up the pitch. Jones frustrated as he is whistled for a foul on Luiz.
17.44 – 84 minutes – Chelsea ready Matic for his second Chelsea debut. Welbeck forces a throw-in deep in Chelsea territory before Hernandez picks out Smalling with a beautifully drifted ball. The defender opts to square to NO-ONE rather than shoot.
17.44 – 86 minutes – Matic is on. Ramires is shut down on the right flank by makeshift left-back Rafael.
17.47 – 88 minutes – This game is nearly in the history books as a Chelsea win. The home side press and Matic has a swipe at the ball but his efforts careens wide. Moyes still carping about something on the sidelines.
17.48 – 89 minutes – Long ball from Carrick, headed towards the penalty spot by Smalling and Hernabndez directs it goal-ward but Cech gathers handily enough.
91 minutes – Four minutes of injury time as Carrick fizzes a ball towards Welbeck but it is cleared. Chelsea break and we have a RED CARD for Nemanja Vidic. Straight red.
17.51 – 92 minutes – Late challenge, foul intended but a straight red seems harsh. Hazard was the man chopped down. Irresponsible from the captain, who is now banned for three games.
17.53 – 93 minutes – Neville gives eto’o the man-of-the-match accolade. United’s best performer today was their fans. Chelsea players want Rafael sent-off for a two-footed lunge on Cahill. Got the ball but that’s not on from the Brazilian. Something not right with that lad.
17.54 – FULL-TIME
17.55 – The losses keep coming for Moyes. Hernandez showing a goalscoring instinct that Welbeck lacks. Eto’o proved he is not a spent force just yet. Four of the top five won and Liverpool drew so United are cut further loose. Cheers for the company and comments this afternoon.
Fulltime score: Chelsea 3-1 Man United