Ahead of their decisive Premier League meeting this Saturday (which unfortunately collides with the FA Cup semi final between Arsenal and Reading), we’ve compiled a list of the 5 greatest clashed between Chelsea and Manchester United. There have been some fantastic matches between these two sides, particularly since the arrival of Abramovich and his financial backing, and the rivalry is showing no signs of abating. From Chelsea’s 5-0 demolition of United during in 1999 to Torres’ unbelievable open goal miss in 2011, these matches had it all. Let’s hope the match this weekend can emulate some of the former clashes listed here!
Manchester United 1-1* Chelsea (United win 6-5 on penalties), Champions League Final, 21st May 2008
We start off the list with the most dramatic and important match ever played between these two sides. The 2008 Champions League Final showed how strong the English game was at that point and lived up to the crazy hype. Ronaldo’s superb header was cancelled out by a typical Frank Lampard goal, whose late ran from deep allowed him to equalise. The game went to penalties and what ensued was unmissable viewing. When United finally won on penalties thanks to their heroics of Edwin van der Sar, two of the sides’ greatest ever players broke down in tears, albeit for different reasons; Ronaldo laid on the ground crying with joy, having just won his first ever Champions League after missing a potentially decisive penalty, whereas John Terry took to the floor sobbing, having missed the penalty that would have secured his and Chelsea’s first ever Champions League title. Take a look at how the drama unfolded here!
Chelsea 3-3 Manchester United, Premier League, 5th February 2012
A memorable comeback from United in a game that included a sensational volley from Juan Mata (when he played for the Blues), two controversial penalties awarded by Howard Webb, and an own goal…so nothing out of the ordinary for a Chelsea-United fixture really. Mata’s sumptuous volley doubled Chelsea’s lead after an Evans own goal, and David Luiz headed home to give the hosts a seemingly unassailable lead. However, in just 30 minutes (and thanks to some luck!) United managed to claw their way back and grab a deserved point. Retrospectively, it was a game that United could and should have won, and that may have seen them clinch the league title from City at the end of the season. But, without even knowing this at the time, it was still a classic clash that provided great entertainment.
Chelsea 2-3 Manchester United, Premier League, 28th October 2012
This top-of-the-table clash was narrowly won by Man United after another Hernandez goal (he loved to play against Chelsea!) and 2 red cards that reduced Chelsea down to nine men. Even though there were five goals, one of which was a sublime Juan Mata freekick from the edge of the area, all attention was on the red cards issued to Branislav Ivanovic and Fernando Torres. After booking him earlier in the game, Clattenburg gave Torres his second booking of the game and sent him off, much to the bemusement of the home fans.
Chelsea 5-0 Manchester United, Premier League, 3rd October 1999
A result that no one predicted. The same side who won the treble the previous year was outclassed in an embarrassing 5-0 defeat at Stamford Bridge, with Gus Poyet grabbing a brace. Nicky Butt was sent off for kicking out at Dennis Wise (how 90s Premier League can you get!?) at 3-0, which gave an air of predictability for the next two goals.
Manchester United 3-1 Chelsea, Premier League, 18th September 2011
And finally, we get to United’s 3-1 win at home over Chelsea. The game is mostly remember for goalmouth drama, yet none of the four goals scored were as memorable as Torres’ unbelievable open-goal miss. No words for this, just watch…