Simon Banks will be remembered for this match for a particularly egregious oversight. Didier Drogba's goal which was the difference between a tie and a win was clearly offside.
United was clearly not in the game in the first half. On the other hand Chelsea were calm, composed, and efficient. Florent Malouda who has become about as important as Didier Drogba to Chelsea's title aspirations provided a typically muscular move down the left flank batting aside the Utd defense as he laid a pass across goal which was finished off sweetly by Joe Cole's clever backheel.
It was not till the 60th minute that Man Utd started buzzing swamping Chelsea with crosses and entry passes that came tantalizingly close but not unable to close the deal. It took Nani and Kiko Macheda to break the logjam. A hint of a handball but the Italian continues to burnish his credentials as the next Ole Gunnar Soljskaer. Game on.
The game was heading to a nerve wracking finish with Man Utd supporters exhibiting various modes of acting out but Chelsea introduced Michael Ballack, the grim reaper to close down shop. They did so effectively as they saw the last 10 minutes out in relative comfort.
Big blow to both Man Utd and Arsenal's chances to now win the Premiership title. They are not yet out but it has become a lot more difficult. Hopes rest on a crucial match at Anfield when the Blues come visiting.
Wayne Rooney was sorely missed. In his place, Dimitar Berbatov who continues to exasperate. He was there but as his wont, not quite there. With two slot strikers, the Man Utd attack kept drifting back with no one filling the void up front. Service was not an issue. A particularly defining moment was when Ryan Giggs cleverly lofted a pass late in the game. Clearly, a striker of Rooney's directness would have belted the volley past Cech but Berbatov tamely surrendered to the Chelsea goalkeeper. He was the most disappointing player on display. I don't see Man Utd holding onto him much longer.