Manchester United versus Chelsea – Second half review: UEFA Champions League (Part 2)

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Rickie Fowler

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  • Manchester United versus Chelsea – Second half review: UEFA Champions League (Part 2)

Manchester United were pushed on the back foot by Chelsea after Didier Drogba’s half time introduction as in the 59th minute, Patrice Evra was booked by the referee for his off-the-ball block on the powerful Ivorian striker. As a result, the referee awarded Chelsea a free kick in a fantastic position near the Manchester United penalty area. It was Drogba who stepped up to take the free kick himself but his effort which was aimed at the far post was palmed away by Edwin Van der Sar in Manchester United’s goal.

In the 61st minute, Manchester United launched an attack of their own as Javier Hernandez carried the ball forward for the home side. Hernandez skipped past John Terry but he was brought down by Michael Essien. Nonetheless, the referee ushered the play onwards as Manchester United played in Wayne Rooney. The Englishman found himself in a one on one situation with Frank Lampard just outside the Chelsea penalty area but the former West Ham midfielder pulled the Manchester United striker down to the ground as the referee awarded the Red Devils a free kick.

It was Luis Nani who stepped up to take the free kick for United but his delivery into the Chelsea penalty area was comfortably cleared away by John Terry. Shortly after, Chelsea threw Solomon Kalou into the fray after Carlo Ancelotti decided to bring off Nicolas Anelka. After impressing in the first half, Anelka was particularly subdued in the second half as he was marked out of the game by Michael Carrick.

 In the 67th minute, Chelsea had a wonderful chance to draw level at Old Trafford as Alex rose high above his peers to connect with Didier Drogba’s cross but the Chelsea defender was wayward with his header’s direction as the score line remained at 1-0. Drogba was fantastic in the build-up play to Alex’s header as he forced his way past Evra before whipping in the cross.

In the 68th minute, Manchester United almost scored their second goal of the night as Chelsea were caught on their heels following Luis Nani’s spectacular effort on Petr Cech’s goal. Luckily enough for the Blues, their goal keeper was on hand to push the ball out of play for the Red Devils’ corner kick. In the 70th minute, Ryan Giggs had a golden opportunity to make it two goals to nil at Old Trafford but somehow the Welsh winger mistimed his header from Wayne Rooney’s cross as Cech collected the ball calmly inside his six yard box.

In the 71st minute, disaster struck for Chelsea as Ramirez was shown his second yellow card of the match for his late challenge from behind on Luis Nani. It was a foolish challenge by the Brazilian midfielder who was already on a yellow card and thus he was given his marching orders by the referee as Chelsea were reduced down to ten men. In the 76th minute, Chelsea equalized thanks to a wonderful through pass from Michael Essien for Drogba. The Ivorian striker took the ball on his chest and then dispatched it past the despairing Van der Sar to make it 1-1 at Old Trafford despite his team’s numerical disadvantage.

Regardless, Manchester United struck back with ruthless efficiency in the 77th minute as Ryan Giggs led their counter attack. The veteran midfielder had the vision to pick out Park Ji Sung inside the Chelsea penalty area who made no mistake with his left footed finish as the score line reached 2-1 at United’s home stadium. After Manchester United’s second goal, Chelsea looked like a lost outfit. They were obviously deflated due Park Ji Sung’s strike but their lack of energy meant that the match ended in Manchester United’s 2-1 win on the night and 3-1 win on aggregate taking into account their one goal win from the first leg at Stamford Bridge.

Both of Manchester United’s goals in the second leg were assisted by Ryan Giggs. The first one came in the first half through Javier Hernandez’s tap-in whereas the second one came through Park Ji Sung’s fine finish following Drogba’s goal for Chelsea.

 

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