Chelsea’s second-half fightback stuns leaders Man Utd

Chelsea move into fourth place after condemning Man Utd to their second league defeat of the season

Martin Caparrotta
By Martin Caparrotta
Luiz (54) Lampard (79)
2 - 1
Rooney (29)

Chelsea struck twice in the second half as they came from behind to defeat Manchester United in a pulsating Premier League encounter at Stamford Bridge.

Frank Lampard fired in a 78th-minute penalty to put the Blues ahead after David Luiz’s fine volley had cancelled out Wayne Rooney’s first-half opener before Nemanja Vidić was sent off late on.

The result keeps keeps the Blues’ slim title hopes alive and hoists Carlo Ancelotti’s men into fourth place, 12 points behind the leaders with a game in hand.

Chelsea signalled their intent to restore pride in their disappointing domestic season from the outset.

Within three minutes Lampard thought he had put the home side in front only for referee Martin Atkinson to award United a free-kick after Luiz was adjudged to have fouled Vidić in the box.

Moments later Ramires released Nicolas Anelka down the right wing before the France forward’s low cross found Florent Malouda, who spurned the chance to put the champions ahead when he thumped his effort straight at Edwin van der Sar.

After having weathered the early storm Ferguson’s men soon found their feet. Wayne Rooney was unable to latch on to Patrice Evra’s teasing low pass across the face of goal from the left after the France defender had played a neat exchange with Javier Hernández on the edge of the Chelsea box.

And with the United charge gathering steady momentum, Rooney struck to break the deadlock after 29 minutes with a rasping 25-yard drive into the bottom corner of Petr Cech’s goal.

Chelsea’s best chance to draw level before the break fell to Branislav Ivanović when Van der Sar parried Lampard’s free-kick into the Serbian defender’s path.

But the Dutch goalkeeper’s imposing presence proved enough to prevent Carlo Ancelotti’s men from snatching an equaliser.

After a quiet opening to the second half it was Chelsea who seized the initiative seven minutes in.

On a night when Fernando Torres once again struggled in his quest to rediscover his goalscoring form it was the Blues’ other January acquisition who found the net.

Luiz, the 23-year-old Brazilian defender signed from Benfica for €25m, showcased his attacking prowess when he expertly volleyed home Ivanović’s flick to haul his side back into the game.

The Blues were revived by the leveller and the match swung fully in their favour after 77 minutes when Chris Smalling was adjudged to have brought down substitute Yuri Zhirkov as the Russia international burst into the area.

Lampard smashed the resulting spot-kick into the roof of the net to fire the champions into the lead.

And a bad night was made worse for United boss Ferguson when Vidić was dismissed in the dying moments after being shown a second yellow for pulling back Ramires on the edge of the box, ruling him out of Sunday’s trip to Anfield.

Chelsea boss Ancelotti sung his side’s praises after the win. “It was a good performance and we are still alive,” he said. “We played well, it was a very difficult game and we found a fantastic opponent but the team played really well to still go forward when we are losing 1-0.

“We kept going with strength, intensity and power in our performance. It was really good but if you don’t play well, you cannot beat Man United.”

Meanwhile, Ferguson slammed the referee over Chelsea’s spot-kick. “The penalty kick was so soft,” said Ferguson. “But we played very well. It was a great performance by us. We didn’t deserve that.

“That’s three years in a row (at Stamford Bridge) referees’ decisions have changed the game.”

Premier League table top five


MORE: The latest football transfer news

MORE: Meet the Premier League's most stylish footballers

MORE: Do you know the top Muslim footballers in the Premier League?

MORE: Man United latest news

MORE: Arsenal latest news

MORE: Chelsea latest news

MORE: Liverpool latest news

Rotterdam Open
The Sport Review
Roger Federer sweeps past Grigor Dimitrov for 97th title in Rotterdam: ‘It’s great to win this way!’
The Sport Review
Top 50 most stylish footballers in the world in 2017: Arsenal, Man United, Chelsea, Liverpool stars feature
The Sport Review
Top 40 Muslim footballers: Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool and Man United stars feature
The Sport Review
Top 25 footballers’ cars: Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool and Real Madrid players feature
The Sport Review
Top 20 Nigerian footballers in Premier League: Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool stars feature
The Sport Review
Arsenal player wages 2017: Do you know how much Xhaka, Ozil and Coquelin earn each week?
The Sport Review
Ian Wright ‘disgusted’ with Man United’s performance at Sevilla
Dubai 2018
The Sport Review
Dubai 2018: Konta falls in Round 2, but top seeds Svitolina, Muguruza and Pliskova reach QFs
The Sport Review
Paul Scholes raves about David De Gea’s performance in Man United v Sevilla