Sunday, 19 January 2014

Chelsea vs Manchester United - LIVE Second Half:

Clash: Two of the best teams in England go against each other in the final match of the weekend.

Interesting encounter: Managers Mourinho and Moyes go head-to-head for a vital 3 points.
Hello and welcome to my latest blog post, where I have LIVE Commentary in the late afternoon kick-off between 3rd placed Chelsea and 7th placed Manchester United. 

Both teams are desperate for a win, with The Blues looking to put a massive dent in United's title aspirations with a comfortable home win against the defending champions - even though United have been playing inconsistently, Chelsea have not yet reached top quality form but are easily able to finish off opponents with one or two flashes of attacking brilliance. 

Unfortunately, due to unforeseen circumstances I have been unable to commentate or publish any of the first half of the game - but I will be able to have analysis and commentary of the second half...

Here are the team line-ups:

Chelsea: Cech, Ivanovic, Cahill, Terry, Azpilicueta, Ramires, Luiz, Willian, Oscar, Hazard and Eto'o. 

Subs: Schwarzer, Cole, Lampard, Torres, Mata, Mikel and Matic. 

Manchester United: De Gea, Rafael, Evans, Vidic, Evra, Jones, Carrick, Valencia, Januzaj, Young and Welbeck. 

Subs: Lindegaard, Giggs, Smalling, Hernandez, Cleverley, Fletcher and Kagawa. 

Referee: Phil Dowd (Staffordshire) 

HALF-TIME:

Chelsea 2 Manchester United 0 
The favourites to win this match are comfortably ahead at half-time, when they probably should not be. A brace from former Barcelona and Inter Milan striker Samuel Eto'o gives the hosts a 2-0 lead going into the break.

Deflected strike: Eto'o scored with a deflected strike to make it 1-0 in the 17th minute. 

Tap-in: Eto'o made it 2-0 just before half-time after a pass across by Gary Cahill
FACT: Eto'o has now scored 5 goals in the EPL this season, and 7 in all competitions.

Under-fire opposition manager David Moyes will be pondering what exactly has gone wrong with his team today who have not played badly so far but have been taken advantage of on the counter attack.

17:03 - The referee has blown his whistle to kick-off the start of the second half at Stamford Bridge, with no substitutions for either side. 

50: GOAL! Sloppy marking and poor defending from United yet again from a corner sees Eto'o take advantage to tap past De Gea after he parries.. to make it 3-0. 

Chelsea supporters go completely mad with excitement as their team go 3-0 up against the defending champions.

51: It goes from bad to worse for United, with left-back Patrice Evra being forced off with an injury knock that he is unable to shake off;

Patrice Evra OFF
Chris Smalling ON

56: Valencia is booked for a cynical trip on full-back Cesar Azpilicueta, while Hernandez replaces Ashley Young in an attacking move to try and get United back into the game. 

63: Chelsea looking dangerous on the counter attack, with Oscar and Hazard running at the United defence with the latter having a deflected strike fly over the bar for a Chelsea corner. 

64: Nothing comes of the corner as United clear the ball out only for Chelsea to box them back into their own half.

66: Chelsea are preparing a sub, with defensive midfielder John Obi Mikel recieving instructions from Mourinho and the fourth official as he inspects his boots and shirt before he is allowed to come onto the pitch. 

67: Chelsea SUB:
Oscar OFF
John Obi Mikel ON

A case of fresh legs for Chelsea, with Oscar being given a warm reception after working hard both on the counter attack and defensively to shut out any potential United threats throughout. 

68: United get lucky with a corner, after Cahill's attempted clearance hits the back of Ramires and bounces out for a corner, which Adnan Januzaj whips well into the box for Welbeck whose attempted header is wide of Cech's goal. 

70: The visitors starting to press Chelsea for a goal again, with good link-up play on the flanks between Smalling and Januzaj either side, troubling Cech and Cahill while Hernandez gets in-behind the defence to press Cech who luckily keeps hold of the ball with a neat but bold piece of skill.

Lucky: Cech does well to keep the ball as Hernandez presses, close footwork for a goalkeeper! 
77: GOAL! A well-worked United goal with just over 10 minutes to play, with super sub Javier Hernandez scoring a tap-in from 6 yards out after good build-up play between Jones and Welbeck on the far side. Some of the Chelsea players put their hands up for an offside call, but the linesman kept his flag down and the goal counts.
Chelsea look slightly worried now... 

FACT: Hernandez has now scored 7 in his last 10 appearances against Chelsea.

78: Chelsea almost instantaneously make a substitution:
Samuel Eto'o OFF
Fernando Torres ON 

Warm reception for Eto'o, who has done well making the most out of virtually no chances - a hat-trick out of nothing... decent game.

82: United continue the pressure, with Januzaj drilling a cross into the box, but goalkeeper Petr Cech jumps highest to comfortably catch the ball and stop the danger. 

85: Chelsea SUB:
Willian OFF
Nemanja Matic ON 

Matic makes his second debut for Chelsea with 5 minutes to play following his £21million move from Benfica, replacing Willian who has caused havoc on the flank for the United full-backs.


88: Striker Fernando Torres limps off the pitch uncomfortably with the Chelsea physio with a knock, the hosts down to ten men momentarily...

90: The fourth official signals for 4 minutes of stoppage time at the end of the match, 4 minutes for United to score 2 goals... can they do it? 

90+1: Hazard goes on the counter attack with close control dribbling near the centre circle with many United players not back - Vidic goes in for a challenge and it is strong... Hazard goes down and looks in pain.

The referee runs towards Vidic, takes a card out of his pocket and it's a STRAIGHT RED CARD! United down to ten men for the remainder of the stoppage time period at the end of the game, as if it could not get any worse.

It was a reckless challenge from the United skipper, but with such little time left you would have thought it would be a yellow card at worst... Vidic looks in disgust and surprise as he walks down the tunnel with some Chelsea stewards.

90+4: Yet another reckless challenge from United, with full-back Rafael going in two-footed on Gary Cahill near the touchline, Jose Mourinho is not happy while Rafael is given a yellow card.

Replays show he was late and did not win the ball - probably should have been a red card if Vidic's challenge was a straight dismissal.

FULL-TIME:

Chelsea 3 Manchester United 1

90+5: The referee blows his whistle to end the match at Stamford Bridge, with 3rd Chelsea capping off an impressive display to beat the defending champions 3-1 at home, keeping pressure on pace setters Arsenal and Manchester City.