Chelsea took a decisive step towards securing the English Premier League by winning 2-1 at Old Trafford. In a dramatic match, Chelsea were deserved winners with goals scored by Joe Cole and Didier Drogba. Federico Macheda scored for United.
Despite comments to the contrary, Carlo Ancelotti left Drogba on the bench for this match, preferring to keep the same side for the first time in his Chelsea career. Coming off a 7-1 win, this was wise. United chose Scholes, Giggs and Gary Neville in the same side, a sign of the times.
Chelsea dominated the opening 45 minutes and when the goal game, it was of the sort of class Joe Cole is capable of, but seldom consistently shows. Malouda, the outstanding player of the match, drove towards the byline, shrugging off Valencia and Fletcher and leaving Neville in his wake. His cross was backheeled in at the near post beautifully by Cole.
Park had a penalty shout rightly turned down, whilst Anelka should have had a spot kick after a reckless shoulder charge from Neville. Paulo Ferreira of all people, nearly scored in the opening exchanges of the second half, only to poke wide.
Drogba, on for Anelka, made the points safe with twelve minutes remaining. Kalou, also on as a sub, made an incisive run through the middle, however Drogba was a yard offside when he picked up the pass and smashed it beyond van der Sar.
Nonetheless, justice was served as Macheda bundled in after Cech, uncertain for most of the afternoon, palmed a Nani cross straight into the Italian, who clearly handled the ball in scoring the goal.
Chelsea were thoroughly deserving of the win though, and have their noses in front heading into the final straight of this Premier League season.