MOTD – Manchester United 2-2 Chelsea

Chelsea have managed a draw at Old Trafford in the FA Cup Quarterfinals against Manchester United to force a replay at Stamford Bridge.  United started the game in control and maintained possession well, and scored just five minutes into the match in magnificent fashion.  Michael Carrick received the ball near the half-way line in Chelsea’s half, turned and hit a inch-perfect magnificent lobbed ball to Javier Hernandez, and Hernandez headed it over Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech into the far post, the ball just dipping down into the net.  United kept complete control of the match, and doubled their lead six minutes later in the eleventh minute.  Chelsea’s Victor Moses tripped Nani on the corner of the Chelsea box and referee Howard Webb awarded a free-kick.  Wayne Rooney took the kick and crossed it into the box, but the ball missed everybody and slid into the far side of the net to make it 2-0 just beyond the ten minute mark.

Despite already being 2-0 up, United kept up their dominance and almost scored in the twenty-fourth minute when Nani hit a low cross into the box for Hernandez, and Hernandez’s volleyed the ball to the near post, but his shot went just over the bar.  Just a minute later United had another chance to put the game to bed when Shinji Kagawa played the ball for Patrice Evra down the left.  Evra cut the ball back to Rooney in the center of the box and Rooney hit a first time shot, Cech doing well to save it to his left.  Cech could only parry the shot, and it fell to Chelsea defender David Luiz who bizarrely headed it back at his own net and Cech was forced to brilliantly tip wide.  Chelsea slowly felt their way back into the game and had a few of their own chances, but United still looked the better side.  Towards the end of the half, Chelsea started to get in a few promising positions, but they could not find the back of the net for the rest of the first half, and the half ended 2-0.

Chelsea started the second half much better than the first and started testing United goalkeeper David De Gea and pinning United into their own half.  Chelsea’s first good chance came in the fifty-eighth minute when De Gea had to push aside David Luiz’s dipping shot form twenty-five yards out. Only a minute later Chelsea substitute Eden Hazard got the Blues their first goal of the match when Juan Mata played the ball to him down the left.  Hazard took the ball up to United defender Rafael, and used the young Brazilian to block De Gea’s view of the shot he curled around Rafael from the edge of the box.  It worked perfectly and the ball flew into the top corner of the net to give Chelsea hope.

The Blues pinned United back in their own half, and got an equalizer in the sixty-eighth minute off a counter-attack.  Oscar played fellow Brazilian Ramires into space down the right and Ramires took the ball to the edge of the box and cut it across his body.  It looked like the chance was gone because United defender’s were closing in, but Ramires quickly curled a shot past De Gea and into the far side of the net.  In the final minute of the match Chelsea almost got a win and when David Luiz hit a perfect pass to Mata at the far post, Mata trapped the ball and pulled it back into the center of the box.  It looked like Chelsea would definitely score, but De Gea just managed to get a foot on Mata’s volley to tip it wide.  After two minutes of intense extra time, the match ended 2-2 with United holding on to force a replay.
Man of the Match:  Javier Hernandez

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