Sunday, 19 January 2014

Match Report: Chelsea 3-1 Manchester United

Samuel Eto'o showed that he is still the man for the big occasion by scoring a hat-trick as Chelsea beat Manchester United 3-1.The Cameroon international was a surprise inclusion in Jose Mourinho's starting line-up, while Fernando Torres dropped to the bench, but he kept Chelsea on the title trail with three well-taken goals. However, United's latest defeat leaves last season's champions struggling to secure a top-four finish this term. United started very brightly though and, in the third minute, Petr Cech was forced to make a good stop at his near post to deny Ashley Young who had played a neat one-two with Danny Welbeck to create the opening. When Chelsea finally launched their first attack in the 11th minute, Ramires' weak shot was safely gathered by David De Gea. Chelsea took the lead against the run of play in the 17th minute when Eto'o's left-footed shot deflected off Michael Carrick and looped over De Gea before nestling in the back of the net. Just past the half-hour mark, the lively Adnan Januzaj tricked his way past David Luiz and got to the byline but, when he pulled the ball back, neither Welbeck nor Antonio Valencia could tuck it home. In the 39th minute Welbeck could only fire straight at Cech when under pressure from Cesar Azpilicueta, and United were made to pay for that miss. Just before the interval, Oscar's acrobatic bicycle kick from ten yards out flew over De Gea's goal before Ramires sent Gary Cahill free down the right and the defender's cross was turned home from six yards out by the predatory Eto'o. Four minutes after the interval it was game over as, after Cahill's header from Willian's corner had been kept out by De Gea, Eto'o hammered home the rebound from all of two yards out. Although United substitute Javier Hernandez scored a late consolation goal, David Moyes' side were a well-beaten outfit and, to cap a dreadful afternoon for the visitors, Nemanja Vidic was shown a straight red card in stoppage time after hacking Eden Hazard down.

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