Battle of Stamford Bridge: Manchester United clashes at Chelsea in the Premier League… the Top Five

By Scott Hunt

Old rivals Chelsea and Manchester United face off this weekend in what has been one of the standout matches on every Premier League calendar in many a year.

Games between the two have produced goals, controversy, red cards and even settled titles.

United travel to Stamford Bridge on Sunday to renew their hostilities with Jose Mourinho’s Blues, having won just one of their last 11 visits to Chelsea.

Matches between these two sides are never dull and have led to some of the most memorable games in Premier League history.

MM takes a look back at the top five standout clashes between Chelsea and United at Stamford Bridge in the Premier League era.

Chelsea 2-3 Manchester United, October 2012

United’s victory against table-topping Chelsea set the foundations for a famous Premier League win in Sir Alex Ferguson’s last season in charge, and was their first at Stamford Bridge since 2002.

Newly crowned Champions League winners Chelsea, who had started the season like a freight train under Roberto Di Matteo, were left furious with refereeing decisions as United left Stamford Bridge with all three points.

It was the Red Devils, battling to regain the title from neighbours Manchester City, who started the better team at The Bridge as they raced into a two goal lead inside twelve minutes through Robin van Persie and a David Luiz own goal.

Chelsea hit back either side of half-time through Juan Mata and Ramires to pull the game back to two all.

It was then that the game turned, as referee Mark Clattenburg dismissed both Branislav Ivanovic and Fernando Torres, to reduce Chelsea to nine men and leave the home crowd furious.

Javier Hernandez compounded the misery for The Blues by scoring late on and securing the win for United.

Controversy arose after the game as Chelsea accused referee Mark Clattenburg of racist abuse.

This was a fiery game between these two fierce rivals loaded with goals, drama and controversy. It is a game that will live long in the memory.

Chelsea 5-0 Manchester United, October 1999

Chelsea ended United’s run of Premier League games without defeat, which had stretched back to December 1998, in resounding fashion at Stamford Bridge.

It is fair to say this visit to the capital is one that Ferguson and his men will always remember – for the wrong reasons.

A car crash at the back from start to finish saw United leave humiliated after one of the most appalling displays in Fergusons 26 years at United.

With Massimo Taibi in goal it was hard to see any other outcome as Chelsea tore through United at every opportunity.

Gustavo Poyet opened the scoring as United’s Italian keeper wandered aimlessly to try and claim the cross, leaving Poyet with an unguarded net to give Chelsea the lead.

The tale of woe continued for United as Chris Sutton doubled Chelsea’s advantage and  Nicky Butt was sent off before the Blues went four up through Poyet and a Henning Berg own goal.

United’s new keeper Taibi continued to falter as Chelsea sealed a mauling with a fifth goal from Dan Petrescu – who fired his shot straight through the keepers legs.

This was a day of embarrassment for United and is their most infamous visit to Stamford Bridge in the Premier League era.

Chelsea 3-3 Manchester United, February 2012

United travelled to Stamford Bridge without a Premier League win at Chelsea in a decade and would leave without three points once more.

This time however they would leave with a draw that would feel like a win as Ferguson’s men battled back from three goals down to salvage a crucial point.

Chelsea looked all set to inflict a humiliating defeat on United as they went three up through an own goal from Jonny Evans and strikes from Juan Mata and David Luiz.

The game would turn on its head as referee Howard Webb awarded United two penalties – which were both converted by Wayne Rooney.

Hernandez grabbed a point for United six minutes from time leaving Chelsea boss Andre Villas Boas bemoaning the refereeing decisions and Ferguson lauding the spirit of champions.

Ultimately United would end the season empty-handed but this day at Stamford Bridge was to be a highlight of a disappointing season.

Chelsea 1-4 Manchester United, October 1995

This game represents one of United’s few resounding victories at Stamford Bridge and was inspired by the legendary ‘Class of 92’.

United ran riot early on and went two goals to the good thanks to a double from Paul Scholes.

Former Old Trafford hero Mark Hughes hit back for Chelsea before a comfortable win was secured by Ryan Giggs and Brian McClair.

The game was one of the first after the return of Eric Cantona from an eight-month ban for his kung-fu kick at a Crystal Palace supporter.

It was a win that would help United on their way to securing their third Premier League title and still stands as one of the Red Devils best performances at Stamford Bridge.

Chelsea 2-2 Manchester United, August 2002

Ryan Giggs hit his 100th goal for United as the Red Devils showed their title credentials by coming from behind twice to earn a point.

Chelsea had twice taken the lead through William Gallas and Boudewijn Zenden but United hit back on both occasions through David Beckham and Giggs.

This early season game would lay the foundations for United regaining their title from Arsenal – which would prove to be their last for three seasons.

Image courtesy of Jess Thompson via YouTube, with thanks.

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