EPL: Chelsea vs Manchester United - As it happened...
A Diego Costa stoppage-time equaliser helps Chelsea salvage a point after Jesse Lingard stunner almost give Manchester United win at Stamford Bridge.
— Premier League (@premierleague) February 7, 2016
90+7' Chelsea (Costa 90+1') 1 - 1 (61' Lingard) Manchester United: Substitute for United. Mata off, Ander Herrera on.
And the thrilling match at Stamford Bridge ended with a flurry of Chelsea attack.
90+2' Chelsea (Costa 90+1') 1 - 1 (61' Lingard) Manchester United: GOAL!!! Then the much needed drama. Diego Costa scored in the 91st minute. What a way to pull things back, in front of the home supporters.
88' Chelsea 0 - 1 (61' Lingard) Manchester United: Chelsea won a free-kick just outside the United box, on the top left. From the set-piece, Willian delivered a good ball, which was connected by a jumping Diego Costa header. But the ball just missed the target, sailing over the bar.
Sir Alex Ferguson watches from the stands, even as United continue to shield Blues attack.
87' Chelsea 0 - 1 (61' Lingard) Manchester United: Chelsea continued to press hard. But a long, directionless long ball ended their foray, for now. Goal kick to United.
In between, goal-scorer Lingard has been substituted. On now is Dutchman Memphis Depay.
84' Chelsea 0 - 1 (61' Lingard) Manchester United: Free-kick to Chelsea after Chris Smalling tripped a Chelsea player just outside the United box. Yellow card. Then another corner. But Willian failed to make much out the flag-kick.
81' Chelsea 0 - 1 (61' Lingard) Manchester United: Pedro's attempted cross field, low ball was block, resulting in a throw for Chelsea on the left. From there on, United goal-kick resulted in a little tussle for possession in the centre, which was won the Blues.
79' Chelsea 0 - 1 (61' Lingard) Manchester United: Costa continued to play out victim card, this time against his own team-mate Hazard, after missing a ball from the Belgian. He probably felt that the release was too pacey for his legs.
Then, the first caution of the match. Jesse Lingard booked for a lunging, late tackle to Branislav Ivanovic.
76' Chelsea 0 - 1 (61' Lingard) Manchester United: After surviving a Rooney drill, Chelsea launched their own attack with Hazard leading the choir. He was smart enough to release the ball after a couple of tricks against Borthwick-Jackson. But other United defenders were on the mark.
Then, Mikel almost caught Carrick with both feet in front. Luckily there was not contact.
73' Chelsea 0 - 1 (61' Lingard) Manchester United: With the onus now on Chelsea, the Blues have increased the pressing, and seemed to have affected the overall play. United have slowed down a bit.
Again, from an build up from the left left flank, Fabregas -- who was quite so far, produced a brilliant attempt. But de Gea was there.
70' Chelsea 0 - 1 (61' Lingard) Manchester United: Fabolous save. A flying de Gea denied Chelsea the equalier. Ivanovic, from a Azpilicueta cross which was deflected after a heading tussle, launched a left-footed volley.
But the Spaniard flown to his left to block it A corner to Chelsea.
68' Chelsea 0 - 1 (61' Lingard) Manchester United: Third and final substitution for Chelsea. Pedro on for Matic.
65' Chelsea 0 - 1 (61' Lingard) Manchester United: That goal reflects class as Lingard took his time to turn and produced the perfect hit, which kisses the inside of the left upright before meeting the net.
— Premier League (@premierleague) February 7, 2016
From the restart, Costa had a good run, which was thwarted by a tackle. The Chelsea striker pleaded for a penalty. Then, the goal-scorer once again found himself unmarked in front of the Chelsea box.
62' Chelsea 0 - 1 (61' Lingard) Manchester United: GOAL!!!! What a goal. Just terrific. Jesse Lingard produced a brilliant finish to beat Courtois and give United the lead.
59' Chelsea 0 - 0 Manchester United: Frightful sight. Second after the Hazard sub, his team-mate Kurt Zouma suffered a sickening blow. Possibly a broken leg. The Frenchman landed awkwardly he cleared a loose ball.
Stretchered-off. Sad sight.
Gary Cahill replaced him. The play was stopped for some four minutes.
54' Chelsea 0 - 0 Manchester United: Rooney picked out Martial, who was inside the Chelsea box. But the Frenchman failed to make proper connect, and from the deflection Lingard slammed hard, but Courtois produced a brilliant save. Corner to United.
Substitution for Chelsea. Hazard on for Oscar.
51' Chelsea 0 - 0 Manchester United: Two youngsters in Martial and Borthwick-Jackson top create the first real chance of the second half. From their build-up skipper Rooney had a long ranger at the goal, there, Courtois used his full body length to block the shot.
Moments later, Martial also tried on the goal, just missing the target. Mata was influential in that particular move.
47' Chelsea 0 - 0 Manchester United: Wayne Rooney did well to chest the high ball, but his touch was bit rough, and ball went into the hands of a jumping Courtois.
And Hazard was seen limbering up.
46' Chelsea 0 - 0 Manchester United: Second half underway at the Bridge, this time United starting from the centre. Willian, soon found himself in a vantage position with the ball, but he was late in releasing the ball for an onrushing Costa.
— Premier League (@premierleague) February 7, 2016
45+1' Chelsea 0 - 0 Manchester United: ONE MINUTE ADDED. And Terry, what a miss. Blind escaped his handball, in front of the goal, from a Terry volley, with a corner. United had a counter attack, but time has run out.
43' Chelsea 0 - 0 Manchester United: Zouma tested to the hilt by a charging Martial just outside the Chelsea box. From the counter attack, Willian -- after a good run -- found Costa. But the former Atletico Madrid striker missed the ball and a thumbs up for the long ranger.
Suddenly, United missed their chance -- a good one -- with Rooney finding himself rolling on the ground in chase of the ball.
41' Chelsea 0 - 0 Manchester United: Fellaini won the header from a Blind corner from the left, but his attempt was directionless. Moments ago, Lingard won a free-kick inside the Chelsea half, from then, they won the said corner.
38' Chelsea 0 - 0 Manchester United: Eyeball to eyeball with the linesman, Diego Costa -- man, you're some ... After running into Carrick, the Spain international challenged the linesman call.
37' Chelsea 0 - 0 Manchester United: First 25 minutes belonged United, and in these last 12 minutes, Chelsea are playing like champions.
35' Chelsea 0 - 0 Manchester United: Willian, what a run from the left. Great skills. The Brazilian toyed with Borthwick-Jackson, before releasing a good cross.
33' Chelsea 0 - 0 Manchester United: Once again, from a counter attack, Costa almost scored the opener. His attempt from the top of the box, just missed the far post.
Then, it's Chelsea all over United. A good spell of Chelsea.
27' Chelsea 0 - 0 Manchester United: That's some football. After surviving barrage of United attacks, Chelsea almost taken the lead. But a diving de Gea thwarted a brilliant Nemanja Matic jumping header from a corner from the left side.
Moments ago, Ivanovic outrun Martial to create the first chance, from a Fabregas release.
27' Chelsea 0 - 0 Manchester United: Finally, after 25 minutes, Chelsea won their first corner. Willian's delivery missed went out of play, over the byline with Blind the last man to touch the ball. But Michael Oliver, who is conducting a match at the Bridge after a long time, failed to read it and Diego Costa is furious. Angry man.
25' Chelsea 0 - 0 Manchester United: A series of corner kicks for United, from either sides. Some desperate defending for Chelsea. After the ninth flag kick, Oscar had a lonely run inside the United box.
22' Chelsea 0 - 0 Manchester United: Chelsea started to find the rhythm, even as owner Roman Abramovich watches from his private cabin. Willian, who has been the most effective player so far now, had a wild attempt. It sailed over the bar.
20' Chelsea 0 - 0 Manchester United: Darmian produced a timely tackle to deny Chelsea further inroads inside the United box from the right flank. Costa was flummoxed.
19' Chelsea 0 - 0 Manchester United: Anthony Martial is a gem, so thus Thibaut Courtois. The French striker produced a teasing long ranger, but the Belgian goalie was seeing it all. Just a tip, and save.
17' Chelsea 0 - 0 Manchester United: Chelsea, yet to settle in, are all over the place. Even the mercurial John Terry has found himself loosing the control.
But out of nowhere, Chelsea had a brilliant counter attack with Oscar and Willian setting the tempo.
15' Chelsea 0 - 0 Manchester United: From the preceding set-play, Rooney got a chance to volley, but his missed the ball to jeer of the crowd.
Moments later, Carrick had a go at the goal. Hit the target, and also the goalie.
13' Chelsea 0 - 0 Manchester United: Oscar found himself stranded inside the United half. Waste-full effort from Diego Costa to find his Brazilian compatriot.
Then, from the goal-kick, United won another corner.
11' Chelsea 0 - 0 Manchester United: The visiting team continues to press hard. Moments ago, Fellaini released a perfectly weighted pass for Darmian on the left flank, but Chelsea's Brazil player Oscar produced just the perfect sliding block to deny the cross.
And another corner. But to no avail.
8' Chelsea 0 - 0 Manchester United: Dieco Costa did well in the defensive line, conceded another corner. From the set play, Borthwick-Jackson had a long ranger, but Courtois had not problem under the bar.
7' Chelsea 0 - 0 Manchester United: Fellaini has so far been the most imposing of all the players in the centre. Moments ago, United also won the first corner of the game. And it's still United, controlling the possession, dictating the terms.
Another corner for United, thanks to a Darmian run.
4' Chelsea 0 - 0 Manchester United: Good clearance from Ivanovic, to deny United's early attempt involving Lingard, Mata and Fellaini.
1' Chelsea 0 - 0 Manchester United: First touch for Chelsea goalie Courtois. Quick change of sides. Then, United won a throw on the left flank.
In the first minute itself, Courtois was called into the action, twice.
Both the teams are in their traditional colours, with Chelsea in blues while United in Reds. Kicks off...
Players are already out. Moments to the kick-off.
Today is Wayne's 30th #mufc appearance v Chelsea. He's faced the London side more than any other opponent.
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) February 7, 2016
In between, Arsenal won at Bournemouth, and kept their title hopes alive, however true it sounds.
FULL-TIME: Bournemouth 0 - 2 Arsenal
Both the sides are unchanged, which means Eden Hazard stays on the bench.
Here are the line-ups:
Chelsea XI: Courtois; Ivanovic, Zouma, Terry, Azpilicueta; Mikel, Matic; Willian, Fabregas, Oscar; Costa.
Subs: Begovic, Baba Rahman, Cahill, Loftus-Cheek, Pedro, Traore, Hazard.
Manchester United XI: De Gea; Darmian, Smalling, Blind, Borthwick-Jackson; Fellaini, Carrick; Lingard, Mata, Martial; Rooney.
Subs: Romero, McNair, Varela, Schneiderlin, Herrera, Pereira, Memphis.
Match Referee: Michael Oliver
HALF-TIME: Bournmouth 0 - 2 Arsenal
In between, in Sunday's early kick-off, Arsenal score twice in a space of minutes to lead Bournmouth 2-0 at Dean Court. Mesut Ozil (23') and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (24').
A win here will help Arsene Wenger's Gunners climb to third place, behind Tottenham Hotspur on same points, and five points behind leaders Leicester.
...which was followed by everything you need to know from the Red Devils
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) February 7, 2016
A reminder of stats, from the Blues...
A reminder of the stats ahead of Chelsea v Man Utd. Tap to pause... https://t.co/HgVRWRIVqn
— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) February 7, 2016
With sporadic news of Manchester United denying to decline the meeting with a certain Jose Mourinho, Louis van Gaal continues to exist in a realm of uncertainty. Who will replace the embattled Dutchman at the helm of Old Trafford continue to dumbfound everyone.
In fact, the managerial musical chair game has seemed to have taken precedence over the actual game. And ahead of today's crucial clash at Stamford Bridge, the former former Barcelona and Bayern Munich manager has dismissed Red Devils' Mourinho link, saying "When there is such nonsense written about me, I cannot believe there is already a relationship between Jose Mourinho and United."
What intrigue's this game of speculation is Mourinho, who was a beloved figure in the Blues' part of the London -- and many still believe, he still carries some love in return -- has reportedly revealed that he will be "back soon" after it was revealed his representatives had held talks with United.
This is what the Portuguese said today, as reported by the Mail: "I always say I need competition - I need competition every week. For sure I'll be back soon."
And that comes to today's game, which somehow seemed to have lost some of it's lustre after the phenomenal dip in the respective clubs on-field Premier League fortunes.
But nonetheless, the fixture still carries enough weight. And both the sides have more than enough dramatis personae to make the day, or the encounter memorable -- Wayne Rooney, Diego Costa, John Terry, Marouane Fellaini, etc.
The key clashes will be between Anthony Martial vs Branislav Ivanovic, and Diego Costa vs Chris Smalling. Yes, both the goal-keepers David de Gea and Thibaut Courtois will need to play their top games.
United have struggled against Chelsea in recent times, and has been even worse at the Bridge. But, this is probably United's best chance to improve their record in London, and of course, they in some of their best form of the season, with Rooney back to form -- having scored seven goals in his last eight games across all competitions.
For the record, United have not beaten Chelsea in six league games, and have just won once in their last 13 trips. Last time United beat Chelsea at Stamford Bridge was in October 28, 2012. And it was also their last win over the bitter rivals.
In the first-leg of this season, in a lackluster fixture at Old Trafford, they played out a 0-0 draw.
On the hand, since the firing of Mourinho -- who now is courting United, defending champions have produced longest unbeaten streak at 10 games with Guus Hiddink bringing a sense of clam and also confidence in the Blues camp.
On points and standing perspective, a win help Chelsea continue their hope for the Champions League spot, and climb to 11. For United, they still in contention but position wise, win or lose, they will still be 5th.
The kick-off time is 9:30 PM IST, after the Bournmouth-Arsenal clash which starts 7:00 PM IST.