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United 3 Chelsea 0

I never expected to be going to this game so soon after an operation on my ankle, but over the last few days I started thinking of ways to do it. After careful consideration I arranged a disabled car park permit from United, lift passes to get me up to Tier 2 and found a driver to get me to and from Old Trafford. Even then I was worried about the crowds, getting to my seats from the concourse and all the other problems that might arise if I bashed my ankle into anything. Having now got home in one piece I am of course unbelievable happy I went to that game.

The season has been pretty dismal so far- even though we are in a strong position to retain the title we had only beaten one team in the top half of the table (Hull) before today’s game. A win today, building on Liverpool’s recent slip ups, was going to kick start the season and begin the charge to the top. Even though Rio was missing and Carrick was on the bench, the team did themselves proud for 90 minutes and it is not usual to beat Chelsea 3-0 and think the score flattered Chelsea more than United. This was a huge psychological victory and it left every Red buzzing as Old Trafford echoed.

The victory threw up some surprise performances. Gary Neville and Ryan Giggs were absolutely unbelievable- they looked 10 years younger and anyone who has said they are finished must be choking on their words. Giggs especially answered a lot of critics and was quite simply sensational. The other fantastic performance was Jonny Evans- he looked calm and composed, marked Drogba out the game and definately gave us a lot of confidence that he will do us proud in the San Siro.

Whilst our team shone, overcoming a disallowed goal and a dodgy offside position,  Chelsea capitulated under pressure. They are known for their resilience and at 1-0 I expected them to come back, just as they did in Moscow and just as they did earlier this season at Stamford Bridge. But that mentality seems to have left the current side, as instead of taking the game to us they fell apart appaulingly. Lampard was anonymous, Ballack resorted to a shocking dive, Drogba swung at air missing the ball and so many places were mis-passed. But more amusingly than all that was John Terry not being able to take being reminded about Moscow on the chin and his game suffered. Great players and great men- both of which Terry considers himself- know how to respond to adversity. Whilst Ronaldo deals with jeers every week and Beckham took the reaction from France ‘98 and made himself a great player on the back of it, John Terry simply crumbled. His every touch we cheered by the Stretford End, he refused to wave to us, he was booked and he looked petrified of making a mistake whenever the ball was near him. But yes John, you scored in a friendly for England against the USA and announced you were back- so what do I know?!

Chelsea fans sat dejected and left the ground early as United sang “who the fuck are Man United” and “forever and ever”. Of course “are you watching Merseyside?” followed after. I had to hobble out in stoppage time to avoid the crush and when I got to the bottom of the stand the final whistle sounded. What a fantastic day out and a win that needs to be built on to ensure we are top before Liverpool next play. Benitez has made a prat of himself, Scholari has ruined a very strong Chelsea side and Ferguson has shown that he is still the master. After today I expect he will still be grinning in May.

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