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Chelsea 1 United 0

Leagues are not won or lost in early November, but large psychological blows can still be dealt. There was a feeling before the match that Chelsea might be able to shatter a stumbling United side, or that United could announce their intentions to up their game and stick two fingers up at some of the doubters. What ensued was actually a mixture of both. Chelsea got their five point lead and given us a hard, uphill struggle from now until May, but on the other hand the fact that a ‘weak’ United team outplayed and stifled the ‘incredible’ Chelsea side can be the source of much comfort.

United bossed the game and rarely looked troubled by Chelsea’s attack, but many Reds never got to see any of it. Bad policing and stewarding meant hundreds with genuine tickets were locked out for no good reason, some of whom got in after half time. It caused absolute chaos and I can only imagine how frustrating it must have been for people turning up at 3.40pm thinking they had plenty of time before kick off. Absolute disgrace.

And what was also a disgrace was the ref. I don’t really want to harp on about it because being bitter is not a trait Reds like to have, but a combination of bad calls stopped Rooney scoring at 0-0, denied us a penalty and gifted Chelsea a goal. But United cannot let that take away another important point from the game- we simply did not create enough chances to win. Chelsea’s goal; may have been dodgy, but how many decent crosses did we put in the box over 90 minutes of the quality that they scored from? We had numerous potentially dangerous set pieces and hardly any resulted in a threat or shot on goal. That is no the ref’s fault and it is something we need to work on.

Considering they beat the champions and snatched victory from against the odds, Chelsea fans are still crap. The second and third tiers of the East stand did not even bother to stand up to applaud substitutions, while two tiers of the whole West stand are hospitality and people in suits. Sure Jonn Terry’s name was sung after he scored, but that was about  it. How dare they mock Old Trafford, which leaves much to be desired but is deafening compared to their patch.

So, just like after Anfield we now have a long international break before we can put things right. I am heartened by the performance but also cynical whether we can overtake Chelsea based on current results and our lack of fire power. Owen is far from convincing and an injury to Rooney will leave us in big trouble. For now though we have what we have and at least super Fletcher, who had a belting game, is back to full fitness.  

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