Five classic games between Chelsea and Manchester United
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Five classic games between Chelsea and Manchester United

Chelsea and Manchester United meet in the Premier League this evening, a Stamford Bridge battle between the two most successful English clubs of the 21st century.

Their rivalry has reached new heights since the turn of the century, when Roman Abramovich’s transformative takeover of Chelsea turned the west Londoners into the biggest threat to Manchester United’s dominance of the Premier League.

From title battles to Champions League finals, the two have featured in some classic contests throughout the Premier League era.

Here are five of the best Premier League era games between Chelsea and Manchester United:

Chelsea 5-0 Manchester United (1999)

Manchester United’s treble winners saw a long unbeaten run come crashing to an end in the capital, as Chelsea ran riot to stun Sir Alex Ferguson’s side.

The Blues had improved during the late nineties to become a real threat in cup competition and, often forgotten, finished just four points behind Manchester United in their historic 1998/99 treble-winning season.

Gianluca Vialli’s side sent a statement of intent early in the following campaign after thrashing the defending champions 5-0 at the Bridge. Gus Poyet opened the scoring inside 27 seconds after an error from Manchester United ‘keeper Massimo Taibi, who endured a nightmare game.

Chris Sutton doubled the lead on 16 minutes before the visitors were reduced to ten men when Nicky Butt was sent off for lashing out at perennial wind-up merchant Dennis Wise. Chelsea made it three through Poyet’s second and Henning Berg’s own goal added to the misery for the Mancunians.

Chelsea celebrated a fifth as Jody Morris slipped an effort through Taibi’s legs, with United’s 29-game unbeaten run in the Premier League – which had spanned 10 months – coming to an abrupt end.

Chelsea 3-0 Manchester United (2006)

Chelsea had emerged as the Premier League’s top team to win a drought-breaking title in 2004/05, before racing out of the blocks to take an early lead in their defence of the crown.

Jose Mourinho’s side won their opening nine games to take a lead they would not relinquish, with the chance to wrap up a second successive title coming against their nearest challengers in April 2006.

At a sun-soaked Stamford Bridge, William Gallas headed Chelsea in front with the Blues needing just a point to be confirmed as champions. Chelsea, however, were in party mood and Joe Cole scored a superb second, showing fabulous footwork to leave Rio Ferdinand, Nemanja Vidic and Mikael Silvestre in his wake to fire home.

Ricardo Carvalho’s rampaging run from box to box sealed the win – and title – late on, as the celebrations kick-started in the capital.

Manchester United 1-1 Chelsea – 6-5 penalties (2008)

Manchester United and Chelsea met on the biggest stage in club football in 2008, as the two teams contested the Champions League final in the first-ever all-English decider.

Having contested a tight Premier League title race, Manchester United edged Chelsea to league success on the final weekend of the campaign. It was the Red Devils who triumphed in Europe too, following a hard-fought final at Moscow’s Luzhniki Stadium.

Cristiano Ronaldo’s 42nd goal of a Ballon d’Or-winning season put United ahead on the night, but Frank Lampard ghosted into the box to level on the stroke of half-time.

Extra time arrived after a cagey second half and Lampard hit the crossbar in the added period, while Didier Drogba was sent off for Chelsea late on for slapping Nemanja Vidic.

The penalty shootout appeared set to go Chelsea’s way when Ronaldo saw his effort saved, but John Terry missed the chance to win it for the Blues as the club captain slipped on his effort and hit the post.

Edwin van der Sar then saved from Nicolas Anelka in sudden death, as Manchester United were crowned champions of Europe for a third time in the Russian rain.

Chelsea 3-3 Manchetser United (2012)

Manchester United mounted a stirring fightback from three goals down to earn a draw in a thriller at Stamford Bridge in 2012.

An own goal from Jonny Evans handed Chelsea the lead before Juan Mata scored a stunning volley to make it two just seconds into the second half.

David Luiz added a third on 50 minutes as Chelsea cruised into a three-goal advantage, only for a pair of penalties from Wayne Rooney to set up a grandstand finish.

Javier Hernandez delivered the dramatic final twist as the Mexican turned in from close range, completing a compelling comeback for the visitors.

Chelsea 2-3 Manchester United (2012)

Just a few months later, the two teams were involved in another entertaining affair.

Javier Hernandez again scored the decisive goal with a 75th-minute winner after a topsy-turvy contest that saw Chelsea reduced to nine men. Manchester United had taken a two-goal lead inside 12 minutes through a David Luiz own goal and Robin van Persie’s effort, but Chelsea showed spirit to fight back and level.

Juan Mata and Ramires scored either side of half-time to restore parity before the game turned as Chelsea received a double dismissal. Branislav Ivanovic was first to go after hauling down Ashley Young and things went from bad to worse for Chelsea as Fernando Torres was controversially sent off for diving.

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United made their advantage count as Hernandez, who appeared to be in an offside position, steered in a winner.

Read – Chelsea vs Manchester United – Combined XI

See more – Ranking the five best attacking midfielders in the world right now

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