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Five classic Chelsea vs Man United encounters

Premier League leaders Chelsea welcome an in form Manchester United side to Stamford Bridge on Saturday evening in what promises to be another fascinating encounter between the two.

Chelsea are within touching distance of another league title with a seven-point advantage going into their final seven games. They could confirm it by winning their next three games, however they face a difficult test against a United side who could cut the deficit to just five points with victory this weekend.

Impressive victories over the likes of Tottenham, Liverpool and most recently Manchester City has all but secured their passage back to the Champions League, and although top four was the aim not long ago, they now they have their sights firmly set on delaying Chelsea’s title charge as they battle for second place.

A fixture that has produced some classic encounters over the years, here are five games from recent history that will wet the appetite.

Chelsea 5-0 Man United, October 1999

Having gone 29 league games without defeat, the famous treble winning side saw that run come to an abrupt end when they were humiliated at the Bridge back in 1999.

Calamitous United keeper Massimo Taibi was the star of the show for all the wrong reasons, and took just 27-seconds to gift Chelsea the lead as Gus Poyet opened the scoring.

Chris Sutton doubled the lead before things got even worse for the Red Devils as Nicky Butt was dismissed for a kick on Dennis Wise.

Poyet grabbed his second of the game as Chelsea began to run riot in the second half, with Jody Morris completing the scoring following a Henning Berg own goal.

It was United’s first defeat since December, but didn’t stop them from going on to claim another league title later that year. It did however mark the end of Taibi’s brief career at Old Trafford after just four games in goal.

Chelsea 1-0 Man United, May 2007

The game itself is not one that would live long in the memory in a match that failed to live up to expectations.

A one-nil victory did however secure a cup double for Chelsea as they won the first FA Cup final at the new Wembley thanks to Didier Drogba’s goal in extra time.

It wasn’t the spectacle that the 90,000 fans inside the showpiece stadium had hoped for and after Ryan Giggs had spurned the best chance to win the match in normal time, a dull encounter looked to be heading to penalties.

But with just four minutes remaining the Ivorian played a clever one-two with Frank Lampard before lifting the ball past Edwin van der Sar to give Chelsea victory.

Chelsea 1-1 Man United, May 2008

Perhaps the most dramatic encounter between these two great clubs came back in 2008 when they met in Moscow for the 2008 Champions League final in what proved to be a thriller.

Star man Cristiano Ronaldo headed United into the lead mid way through the first-half, before Frank Lampard’s equaliser sent the sides in level at the break.

Chelsea came close to winning the game as Lampard and Didier Drogba both hit the woodwork, before a moment of madness from the Chelsea forward saw him sent-off in extra time for a slap on Nemanja Vidic.

The game was to be decided with a penalty shootout and after Ronaldo had seen his effort saved by Petr Cech, Chelsea captain John Terry was left to complete the job and secure the club’s first ever Champions League crown.

But a cruel slip saw his effort rebound off the post as United were reprieved, and Edwin van der Sar’s save from Nicolas Anelka shortly after sparked wild celebrations as United lifted their third European cup at the end of a memorable night in Russia.

Chelsea 3-3 Man United, February 2012

Not for the first time, referee Howard Webb was the centre of attention as Chelsea squandered a three-goal lead to gift United a point as the sides shared six goals.

An own goal from Jonny Evans gave Chelsea a slender advantage at the break, but the game looked to be over just moments after the restart as Juan Mata fired in a superb volley that was quickly followed by a header from David Luiz to leave United in peril.

But two penalties from Wayne Rooney left Andre Villas-Boas furious with the officials after United had found a way back into the game, and his disappointment was topped off by a late header from Javier Hernandez that meant his side would only leave with a point as United staged another famous comeback.

Chelsea 2-3 Man United, October 2012

Later that year it was Chelsea’s turn to stage an impressive comeback as the sides produced another goal fest at Stamford Bridge.

An own goal from David Luiz was followed by a second from Robin van Persie to put the visitors two-up early on.

But a superb free-kick from Mata halved the deficit before Ramires levelled the scores at two apiece.

However Chelsea were left ruing the referee once more as in the space of five minutes they were reduced to nine men as Branislav Ivanovic picked up a second yellow card for a foul on Ashley Young and then Fernando Torres was controversially sent off for diving when appearing to be fouled by Jonny Evans.

With a two-man advantage it looked inevitable that United would go on to grab a winner, and they duly obliged as Javier Hernandez once again got the vital goal.

The victory helped United on their way to another Premier League title, although Chelsea did get their revenge by knocking their opponents out of both the League Cup and FA Cup later that season.

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Article title: Five classic Chelsea vs Man United encounters

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