Chelsea 2-3 Manchester United: Brazilians feature in dramatic game at Stamford Bridge
Four Brazilians played decisive roles in a dramatic game at Stamford Bridge this afternoon, as Chelsea were beaten 3-2 by Manchester United.
The visitors took an early lead when Robin Van Persie’s strike ricocheted off Petr Čech’s post and onto David Luiz before crossing the line.
United doubled their tally less than 10 minutes later after Rafael loped forward and fed a pass to Valencia, who drove a low cross into the box for Van Persie to finish from close range.
David Luiz almost reduced the deficit with a powerful free-kick, following a foul on Ramires, but the defender was denied by the foot of David de Gea.
Jonny Evans almost scored the second own-goal of the game and Gary Cahill went close with a header from the resulting corner as Chelsea pushed for a goal.
Juan Mata made it 2-1 shortly before half-time, with a free-kick from the edge of United’s area, and almost grabbed a second goal moments later.
After the break David Luiz was the centre of attention as he was involved in a heated discussion with Van Persie over shirt-pulling and seemed to block a cross from Antonio Valencia with his hand.
Chelsea made their pressure count in the 53rd-minute when Oscar played an excellent cross for fellow Brazilian Ramires to make it 2-2 with a header.
The Blues were reduced to 10-men soon after when Branislav Ivanovic was shown a red card by Mark Clattenburg for tripping Ashley Young.
The sending off meant the impressive Oscar had to be sacrificed in place of defender Cesar Azpilicueta, but things then went from bad to worse for the home side.
Fernando Torres was shown a second yellow card for simulation, just as the striker was about to be replaced by Daniel Sturridge.
United made the most of their two-man advantage with a third goal in the 75th-minute.
Van Persie’s initial strike was cleared off the line, following a superb save from Čech, but only as far as Rafael.
The right-back smashed the ball back into the six-yard box and was turned in by substitute Javier Hernandez, who looked to be offside.
David Luiz charged forward from the back and teed up Ramires as Chelsea desperately searched for another equaliser, but the midfielder’s shot from 25-yards sailed well over the bar.
However, there efforts were to no avail as United ran down the clock and held on to claim their first league win at Stamford Bridge since 2002.
Chelsea remain top of the Premier League despite their first defeat of the season, but second-place Manchester United have closed the gap to just one point.