Chelsea have just booked their spot in a second European Cup final in two years. Of course, this year it is in the competition for the second tier of European clubs, with Chelsea becoming the first team in Champions League history to win the competition one season then not even make it out of the group stages the following year. It’s not just the Europa League final that Chelsea have to think about though, but finishing in the top 4 too. They are in the best position out of the three London clubs to manage that but both Arsenal and Spurs won yesterday, and with 12 points up for grabs, anything can happen.
In contrast, United’s season finished on April 22nd when a 3-0 win crowned us champions. In our next match half the players looked drunk/hungover in that first half an hour at the Emirates but as the game went on they really came in to their stride and should have won.
So now we have to take on Chelsea, who have got everything to play for, but have the disadvantage of having played on Thursday. You might think that the only thing we have to play for is pride, but that’s not strictly true. Nemanja Vidic has asked the manager if they can go to Chester races on Tuesday and he has given them permission… unless we lose on Sunday.
The last time we played them at Old Trafford was in the FA Cup and they were woeful in the first half but bringing on Hazard and Mikel early in the second half changed the game. United looked poor from start to finish, if truth be told, and it was only a great save from De Gea in the dying moments that forced a replay.
Chelsea are a quality side and you have to wonder what they might be capable of next season with a decent manager in charge. Sign a world class striker and with the likes of Mata, Oscar and Hazard supplying him, they won’t even need a defence! For now though, they have Benitez in charge, who Ferguson took the piss out of this week for always referring to his CV (which presumably misses out the part where he turned Mourinho’s Treble winning Inter Milan side, the European Champions, in to the 6th best side in Italy in just a matter of months).
Benitez was asked whether he enjoyed playing at Old Trafford in his weekend press conference. “For sure, when we won 4-1 at Old Trafford. It was really, really good.” Christ, the man is just a complete dick, isn’t he?
Benitez’s first game at Old Trafford saw him lose 2-1, with Mikael Silvestre scoring both our goals and John O’Shea scoring an own goal for them. His next game there saw him lose 1-0, with Rio Ferdinand scoring that injury time winner. The game after was a 2-0 win for United, with Scholes scoring in his 500th appearance for the club and Rio scoring again, this time the best goal of his United career. The following game saw us win 3-0, with Brown, Ronaldo and Nani scoring and Mascherano hilariously getting sent off. And then came the 4-1. The year after we beat them 2-1, and at the end of that season Liverpool sacked him. So he has seen his team play 6 league games against United and he has lost 5 of them. But I’m pleased he has some happy memories of that 2008-2009 season when Liverpool beat us 4-1 and we won the league.
If we beat Chelsea, we damage their chances of getting in to the top 4, meaning we decrease the likelihood of Jose Mourinho returning to West London. Would his ego allow him to manage a club that couldn’t even qualify for the Champions League? We also get to see the manager have one over on Benitez, who has lead his team from 4 points behind United to 20.
It’s pointless trying to predict the team but I would like to see us go with a strong one, and one that preferably includes Tom Cleverley, who hasn’t started in the league since February 10th.
Come on United!
£20 wins you…
United to win – £41
Rooney first scorer – £140
Chicharito last scorer – £140
Phil Jones to score any time – £200