When looking at our results versus Chelsea in the Roman era, United fans may have reason to worry about our away trip to Stamford Bridge tomorrow. Chelsea currently hold an 80 league game unbeaten run at home and with a title to fight for, certainly won’t be rolling over for us.
Six years ago, almost to the day, United travelled to Stamford Bridge for a midday kick off, and left with a 3-0 victory. Scholes, van Nistelrooy and Solskjaer were the scorers, against a team including current players Cudicini, Terry and Lampard. Since then, we haven’t won at Stamford Bridge, drawing 3 and losing 3.
Just how much a part will history play in tomorrow’s fixture?
9.5.07 Chelsea 0 – 0 Manchester United
The game that can fill us with most pride since that victory in 2002 was our goalless draw last season. With the title wrapped up the match before, United travelled to Chelsea as Champions. The prophetic chants to Mourinho had been fulfilled as our fans stood proudly, in May, taking back our trophy.
Our second string team were applauded on to the field by the Chelsea team, and performed well to get us a hard earned point. Chelsea only had their pride left to play for, so worked their socks off, but failed to break us down. Who knew then that it would be the last time we faced Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea in the league…
29.4.06 Chelsea 3 – 0 Manchester United
After falling as much as 18 points behind in the league at one stage that season, United had fought there way back up the table, and it was still mathematically possible for us to claim the league. A win at Stamford Bridge would certainly see us in a more favourable position, although chances of winning the title were extremely slim.
After being hit ridiculously hard by injuries, Ryan Giggs and John O’Shea were our best available central midfield pairing, playing against Essien, Lampard and Makelele.
When United conceded a goal after just four minutes, any remaining hope quickly faded away. Chelsea played us off the park, although the final scoreline was somewhat flattering. Wayne Rooney missed a great chance to put us in the game but it just looked as though today wasn’t going to be our day.
Joe Cole scored a fantastic goal with an hour played, making our defence look like mugs, with Carvalho sealing the victory not long later.
When it felt as though things couldn’t get any worse, Rooney was left rolling in agony with ten minutes to play, news quickly emerging that he’d broken his metatarsal bone.
Chelsea lifted the trophy for the second year running and the constant talk of United being in decline looked as though it finally had some weight to it.
15.8.04 Chelsea 1 – 0 Manchester United
I remember vividly reading the paper on the morning of this game against Chelsea. It was the first day of the season, and the fella who danced on our touchline, after robbing us in the Champions League the season before, was now the new manager of CFC. The paper printed our predicted line-up and I cringed. Djemba-Djemba, Miller, Silvestre, Fortune and O’Shea were all correctly named in the starting team, in contrast to a solid Chelsea line-up.
Djemba-Djemba lost the ball on the half way line with 15 minutes gone and we paid the price, Gudjohnsen finding the back of the net. Doom and gloom for United, with us going on to win just 1 of our following 4 games, whilst Chelsea went on to win all their following games that month.
A Frank Lampard penalty was all that separated the sides in the days where Diego Forlan was a starter for our clubs. The win took Chelsea to top of the league, with Arsenal, who would go on to finish the season unbeaten, drawing with Fulham.
Roy Keane angrily contested the decision to award a penalty for his challenge on Joe Cole in the area, but Alan Wiley was having none of it.
A 1-0 defeat flattered us that day though, with Tim Howard, who was named the PFA Keeper of the Season at the end of that campaign, playing out of his skin to keep us in it. We offered little up front though and our hopes of retaining the title were dented.
Our 3-0 victory aside, the season before, more depressing stats at the Bridge can be revealed.
2000/2001 – Andy Cole earned us a point in 1-1 draw, after Hasselbaink gave Chelsea a first half lead.
1999/2000 – We were trounced 5-0, with the opening goal of the game coming in the 1st minute.
1998/1999 – United knocked Chelsea out of the Cup at the Bridge, but drew 0-0 in the league.
1997/1998 – A good season for United, beating them 1-0 in the league, Phil Neville the scorer, as well as a 5-3 victory in the Cup. Chelsea went 5-0 down before Vialli salvaged some pride for the blues.
1996/1997 – A second half goal from David Beckham earned United a point after going 1-0 down in the second minute after Zola scored.
1995/1996 – In the year that Hansen predicted we’d win nothing, we saw a 4-1 trouncing for United, with former red, Mark Hughes, who had left in the summer, getting Chelsea’s only goal of the game.
1994/1995 – Hughes, Cantona and McClair were all on the scoresheet in a 3-2 win.
1993/1994 – Gavin Peacock (wow, remember him?) scored the only goal of the game in a Chelsea victory
1992/1993 – Cantona equalised for United 4 minutes after going a goal behind.
And there goes the Premiership years against Chelsea. Four wins, six draws and five losses.
Does this have any bearing on tomorrow’s result?