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Classic Matches: Manchester United v Chelsea

A rivalry forged between two of the most successful English clubs of the 21st century, Manchester United and Chelsea have produced some classic encounters through the years.

The verbal jousts between Sir Alex Ferguson and Jose Mourinho, the epic tussles for Premier League glory and even the suspense of a Champions League final have made for a fascinating rivalry between two of England's powerhouses.

As Manchester United prepare to welcome Chelsea to Old Trafford on Wednesday 6th December, we've delved into the archives to reflect on some of their greatest clashes.

21st May 2008: Man Utd 1-1 Chelsea (6-5 penalties)

It doesn’t get much bigger than a Champions League final between the Premier League’s top two clubs.

Only two points separated Manchester United and Chelsea in the league ahead of their Moscow showdown and it was telling on a night that went all the way to penalties.

After a tentative start to proceedings, Cristiano Ronaldo inevitably opened the scoring for Sir Alex Ferguson’s side before Frank Lampard restored parity on the brink of half-time.

It was one-way traffic in the second half as Chelsea forced Edwin van der Sar into a series of important saves, the Dutchman doing enough to keep United in the tie and force extra-time.

Both teams created chances - Lampard notably hitting the crossbar – before penalties followed.

Step forth John Terry and the iconic slip. The Chelsea captain lost his footing at the inopportune moment and watched his penalty strike the woodwork, before Nicolas Anelka's saved penalty handed United their first Champions League trophy since 1999.

5th February 2012: Chelsea 3-3 Man Utd

Manchester United staged a marvellous comeback at Stamford Bridge to keep their Premier League title hopes alive.

A Jonny Evans own goal had given Chelsea the lead before Juan Mata scored a delightful volley just 24 seconds into the second half to double their advantage. 

David Luiz made it three just five minutes later and the Blues looked assured of all three points as they approached the hour mark.

But a Wayne Rooney penalty offered the visitors lifeline and Rooney converted from the spot again just nine minutes later, albeit from a rather contentious penalty decision.

Their comeback was completed in the 84th minute when Javier Hernandez prodded home from close range, capping a splendid six-goal thriller.

28th October 2012: Chelsea 2-3 Man Utd

Goals were plentiful in Manchester United and Chelsea clashes in 2012.

Six months after their encapsulating six-goal contest, the two sides were at it again and this fixture featured even greater drama with two red cards.

This time it was United that raced into the lead, with an own goal from Luiz and a clinical finish from Robin van Persie putting the visitors in the ascendancy.

Chelsea fought valiantly, levelling the match in the second half after goals from Mata and Ramires but the pulsating contest was to deliver another dramatic twist.

Branislav Ivanovic was sent off before Fernando Torres was controversially dismissed for diving and Man Utd were able to capitalise as Hernandez converted from close range, albeit from an offside position.

Such injustice prompted angry scenes among the faithful, who directed their jeers at Mark Clattenburg and the celebrating United squad.

29th April 2006: Chelsea 3-0 Man Utd

Needing just a point to clinch a second successive Premier League title, Chelsea put on a show at Stamford Bridge.

William Gallas sent Jose Mourinho’s side on their way with a header in the 5th minute before Joe Cole’s superb individual goal.

The England midfielder eased past Rio Ferdinand, Nemanja Vidic and Mikael Silvestre with a single turn before producing a composed finish beyond Van der Sar.

Celebrations well and truly began as Ricardo Carvalho raced from his own penalty area before finishing emphatically, wrapping up Chelsea’s 17th home win of the campaign and the Premier League title.

3rd October 1999: Chelsea 5-0 Man Utd

The treble winners arrived at Stamford Bridge having not tasted defeat in 29 Premier League matches.

It was a run that stretched 10 months but it was ended in astonishing fashion as Gianluca Vialli’s side recorded a famous 5-0 demolition.

Gus Poyet got Chelsea off to a sensational start as he capitalised on an error from goalkeeper Massimo Taibi, scoring the opening goal after just 27 seconds.

Chris Sutton made it two in the 16th minute and United’s issues were exacerbated when Nicky Butt was shown a straight red card for kicking out at Dennis Wise. Handbags ensued and with United reeling from the incident, Chelsea were able to make their man advantage count in the second half.

Poyet added his second before Henning Berg turned the ball into his own net and having established an unassailable lead, Chelsea rubbed more salt in the wounds when Jody Morris placed a shot between the legs of Taibi to make it five.

Man Utd v Chelsea

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