#FlashbackFriday - Man United v Chelsea: Part Four – 2000 to 2017
Man United and Chelsea played out the Charity Shield which kicked off the 2000/01 season. It would be the last Charity Shield game played under the twin towers of the old Wembley. Goals for Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink (returning back to the Premiership after leaving Leeds United for a season in La Liga) and Mario Melchiot gave Chelsea a 2-0 win.
The first League meeting of 2000/01 between Man United and Chelsea occurred seven weeks later at the end of September at Old Trafford. Man United topped the Premiership with four wins out of the six games played to date. Chelsea in contrast had won just one game out of their six played to date. This led to the sacking of Gianluca Vialli and appointment of his compatriot Claudio Raneri as Chelsea boss. Within a week, Raneri would face United at Old Trafford.
Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink struck a rocket of a shot to give Chelsea the lead on eight minutes. Paul Scholes equalised six minutes later with a twenty yard drive. Two goals for Man United in two minutes from Teddy Sheringham and David Beckham put Man United 3-1 up. Just ahead of half time, Norwegian forward Tore Andre Flo pulled one back for the Blues. Flo also bagged the equaliser for Chelsea with twenty minutes left to go. With no further scoring, the game ended in a 3-3 draw.
The return fixture at Stamford Bridge came in February 2001. Man United were cruising to their third straight title win, being as they were fifteen points clear at the top of the table. Alex Ferguson’s side had won their previous five games. Chelsea meanwhile stood in eighth place and seven points off of a Champions League qualifying position. On twenty four minutes, Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink scored against Man United for the third game in a row after pouncing on a Paul Scholes back pass. Chelsea’s lead lasted until twenty one minutes from time when Andy Cole equalised for United to earn a 1-1 draw.
By May 2001, Man United had secured a third straight title. Chelsea meanwhile finished sixth and five points behind Ipswich Town in fifth. The first meeting between the two sides in 2001/02 came at the start of December. After thirteen games, Man United had sunk as low as sixth place and five points behind league leaders Liverpool after losing three of their last five league games. Chelsea were just one point behind them in eighth. Man United’s misery continued further as goals for Mario Melchiot, Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink and Eidur Gudjohnsen gave Chelsea a shock 3-0 away win.
By the time of the return fixture in late April 2002, United stood third and two points behind Premiership leaders Arsenal who had won their last eight games on the bounce. The Gunners also had a game in hand. Chelsea were nine points behind Man United in fifth and in the running for a Champions League qualification spot. Goals for Paul Scholes, Ruud Van Nistlerooy and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer gave Man United a 3-0 victory. United however finished the season trophy-less and in third place (their lowest finish for a decade). Chelsea meanwhile missed out on the Champions League in finishing sixth.
Chelsea faced a Friday night visit from Man United, two games into the 2002/03 in August. Both sides had won their first game of the season – Chelsea with a 3-2 win away at Charlton, while Man United beat West Brom 1-0 at Old Trafford. William Gallas put Chelsea ahead after three minutes, before a David Beckham equaliser midway through the first half. Just before half time, Bolo Zenden put Chelsea back in front. Their lead lasted until midway through the second half when Ryan Giggs equalised with his one hundredth goal for United to earn a 2-2 draw.
The sides next met eight days before Christmas 2002 in the Quarter Finals of the League Cup. A goal for Diego Forlan gave Man United a 1-0 win and a passage through to the League Cup Semi Final. Man United progressed to the final of the League Cup that season, though suffered a 0-2 defeat to Liverpool.
Just over a month on, the two sides met for the return fixture in the Premiership. Man United were in second place and five points behind Premiership leaders Arsenal. Chelsea were three points behind Man United in third place. Eidur Gudjohnsen gave Chelsea the lead on the half hour. Six minutes before half time Paul Scholes equalised for United. The Reds took all three points however with a last minute goal for Diego Forlan, which meant a 2-1 victory. Man United finished the season as Premiership champions, while a heavily indebted Chelsea secured a huge lifeline by qualifying for Champions League football by beating Liverpool in a head to head for the last remaining spot.
Over the summer of 2003, immensely wealthy Russian oligarch turned up at Stamford Bridge to purchase the club and instantly change the trajectory of the Blues and the English Premiership in generally. One of the earliest purchases with Chelsea’s new found wealth was the signing of Man United misfit Juan Sebastian Veron. The first Post-Abramovich meeting between Chelsea and Man United came on the last day of November 2003 at Stamford Bridge. Chelsea stood second after four straight victories and a point behind Premiership leaders Arsenal, who were responsible for Chelsea’s only League defeat of the season thus far. Man United were a point behind Chelsea in third place. A Frank Lampard penalty on the half hour gave Chelsea a 1-0 victory.
The sides next met in May 2004 for the penultimate game of the season at Old Trafford. By this point, an unbeaten Arsenal side had already sown up the Premiership title. Chelsea stood nine points behind in second place, while Man United were four points behind the Blues in third, though had an FA Cup Final to look forward to after beating Arsenal in the Semi Final. Jesper Gronkjaer gave Chelsea the lead on nineteen minutes. Ruud Van Niustlerooy equalised with thirteen minutes to go, however with no further scoring a 1-1 draw secured the runners up spot for Chelsea for the 2003/04 season. For the 2003/04 season, third place Man United had to make do with winning the FA Cup with a 3-0 win over Millwall in Cardiff.
Man United’s visit to Stamford Bridge for the 2004/05 came on the opening day of the season in August. Over the summer, Chelsea had parted company with boss Claudio Raneri with the ‘Special One’ Jose Mourinho stepping into the vacant manager’s job having won the Champions League with rank outsiders FC Porto the previous season (his side having knocked Man United out of the competition in the Quarter Finals stage). An Eidur Gudjohnsen goal on the quarter hour kicked off the Mourinho era with a 1-0 win for Chelsea.
The sides next met in the Semi Finals of the League Cup in early January 2005. The first leg took place at Stamford Bridge. Two weeks later back at Old Trafford, Frank Lampard put Chelsea ahead on the half hour, before Ryan Giggs equalised midway through the second half. With five minutes to go, a goal from Damien Duff took Chelsea through to the 2005 League Cup Final, which they went on to win against Liverpool at Cardiff to win the first trophy of the Roman Abramovich era and Jose Mourinho’s first in English football.
By the time of the return fixture in the League at Old Trafford in May, Chelsea were already crowned Premiership champions and with a fourteen point lead over second place Arsenal could not be caught at the top. The Blues received the guard of honour entrance at Old Trafford. Man United were three points behind Arsenal in third having played one game more. Ruud Van Nistelrooy gave Man United the lead on seven minutes, however goals for Tiago, Eidur Gudjohnsen and Joe Cole meant a 3-1 away win for Chelsea. Man United finished the season third and trophy-less for the third time in four seasons.
In 2005/06, the first meeting between Man United and Chelsea took place in early November at Old Trafford. After eleven games, Chelsea topped the table with a six point margin over second place Wigan Athletic. Chelsea in fact had been unbeaten in the league for nearly thirteen months – a run which stretched to forty games and seems to be agonisingly close to the record of forty nine unbeaten set by Arsenal just seventeen months prior. Man United in contrast had only won five of their ten games played to date and languished in ninth place. A goal for Darren Fletcher on the half hour was enough to end Chelsea’s unbeaten record.
By the time of the return fixture in late April 2006, Chelsea were on the verge of retaining their title. The Blues had a nine point gap over Man United in second with just three games to go, as well as a superior goal difference of +8. Goals for William Gallas, Joe Cole and Ricardo Carvalho meant a 3-0 win to secure the title.
In 2006/07, reigning champions Chelsea visited Old Trafford in late November. After thirteen games, Man United topped the table with a three point cushion over Chelsea in second place. Louis Saha gave Man United the lead on the half hour mark. With twenty minutes to go however, a goal for Ricardo Carvalho equalised for Chelsea. With no further scoring, the two sides played out a 1-1 draw
Man United’s visit to Stamford Bridge came the following May in the penultimate fixture of the season. This time it was United who had already secured the title for the first time in four years, after Chelsea’s failure to beat Arsenal three days prior. This meant a guard of honour for Man United at Stamford Bridge. The two sides played out a 0-0 draw
Ten days later, the two sides met in the FA Cup Final, the very first to be played at the newly redeveloped Wembley Stadium after six finals played out at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff. The Cup Final was now shown on just one terrestrial television station and one Satellite network out of hundreds of channels, as opposed to when it consisted of two-thirds of television programming on the Cup Final Saturday afternoon just around two and a half decades prior. This would also be the first time the BBC would be covering the FA Cup Final outside of Grandstand, which was axed earlier in the year. The game was a rather dour affair until four minutes from the end of extra time, when Didier Drogba scored his first ever goal against Man UIn to secure a 1-0 win for Chelsea and prevent a Man United Double.
Regardless of who won the final, Chelsea’s second place finish meant that we were assured that the Blues and the Reds would meet in the FA Community (Nee Charity Shield). Ryan Giggs put United ahead after thirty five minutes. Just ahead of half time Florent Malouda equalised for Chelsea. With no further scoring, the game ended in a 1-1 draw. The game went to penalties where Rio Ferdinand, Michael Carrrick and Wayne Rooney all converted their spot kicks. Conversely, Claudio Pizzaro, Frank Lampard and Shaun Wright-Phillips all converted theirs with Man United winning the penalty shoot-out 3-0.
Unbeknown at the time, that would be the last meeting between the two sides during Mourinho’s first spell at Stamford Bridge. The next meeting between Chelsea and Man United at Old Trafford at the end of September occurred just four days after Jose Mourinho had parted company with Chelsea to the shock of the vast majority of the football world. The following day, Roman Abramovich had appointed Israeli Avram Grant in his place. After six games, Man United stood five points behind leaders Arsenal in fourth place, above Chelsea by a goal difference of +1. Goals for Carlos Tevez and a Louis Saha penalty however meant a 2-0 victory for Man United which pushed them up to second in the table.
The next meeting between the two sides occurred in late April 2008. Man United held a three point lead over second place Chelsea at the top of the table. All the action came in the second half as Michael Ballack put Chelsea ahead just after the re-start. Wayne Rooney equalised just ahead of the hour, while a Michael Ballack penalty four minutes from time meant a 2-1 win for Chelsea. The two sides were neck and neck in the title race, with Man United topping the table with a hugely superior goal difference of +16 over Chelsea.
Both Man United and Chelsea went into the final day of the season on level points. United’s huge goal difference in comparison to Chelsea’s meant that they were hoping for Wigan Athletic to prevent a United win, while beating Bolton Wanderers at Stamford Bridge. Chelsea however were held to a 1-1 draw while United beat Wigan 2-0 to take the Premiership title. Man United and Chelsea however were to meet in the Champions League final in Moscow eleven days later in the first ever all-English European Cup or Champions League final. Cristiano Ronaldo gave Man United the lead midway through the first half with a headed goal. Just ahead of half time however, Frank Lampard equalised for Chelsea.
With no further scoring in normal time or extra time, the game went to a penalty shootout, however not before Didier Drogba received a red card with four minutes left of extra time left to play. All penalties were scored until Cristiano Ronaldo had his penalty saved by Petr Cech. After Chelsea’s first four penalty takers all converted, the chance fell to John Terry to secure a Chelsea victory. The Blues captain however slipped and hit the post as a result, which meant that the shootout went to sudden death. Edwin Van Der Saar saved a Nicolas Anelka penalty which meant that Man United were crowned European Champions for the third time in their history and Chelsea finished the season trophy-less.
After that Champions League defeat Roman Abramovich appointed Brazilian World Cup winning boss Filipe Scolari to take over at Stamford Bridge. Man United came to Stamford Bridge in late September 2008. Man United had only won one of their first three games and sat as low as fifteenth in the table. Chelsea in contrast had won three out of four games and stood in third place. After eighteen minutes, Park Ji-Sung put Man United ahead. With ten minutes to go however, Salomon Kalou equalised for Chelsea. With no further scoring, the match ended in a 1-1 draw.
By the time in which Chelsea headed to Old Trafford to play the return fixture in early January 2009, by which time Chelsea were four points behind Liverpool. Goals for Nemanja Vidic, Wayne Rooney and Dimitar Berbatov meant a 3-0 win for Man United.
Within a month, Chelsea had sacked Scolari and replaced him with Guus Hiddink until the end of the season. Hiddink won the FA Cup with Chelsea by the end of 2008/09, though would be replaced by Carlo Ancelotti over the summer. The 2009/10 season kicked off with Chelsea meeting Man United in the FA Community Shield at Wembley. Nani gave Man United the lead after ten minutes. Second half goals for Ricardo Carvalho and Frank Lampard put Chelsea ahead. A Wayne Rooney last minute equaliser meant the match went to a penalty shootout. Chelsea converted all four of their penalties, while penalty misses for Ryan Giggs and Patrice Evra meant that Chelsea triumphed in the shootout 4-1.
The first League meeting between the two sides took place in early November at Stamford Bridge. It would also be the final time Chelsea and Man United would play each other during the noughties. After winning nine of their first eleven games, Chelsea topped the Premiership table. Man United were two points behind in third place. A goal for John Terry fourteen minutes from time meant a 1-0 victory for Chelsea.
By the time of Chelsea’s visit to Old Trafford at the start of April 2010, Man United were a point clear of Chelsea at the top of the Premiership. Joe Cole gave Chelsea the lead on twenty minutes. With eleven minutes to go, Didier Drogba doubled Chelsea’s lead. Federico Macheda pulled one back for Man United two minutes later, however couldn’t prevent a 2-1 victory for Chelsea, which saw them overhaul United at the top of the table with just five games to go.
Chelsea’s double meant that they faced second place Man United in the Community Shield at Wembley for the start of the 2010/11 season in August. United ran out 3-1 winners with goals from Antonio Valencia, Javier Hernandez and Dimitar Berbatov, while Salomon Kalou would be on target for the Blues
There would then be a seven month wait before the two sides met again at the start of March 2011 in the Premiership. Man United were four points clear of second place Arsenal at the top of the Premiership, while Chelsea had sunk to fifth place and fifteen points off of the League leaders. Wayne Rooney gave Man United the lead on the half hour, while in the second half goals for David Luiz and a Frank Lampard penalty gave Chelsea a 2-1 victory.
The next meeting between the two sides had been in the Quarter Finals of the Champions League at Stamford Bridge. A first half goal for Wayne Rooney meant that United took a 1-0 lead back to Old Trafford. In the second leg six days later, United secured their passage to the Semi Finals with a 2-1 win on the night (3-1 on aggregate) with goals from Javier Hernandez and Park Ji-Sung, while Didier Drogba had been on target for the Blues. Man United progressed all the way to the final, but suffered a 1-3 loss to Pep Guardiola’s Barcelona side.
The return League fixture at Old Trafford took place in May. By this point, Chelsea stood three points behind league leaders Man United with three games left to go, having won their last five games. Man United however had suffered a blip the previous week with United losing 0-1 to Arsenal with a goal from Aaron Ramsey. Two first half goals from Javier Hernandez and Nemanja Vidic put United two up by half time. In the second half, Frank Lampard pulled one back for Chelsea but couldn’t prevent a 2-1 victory for United. Within a week, a 1-1 draw away at Blackburn secured a nineteenth league title for Man United which put them on equal footing with Liverpool’s long standing record of title wins.
As Chelsea finished the 2010/11 season trophy-less, the club parted company with manager Carlo Ancelotti and hired FC Porto’s thirty three year old Andre Villas Boas as manager. AVB’s first meeting with Man United came at Old Trafford in mid-September 2011. After four games, United had a 100% record of four wins out of four, topping the Premiership table. Chelsea were also unbeaten with three wins out of four, two points behind in third place. By half time, Man United were three goals up with Chris Smalling, Nani and Wayne Rooney on the score sheet. Fernando Torres pulled one back after the restart, but couldn’t prevent a 3-1 victory for Man United.
United came to Stamford Bridge the following February for the return fixture, trailing Man City at the top by three points with a game in hand. Chelsea on the other hand stood in fourth place and incumbent boss AVB under huge pressure to perform. Over shadowing the game had been the ongoing controversy of an alleged racist remark by Chelsea’s John Terry toward Anton Ferdinand – the brother of Man United centre half Rio Ferdinand. A Jonny Evans own goal put Chelsea ahead, while Juan Mata doubled Chelsea’s lead in the first minute of the second half. Four minutes later, a goal from David Luiz gave Chelsea a three goal lead on fifty minutes. However two converted penalties by Wayne Rooney and a goal from Javier Hernandez six minutes from time meant a 3-3 draw.
Within a month, AVB was sacked as Chelsea boss and replaced by former Blue Roberto Di Matteo. Chelsea finished sixth, however won the Champions League against Bayern Munich on a penalty shootout. Man United meanwhile lost the league title on goal difference to their neighbours City after two injury time goals in the final game of the season against QPR.
Man United’s first meeting with reigning European Champions Chelsea came in late October 2012. Chelsea were unbeaten in the Premiership having won seven of their eight games played to date. Man United were four points behind in third. A David Luiz own goal gave Man United the lead on four minutes. Eight minutes later, Robin Van Persie doubled Man United’s lead. Just ahead of half time, Chelsea pulled one back with a goal from Juan Mata. Eight minutes into the second half, Ramires equalised for Chelsea. However a goal from Javier Hernandez fifteen minutes from time inflicted a first defeat of the season for Chelsea, with a 3-2 victory for Man United (their last over the Blues to date).
Three days later, the two sides met again in the fourth round of the League Cup and again it would be a case of goals galore. Ryan Giggs gave Man United the lead midway through the first half, before David Luiz equalised on the half hour. Two minutes before half time, Javier Hernandez restored Man United’s lead. Seven minutes into the second half, Gary Cahill equalised for Chelsea. On the hour, Nani put Man United 3-2 up, however a successfully converted last minute penalty by Eden Hazard took the tie into extra time. Daniel Sturridge put Chelsea in front seven minutes into extra time, with Ramires doubling the Blues’ lead with four minutes left of extra time. Ryan Giggs successfully converted a penalty in the last minute of extra time, however it was not enough to prevent a 5-4 victory for Chelsea to put the Blues into the Quarter Finals of the League Cup.
The two sides would meet again in early March, this time in the Quarter Finals of the FA Cup at Old Trafford. By this point, Chelsea had sacked Roberto Di Matteo as boss and appointed Rafa Benitez in his place until the end of the season. Within eleven minutes, goals for Javier Hernandez and Wayne Rooney put Man United two goals up. However, second half goals for Eden Hazard and Ramires meant a 2-2 draw and a replay back at Stamford Bridge three weeks later. A goal for Demba Ba put Chelsea through to the Semi Finals.
The fifth and final meeting between the two sides had been the return Premiership fixture in May at Old Trafford. By this point, Man United had secured their twentieth League title, holding a thirteen point gap of their neighbours Man City in second place. A Juan Mata goal three minutes from time meant a 1-0 victory for Chelsea. Over the five games played between these two sides during the 2012/13 season, an incredible twenty goals had been scored – an average of four goal per game. Within seventy two hours, Alex Ferguson announced to the world at large that his twenty six year reign at Old Trafford would come to an end at the finish of the 2012/13.
When the two sides met again in August 2013 at Old Trafford, Man United had appointed long serving Everton boss David Moyes as manager. Chelsea meanwhile saw the return of the prodigal son – Jose Mourinho. The two sides however played out a 0-0 draw.
By the time of the return fixture in late January, Mourinho’s Chelsea stood in third place – five points behind leaders Arsenal, but with a game in hand. Moyes’s United however were fourteen points off of the pace in seventh. A Samuel Eto’o hat-trick gave Chelsea a 3-1 victory, with Man United’s only reply being a goal from Javier Hernandez twelve minutes from time. Man United finished seventh and trophy-less, as did Chelsea though the Blues managed a third place finish, four points off of champions Man City.
Man United had sacked David Moyes for a seventh place finish and replaced him with Dutchman Louis Van Gaal. His first meeting with Chelsea in the Premiership came in late October 2014. Mourinho’s Chelsea topped the table with seven victories out of eight. Man United meanwhile stood in eighth place with just three wins from eight games. Didier Drogba gave Chelsea the lead eight minutes into the second half, however a last minute strike from Robin Van Persie meant a 1-1 draw.
Man United’s visit to Stamford Bridge for 2014/15 came in late April. Mourinho’s Chelsea were homing in on their first League title for five years, holding a seven point lead over second place Arsenal at the top of the Premiership table with a game in hand. Man United meanwhile were a point behind Arsenal in third place. A first half goal for Eden Hazard gave Chelsea a 1-0 win and edged them a little closer to the League title. Chelsea ended up winning the title with a eight point margin, while Man United got back in the Champions League after finishing fourth. Unbeknown to anyone at the time, this would be Jose Mourinho’s final meeting with Man United as Chelsea boss after being sacked eight days before Christmas after a poor first half to the 2015/16 season.
By the time Chelsea came to Old Trafford in the interim between Christmas and New Year in 2015, the reigning Champions had sunk to fifteenth place, nineteen points off of surprise Premiership leaders Leicester City. Guus Hiddink had been appointed to take charge of the Blues until the end of the season. Man United in contrast stood in sixth place. The two sides however played out a 0-0 draw.
IMan United’s visit to Stamford Bridge for 2015/16 came in early February. Chelsea were now thirteenth, while Man United were fifth. For the first time in Premier League history, neither side were within the top four after twenty five games. Jesse Lingard gave Man United the lead on the hour mark, however a last minute Diego Costa goal meant a 1-1 draw.
After failing to qualify for the Champions League, winning the FA Cup was not enough for Louis Van Gaal to keep his job at Man United. On his exit, the Reds appointed former Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho in his place. Chelsea meanwhile appointed Italian Antonio Conte as boss over the summer of 2016. Mourinho’s return to Stamford Bridge came in late October 2016, by which point his Man United side were seventh having won just four of their first eight games. Antonio Conte’s Chelsea side stood in fifth place having won five of their eight games played to date, standing four points behind early leaders Arsenal. Conte’s side gave their season a boost with a thumping 4-0 win with goals from Pedro, Gary Cahill, Eden Hazard and N’Golo Kante. That win would signify Chelsea’s title credentials for the season ahead.
Antonio Conte however received a reprimand from a bitter Jose Mourinho for allegedly lacking respect by whipping up the Stamford Bridge crowd.
Man United would again head to Stamford Bridge the following March to face Chelsea in the Quarter Final of the FA Cup. A goal from N'Golo Kanté six minutes into the second half was enough to set up an all London FA Cup Semi Final at Wembley a month later. Chelsea were now unbeaten in their last twelve meetings with Man United in all competitions.
And so on to Sunday afternoon. Chelsea currently top the Premiership with seven games to go, while Man United are battling hard for a Champions League place. United incredibly having lost in the Premiership since their 0-4 drubbing to Chelsea at Stamford Bridge last October, despite having ventured no higher than fifth since last August (Jose’s side have managed twelve draws this season, only three less games than they’ve won). Chelsea on the other hand have won five of their last six games, with twenty four victories from thirty one games played to date. The odds of Man United picking up a win look slim and quite possibly their best hope may be for a home draw from this Sunday’s fixture.