29th of October 2012 Author: Johnny Karp
Manchester United closed the gap at the top of the Premier League standings to just one point after Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez's late winner gave them controversial win over nine-man Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. David Luiz's own goal and Robin van Persie's finish gave Manchester United a two-goal lead early in the game, but Chelsea fought back in style to level the score with goals from Juan Mata and Ramires either side of half time. Then Chelsea were hit with two red cards in the space of five minutes and substitute Hernandez bagged the winning goal, a controversial one as he appeared offside on the TV replays.
The referee was in the spotlight first after sending off Branislav Ivanovic after a foul on Ashley Young and the decision seemed right but the dismissal of Fernando Torres for diving was controversial to say the least. The Spanish striker appeared to be caught by defender Jonny Evans but referee Mark Clattenburg ruled he had dived and produced a second yellow card. Javier Hernandez then smashed in a winner from close range but it was from an offside position.
Robin Van Persie scored a hat-trick in Arsenal's 5-3 win on his last visit to Stamford Bridge, and he was on form again as Manchester United produced a storming start to the match. Ashley Young's pace allowed him to play in Wayne Rooney who pulled the ball back to Van Persie and shot ended up in the back of the net after taking deflections from the upright and David Luiz. Chelsea were given no time to recover and United doubled their lead as Valencia displayed a fine run and cross for Van Persie who coolly slotted home.
Chelsea did fight back though and United goalkeeper David de Gea did well to deny Luiz's free kick while Evans' deflection on a Jon Obi Mikel's cross came back off the post. The Blues continued to press forward and the reward came on the stroke of half-time when Juan Mata curled home a perfect free-kick shot. The Spaniard was then denied once again by the excellent De Gea but Chelsea kept pulling the strings and they went back on level terms after 53 minutes when Ramires headed home.
The match shifted towards United when Chelsea lost two players to red cards just after the hour as Ivanovic was sent off for tripping Young and Torres was also dismissed for picking up a second yellow card for diving. With just 9 players on the pitch Chelsea were unable to hold out and United went ahead with 15 minutes remaining when Rafael crossed low into the six-yard area and Hernandez turned in from an offside position.
Chelsea remain top of the table on 22 points, followed by Man United and Man City on 21 points apiece. Bet365 have Chelsea at 11/4 to win the Premier League this season while Manchester United are priced at 7/4.
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