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Hernandez seals controversial United win at Chelsea

Source : REUTERS
Last Updated: Mon, Oct 29, 2012 05:45 hrs
Hernandez

Javier Hernandez grabbed a 3-2 victory for Manchester United at Premier League leaders Chelsea after the previously unbeaten hosts had been reduced to nine men in a tempestuous clash at Stamford Bridge on Sunday.

The Mexican, looking suspiciously offside, tapped in the winner in the 75th minute to kill off a vibrant Chelsea side who had battled back from 2-0 down before having Branislav Ivanovic and Fernando Torres sent off by referee Mark Clattenburg.

A David Luiz own goal gave United the lead after four minutes and Robin van Persie fired the visitors 2-0 ahead eight minutes later.

Juan Mata began the Chelsea fight back with a curling free kick in the 44th minute and Ramires hauled Chelsea level shortly after the break with a header.

However, Chelsea's momentum was halted when Ivanovic was red-carded for tripping Ashley Young and worse followed when Fernando Torres appeared to have been felled by Jonny Evans but was instead shown a second yellow card for diving.

The home crowd roared its disapproval and then watched on as Hernandez, on as a substitute for Tom Cleverley, poked home United's winner from close range.

Victory lifted United back above neighbours Manchester City into second place on goal difference with 21 points, one point behind Chelsea.

Earlier Everton recovered from 2-0 down to draw 2-2 with Merseyside rivals Liverpool at Goodison Park while Gareth Bale was on target against his old club as Tottenham Hotspur moved into the top four with a 2-1 victory at struggling Southampton.

Newcastle United beat West Bromwich Albion 2-1 at home.

EQUALLY DRAMATIC

Chelsea and United drew 3-3 at Stamford Bridge last season in the Premier League and the latest chapter in their rivalry proved equally dramatic.

United, who meet Chelsea again this week in the League Cup, made a blistering start as they went 2-0 ahead after 12 minutes.

Chelsea were guilty of giving away possession and when Wayne Rooney cut a pass back for Robin van Persie the Dutchman's shot cannoned off the bar and ricocheted off Luiz into the net.

The early blow disrupted Chelsea's composure and they fell further behind as United counter-attacked in devastating fashion.

Antonio Valencia made ground down the right and his cross was perfect for Van Persie to fire past Petr Cech with Chelsea's defence all at sea.

Chelsea, again playing with Oscar, Eden Hazard and Juan Mata in an attacking formation behind Torres, cleared their heads and a minute before halftime Mata curled an unstoppable free kick past Davis de Gea to give them hope.

They were level after 53 minutes when Ramires climbed to head in Oscar's dinked cross in a crowded area.

The game seemed to have swung Chelsea's way but Ivanovic was dismissed for an inadvertent trip on Young and a few minutes later Torres tumbled as he raced through but, to his horror, got up to see a red card being waved at him.

United manager Alex Ferguson and counterpart Roberto Di Matteo exchanged heated words on the touchline as Torres stormed off.

Hernandez then rubbed salt into Chelsea's wounds as the crowd sang "3-2 to the referee".


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