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Flashback: The last time Manchester United beat Chelsea at Old Trafford

THAT miss by Torres was the stand-out memory as the hosts claimed a 3-1 win.

MANCHESTER UNITED BEGAN the 2011/2012 season in superb form. After successive wins over West Brom and Tottenham, they hosted Arsenal at Old Trafford and put eight past the hapless Gunners. In their next fixture against Bolton, they racked up another five with Wayne Rooney scoring for fun. In his first four games, he grabbed eight.

On 18th September 2011, they hosted Chelsea and it proved a madcap affair. Andre Villas-Boas was in charge of the Londoners after his summer switch from Porto and the side were in good shape, heading into the assignment on the back of four consecutive victories.

Teams

United: De Gea, Smalling, Jones, Evans, Evra, Fletcher, Anderson, Nani, Young, Hernandez, Rooney.

Chelsea: Cech, Bosingwa, Ivanovic, Terry, Cole, Meireles, Ramires, Lampard, Sturridge, Mata, Torres.

Against United however, things started badly for Chelsea and went rapidly downhill from there.

After 8 minutes, Ashley Young floated in a free-kick from the left and Chris Smalling arrived to power his header past Petr Cech. There was more than a hint of offside but the goal stood and United were in control early on.

Source: GeorgieD10/YouTube

Despite Chelsea creating a couple of decent opportunities throughout the period, United score twice before the break. On 37 minutes, Nani picked the ball up deep and raced towards the Chelsea goal, easily evading some half-hearted challenges. From the edge of the area, he unleashed an unstoppable drive that arrowed to the top corner.

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Just before the interval, Rooney added a third and United cantered to the dressing-rooms in complete control. But moments after the restart, Chelsea had a lifeline when Fernando Torres pulled a goal back for the guests after good work by substitute Nicolas Anelka.

The game could’ve been right in the mix for the last ten minutes or so but for an extraordinary miss from Torres – who side-stepped De Gea but inexplicably shanked his shot wide of the goal.

Torres

United held on to claim the three points though their season ended in bitter disappointment as local rivals City pipped them to the title with a last-gasp, final day victory over QPR.

Villas-Boas didn’t even last the full campaign with Chelsea – he was sacked in March 2012 and replaced by Roberto Di Matteo. Just a couple of months later, Chelsea beat Bayern in Munich and were crowned champions of Europe.

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About the author:

Eoin O'Callaghan

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