| 5°C Belfast

Old Trafford has bad omens for Chelsea

Fortress Old Trafford? You’ve got to think so as the omens aren’t good for Chelsea and the stats won’t lift their spirits either.

The Blues have won at the Theatre of Dreams before — most famously in April last year — on the way to clinching the Premier League title.

But before that victory, you have to go back to a Carling Cup semi-final second leg tie in January, 2005, and a 2-1 win.

Sir Alex Ferguson’s team have lost only one of their last 30 matches in the competition at Old Trafford and none in the last six years. They have progressed in all 16 European ties where they won the first leg away from home. In the Carling Cup triumph in 2005, Jose Mourinho’s side floored United. Frank Lampard gave Chelsea a first-half lead and Ryan Giggs replied with a classic lob over Petr Cech.

But a Damien Duff free-kick five minutes from time floated over ‘keeper Tim Howard and birthday boy Mourinho had booked a Wembley date and Roman Abramovich was soon clutching his first silverware.

However, Chelsea will gain inspiration from their crucial league triumph over United at Old Trafford last season.

The Blues’ 4-3-3 system helped carve out a 2-1 win which effectively won them the title.

United boss Ferguson was fuming as Didier Drogba (pictured) was a yard offside as he ran on to score the crucial winner.

Joe Cole opened the scoring for the visitors with a cheeky back heel. United sub Federico Macheda netted an equaliser but Drogba sprung off the bench to swing the title pendulum in Chelsea’s favour.

Unlike tonight, United were without the injured Wayne Rooney and had crashed out of the Champions League with defeat in Munich that week.

Belfast Telegraph