Belfast Telegraph

United strike back for Chelsea draw

Javier Hernandez came off the bench to grab a late equaliser as Chelsea squandered a three-goal lead in Sunday afternoon's thrilling 3-3 draw against Manchester United at Stamford Bridge.

Chelsea cruised in to a 3-0 lead thanks to an own goal from Jonny Evans, a wonder strike from Juan Mata and a header from David Luiz.

The home side looked set to coast to victory but Wayne Rooney smashed home two second-half penalties and Hernandez wrapped up an epic comeback from the champions with a header six minutes from time.

Chelsea took the lead nine minutes before half-time. United failed to clear their lines and the ball broke to Daniel Sturridge, who fired in a cross that hit David De Gea and then went in off Evans' arm.

And the visitors were caught cold at the restart as the home side trebled their advantage inside five minutes. The second goal took less than 30 seconds, Fernando Torres getting clear down the right and whipping in the cross for Mata to lash past De Gea before the goalkeeper could move.

If that was sublime, the third was unlucky again for United, with Luiz heading Mata's free-kick against Rio Ferdinand and into the net.

However, United enjoyed a spectacular reversal of fortune when they were awarded two penalties inside 10 minutes.

The first saw Sturridge adjudged to have knocked over Patrice Evra, with Rooney stepping up to fire home, before referee Howard Webb pointed to the spot again when Danny Welbeck tripped over the leg of Branislav Ivanovic.

This time Rooney went to Petr Cech's left to put United within one goal of another astonishing comeback. And Sir Alex Ferguson's men equalised six minutes from time. Ryan Giggs crossed from the left and the unmarked Hernandez headed straight through Cech.

De Gea produced two stunning saves from Mata and Gary Cahill to preserve United's point.


From Belfast Telegraph