My Favourite Game: Manchester United vs. Chelsea, 8th May 2011

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By Sophie Marsden.

Having only just got my hands on a season ticket for the first time this year, I’m inevitably choosing one of my favourite games from the current season. The pressure was on for Manchester United to prove exactly why they were above Chelsea in the race for the title. With a 2-1 defeat to Chelsea in March earlier this year, and a 2-1 home win April, nothing was certain about this game.

With a home pitch advantage and a strongly formed team, I was confident but anxious at the same time. The atmosphere inside the stadium was undoubtedly one of the best this season, knowing we were one point away from near certain glory. United appeared to be on form instantaneously.  Hernandez made a name for himself with a 37 second goal, sending the crowd into wild celebratory mode, and proving himself as this season’s best buy.

Vidic played with sheer determination and fought to get the 2nd goal, which followed shortly after the first one at 23 minutes. The fans were elated and I was almost confident that we had it sewn up. Ji-Sung Park and Valencia’s return to play has proved to be a great asset to the team, with dedication and energy levels which didn’t seem to falter throughout the 90 minutes. 37 year old Giggs performance was flawless, leaving supporters gobsmacked by dictating the play and initiating both goals.

The second half was slightly more nerve-wracking, and Chelsea’s half time pep talk had noticeably given them a boost. This however, wasn’t enough to contend with Man United’s thirst for victory over their closest competitors. They demonstrated this through their upbeat pace during the game and their dominance over their closest competition.

Chelsea’s opportunity to top the premier league if they defeated United didn’t seem to be an achievement they thought was worthwhile, and their lack of effort on the pitch was disappointing for their fans. Although they picked things up a little in the second half, and won a goal back at 68 minutes from Lampard. If anything, this only spurred United fans on even more, and the support for the players was evident.

The dedication of fans was saluted post match as Ferguson turned to the crowd and bowed, showing gratitude for the constant support shown to the team throughout the season. The road to the Premier league title was looking remarkably clear for Manchester United to pave their way, and this match is not likely to be forgotten in Manchester United’s bid towards their 19th and record breaking title.

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