Wayne Rooney and Javier Hernandez helped Manchester United recover from 3-0 down to earn a 3-3 draw at Stamford Bridge.
United had seemed almost certain to suffer only their second away defeat of their Barclays Premier League campaign when they fell three goals behind by the 50 minute, but two Wayne Rooney penalties gave them hope before Hernandez levelled the scores. The result left Sir Alex Ferguson’s side two points behind Manchester City at the top and 12 points ahead of fourth-placed Chelsea.
Andre Villas-Boas’s Chelsea had drawn their previous two BPL matches and it was United who had the better of the opening exchanges. Branislav Ivanovic’s well-timed tackle stopped Danny Welbeck reaching Wayne Rooney’s low cross before Chelsea took the lead against the run of play in the 36 minute.
Daniel Sturridge cut into the penalty area on the right and pulled back a pass that deflected into the net off United defender Jonny Evans. A minute after half-time, Chelsea doubled their lead when Fernando Torres sent in a deep cross from the right and Juan Mata crashed in a powerful first-time volley at the far past. Four minutes later it was 3-0 as David Luiz’s header from Mata’s free-kick deflected off Rio Ferdinand to leave David De Gea helpless.
Rooney gave United hope when he drilled in a 58-minute penalty after Sturridge’s foul on Patrice Evra. Rooney was on the spot again 11 minutes later when he converted a second spot-kick into the opposite corner, after Ivanovic had fouled Welbeck.
Hernandez then stunned Chelsea when he headed home Ryan Giggs’s cross after Cech had made a fine save from a Rooney effort. Chelsea nearly won it in the closing seconds but de Gea made a superb stop to deny Cahill.
United finished second in the Barclays Premier League table, with Man City winning the title on goal difference. Chelsea came sixth, their lowest position for 10 seasons, but ended the campaign with victory in the final of the UEFA Champions League against Bayern Munich.
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