Chelsea 2 Manchester United 2: Classic games No 4 - Giggs scores 100th goal
On Sunday the Premier League leaders Chelsea host Sir Alex Ferguson's Manchester United and the visitors will be looking to become the first team this season to beat the Blues in the league.
All the week we will be building up to the big game by taking a look at five classic meetings between the two at Stamford Bridge in the Premier League. Yesterday we covered United's 3-2 on Boxing Day in 1994, thanks to Brian McClair's late strike. Today we go back a decade to a rare Friday night meeting between the two.
Chelsea came into the game hot on the heels of a thrilling opening day win at Charlton. The Blues were two down after 35 minutes at the Valley but Paul Konchesky's sending off gave the visitors hope, although they did have to wait until the 89th minute to wrap up the points. Manchester United also had to leave it late to secure the win at home to new boys West Brom - Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was their hero.
Manchester United had it all to fight for after finishing third the previous season, but they fell behind to a third minute goal from William Gallas. Boudewjin Zenden fizzed in a vicious free-kick which the French World Cup winner got the slightest touches on to give Roy Carroll no chance.
United, with Veron, Scholes and Keane in the middle of the park, were on level terms though after 26 minutes. Silvestre pinged a glorious 60-yard ball into David Beckham's path. The former England captain took the ball down instantly, cut inside a Chelsea defender and swept the ball, left-footed, into the back of the net. It was a wonderful goal from Beckham.
But Chelsea, who finished sixth the previous season, were not to be outdone and went in at the break 2-1 up thanks to Zenden. Carroll tried to make a quick throw out but gifted the ball to Chelsea. The ball found its way to Zenden who lashed it into the top corner.
United came out for the second half with all guns blazing. Scholes, Keane and Beckham all came close to levelling again and Sir Alex was left fuming when Graham Poll refused to give United a penalty after Cudicini appeared to haul down Paul Scholes.
Chelsea's rearguard action couldn't hold out for much longer though and Ryan Giggs scored his 100th goal for the club with 25 minutes remaining. Silvestre was the architect again as he played the rampaging Giggs in to clip the ball past Cudicini.
United pressed for a winner but they had to settle for a point.
The Red Devils went on to reclaim the title from Arsenal that season. Chelsea beat Liverpool on the final day to secure fourth spot, a result that changed the landscape of English football for ever with the arrival of Roman Abramovich.
Remember to come back tomorrow when we will be continuining our countdown to our greatest Chelsea-Manchester United Premier League clash at the Bridge. Number three is a must-read for Chelsea fans.
Calling all Chelsea and Manchester United fans: What has been your greatest game between the two sides during the Premier League era? What do you think will be our number one? Whatever your views, we'd love to hear from you.
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