Manchester United v Chelsea: Open Thread

Feel free to post your observations about the biggest match of the season throughout the game today. A few observations before the game has kicked off:

  • Didier Drogba is on the bench. Could Chelsea be more powerful today without him? If they played like they did against Aston Villa, the answer is yes.
  • Alexi Lalas is in Tommy Smyth’s chair today. It seems weird to see Lalas there, even if it’s just temporarily. I thought Lalas hated the English Premier League or thought it was overrated?
  • Scholes is starting instead of Carrick, which is a surprise move.
  • ESPN2 seems to be handing over the audio to the game commentators later and later. Remember the good old days earlier this season when they would hand it over as the players were in the tunnel?
  • Big game today for Peter Drury to commentate. He usually doesn’t get the big games like this.

Here’s the live blog of the match:

3rd minute: It’s been all Chelsea so far. Alex’s header from the corner should have at least been on target. Good start by the Blues.

4th minute: Dimitar Berbatov can run! He can run!

8th minute: Lively game so far. Seems very promising. Manchester United seems a bit slow so far and unable to keep possession.

9th minute: Decent header by Berbatov, wide of the post. In terms of chances so far, it’s equal. One by Alex. One by Berbatov.

12th minute: Scuffed shot by Joe Cole into the arms of van der Sar. Nemanja Vidic looks a bit shaky in the back for United so far today.

13th minute: Good pressure by Si-Jung causes Petr Cech to miskick his clearance.

14th minute: Good inter-play between Giggs and Evra on the left wing. Evra gets past a couple of Chelsea players but his shot at goal is easy for Cech to stop.

17th minute: I wonder if the Glazers ever thought about changing the colors of the stewards jackets? They look a bit too close to the green and gold brigade colors to me!

18th minute: Manchester United fans booing John Terry as he runs forward. Those same fans will be cheering him in a couple of months when England plays in the World Cup.

20th minute: GOAL! Brilliant run by Malouda going past three United players on the left wing, and  a clever back heel by Joe Cole into the corner of the net.

22nd minute: A well deserved lead for Chelsea so far. The Blues have monopolized the possession and have looked more dangerous moving forward. Manchester United players look like they’re still in Munich. Giggs has been practically invisible thus far. They’re definitely missing Rooney who would start the attack in midfield and dart forward.

24th minute: Chelsea counter attack. Deco’s pass is too far out of the reach for Cole or Anelka to get it. Ends up being a corner to Chelsea.

25th minute: So far, Chelsea has been wasting their corners other than the first one.

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