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Chelsea v United

Chelsea have the win and are within six points of clinching the Premier League crown with six games remaining.


Chelsea 1-0 Manchester United

The ball bobbles off Falcao in the Chelsea box and Herrera goes down as he tries to retrieve the loose ball? Penalty? Nope, the Spaniard is booked for diving having stuck his own leg out to catch Cahill's challenge.

That will be that.

Chelsea repeat the trick as Willian replaces Hazard.

Mikel replaces Fabregas who takes a slow walk off the pitch to run the clock down.

Four minutes of time added on.

United are running out of time. Di Maria tries his luck from 30 yards out but his shot is bravely charged down by Terry. Moments later, Drogba wins a free kick off Januzaj to relieve the pressure on his side.

United win a corner and di Maria whips an inviting outswinger into the box. Rooney has a yard of space as he leaps, but he can't control the header and it flies over the bar.

Luke Shaw, who has been excellent in his first game back after injury, is replaced by Tyler Blackett. No appearance for Robin van Persie today, then.

Falcao denied by the post! A ball down the inside left channel finds the Colombian who easily turns Zouma. He lashes an effort towards the near post but watches on in agony as it comes back off the woodwork.

Azpilicueta comes down the left and finds Hazard on the edge of the box. The pass is just behind the Belgian however and he can't get the right connection on the ball, tapping a tame shot on goal for De Gea to save.

Terrific block from Cahill! Falcao takes a snapshot in the six yard area which looks destined for the back of the net but the England centre half gets across just in time.

United make two changes as Angel di Maria comes on for Young and Adnan Januzaj replaces Mata, who greeted to warm applause as he comes off. Which is nice.

Herrera does excellently to intercept Zouma and the ball drops to Young about 25 yards out from goal. He prods it into the path of Falcao who lets fly with a shot, but it is always veering wide of the post.

Shaw again causes problems, clipping a ball over the face of goal to Fellaini who chests it down to Rooney whose shot is deflected wide.

Oscar is booked for a poor challenge on Herrera.

United are turning the screw again. Luke Shaw does brilliantly down the left, showing terrific strength and speed to drill an inviting ball across the box. It falls to McNair whose drilled effort is saved by Courtois. Shaw picks it up again and fires another ball into the box but Mata can only head wide.

United try something more elaborate from the resulting free kick but it comes to nothing as a tame shot from Rooney is off target.

Better from United as McNair lifts a ball down the left channel to pick out Shaw's excellent run. He takes it in his stride and cuts inside, only to be clipped by Ivanovic. United are given the free kick, Ivanovic is shown a yellow card.

Chelsea denied by the woodwork! Herrera loses possession with a woeful pass Drogba is sprung clear. Smalling gets across and puts pressure on the striker, but he still manages to loop a ball over De Gea via a deflection. It looks a lost cause, but Hazard is on the end of it at the far post and acrobatically flicks it goal bound, only to be denied by the post. Ander Herrera is a lucky boy.

Drogba is shown a yellow card for a late challenge on McNair.

The start to this half hasn't been as bright. Neither team has managed to venture forward with any real menace, but that is in part due to the dilligent defending all over the pitch. Oscar provides a fine demonstration of that, tracking Shaw's run down the left and intercepting with a fine sliding challenge.

And we are back underway for the second half at Stamford Bridge.


Chelsea 1-0 Manchester United

A sublime United move nearly opens Chelsea up. United probe, swapping the ball from left to right before it's fed inside. Rooney's clipped pass is knocked down by Fellaini into the path of Falcao but Courtois is out in a flash to block. That will be that for the first half.

There's a bit of handbags between Terry and Falcao after the Chelsea skipper crashes into the back of the Colombian, but Azpilicueta is across quickly to act as peacemaker.

Chelsea take the lead! Despite United enjoying the better of the half, they are undone by a wonderful passage of play from the home side. Falcao loses the ball on the half way line and Hazard picks it up. He plays a one two with Oscar who returns the ball via a wonderful backheel that frees the Belgian inside the left of the box. It's a tight angle, but that's no trouble as the Player of the Year candidate causally slots the ball through the legs of De Gea.

Goal! Chelsea 1-0 Manchester United (Eden Hazard, 38)

Ivanovic sparks a Chelsea counter after Young wastes a United free kick, nodding a ball away from McNair on the half way line out to free down the right to Fabregas. He lifts a high ball towards the box for Hazard but the combination of Valencia and de Gea manage to intercept. Did that hit the goalkeeper's arm outside the box, though? Chelsea fans certainly think so.

Maybe he shouldn't have bothered. It's lumped straight into the wall and Herrera can clear.

It looks like Drogba will be taking responsibility for this free kick.

De Gea is bravely out to punch clear with Cahill and Terry lurking, but Chelsea keep the pressure on and win a free kick 30 yards out from goal as Falcao impedes Hazard.

Oscar is almost on a loose ball in the United box but Fellaini gets an important boot there first and lumps it out for a corner.

Valencia now wanders down the right, shrugging off the challenge of Azpilicueta before slipping a ball inside for Mata. He brings it towards the byline before cutting it back across goal, looking for that late run from Rooney again. It;s not there, however, and Matic cleans up.

As I write that, Azpilicueta races menacingly down the left flank, cutting the ball into Fabregas on the edge of the box. The full back continues his run into the box and receives the ball back from his countryman, but he's in an offside position.

It's been all United so far, although Courtois is yet to be called into action.

Chris Smalling is called into action as Chelsea threaten to break but the England international reads Hazard's pass well and intercepts.

The corner is aimed towards Fellaini but Chelsea deal with the threat well.

No signs of nerves from young McNair so far. Moments ago he pulled off a neat Marseille turn in the middle of the park to evade Zouma and just now slipped by two Chelsea men before taking on a shot. Yes, a shot from the defender. It wasn't the greatest effort, but he earns a corner out of it.

United continue to enjoy the better share of possession, looking for an opening down that left channel. With that route blocked on this occasion, the ball is worked infield to Herrera who takes the shot on, but drags a tame effort wide.

Chelsea now advance as Cesc Fabregas feeds Hazard inside the left channel of the box. It's awfully tight down there, however, and United defenders quickly surround the Belgian. He prods a tame effort towards the near post but De Gea deals with it.

Chelsea fan Luke Shaw has looked very adventurous in these early stages, offering plenty of support for Young on the left flank where United have had so much joy recently. He arrives again and drills a low ball into the box, hoping for a lucky deflection, but Chelsea clear.

What a chance for Rooney! Luke Shaw does brilliantly on the overlap down the left, reaching the byline before cutting an accurate ball back to Rooney whose arriving on the edge of the box. He hits a first time effort, looking to curl one into the near top corner, but it goes the wrong side of the post.

Rooney, as expected, starts in a deep role behind Ander Herrera.

And United get us underway.

The teams are on their way out onto the pitch at Stamford Bridge, kick off is minutes away.

It looks awfully defensive from Jose Mourinho this evening, doesn't it? Kurt Zouma's inclusion in midfield suggests as much, anyway.

Paddy McNair, who hasn't featured since the 2-1 defeat to Swansea back in February, partners Chris Smalling defence while Radamel Falcao has been given the nod up front.

Kick off is just over 10 minutes away.

With Arsenal in FA Cup action this evening, United can jump into second place with a win this evening and narrow the gap between them and league leaders Chelsea to just five points. Bear in mind, Jose Mourinho's side still have a game in hand on the teams below them.

Radamel Falcao, with four goals to his name this season since his celebrated arrival at Old Trafford, has not started a game since February. But it was against Chelsea three years ago when he enjoyed one of his finest hours, tormenting the Blues backline with a faultless performance in the Uefa Super Cup.

You feel tonight's performance, Louis van Gaal will know whether he will remain at the club beyond this season or not.

It's a busy old evening for the football. Arsenal and Reading kick off in their FA Cup semi-final clash in just under 40 minutes. For all the team news and coverage for that game, click here.

Angel di Maria meanwhile starts his fifth consecutive game on the bench, alongside Robin van Persie.

As expected, Wayne Rooney takes up Michael Carrick's holding position for Manchester United. It looks like the same formation Louis van Gaal has opted for during their recent winning run. Luke Shaw starts for the first time since the FA Cup elimination to Arsenal this month while Radamel Falcao takes up Rooney's role at the forefront of attack. Could this be a last shot at redemption for the much-criticised Colombian?

Jose Mourinho has selected Kurt Zouma to start in midfield this afternoon? Presumably on Maroaune Fellaini duty? Chelsea are without both Diego Costa and Loic Remy, meaning Didier Drogba will be tasked with exposing United's weakened backline this evening. If the old man wears himself out a bit, Chelsea have the exciting option of Dominic Solanke on the bench.

BREAKING: Loic Remy misses out through injury so Didier Drogba leads Chelsea's attack. Kurt Zouma starts in midfield.

Chelsea team to face Manchester United: Courtois, Ivanovic, Cahill, Terry (c), Azpilicueta, Zouma, Matic, Oscar, Fabregas, Hazard, Drogba

Subs: Cech, Filipe Luis, Mikel, Ramires, Cuadrado, Willian, Solanke

BREAKING: Paddy McNair comes into defence for Manchester United while Luke Shaw returns at left back. Radamel Falcao leads Louis van Gaal's attack.

Manchester United team to face Chelsea: De Gea, Valencia, Smalling, McNair, Shaw, Mata, Rooney, Herrera, Young, Fellaini, Falcao.

Subs: Valdes, Blackett, Rafael, Di Maria, Januzaj, Pereira, Van Persie.

Chelsea meanwhile are still without top scorer Diego Costa, who is likely to fit in time for next week's clash with Arsenal. Loic Remy is also a doubt after missing the win over Queens Park Rangers with a calf injury, meaning 37-year-old Didier Drogba could once again be entrusted with leading his side's attack.

Confirmed line ups are expected any minute now, we will have them with you as soon as they reach us.

As mentioned, United will be without Marcos Rojo, Phil Jones, Daley Blind and Michael Carrick for this evening's clash. Blind and Carrick have been integral to the new dynamic overseen by Louis van Gaal, while the loss of two centre backs again leaves United desperately short at the back.

Louis van Gaal has already indicated he will deploy Wayne Rooney in holding midfield role, opening up a space at the forefront of attack. Robin van Persie is fit again but only returned to first team training a week ago. Could this be Radamel Falcao's last chance to shine in a United shirt? A repeat of his performance against the Blues in the 2012 Super Cup wouldn't do his chances of earning a permanent deal any harm.

Could it be? A late challenge to Chelsea's dominance of the 2014/15 Premier League season? It still seems rather unlikely, but if we are to be treated to a late scramble for the title, this afternoon's clash at Stamford Bridge could well prove to be the catalyst for it.

Manchester United take on the might of Jose Mourinho's Chelsea machine as one of the league's in-form sides, having swept aside the likes of Tottenham, Liverpool and Manchester City in consolidating their place in the top four. Is there more to offer? The dreary, counter-productive football Louis van Gaal's side inflicted upon us earlier this season is fast becoming a distant memory and positivity is once again reverberating around Old Trafford.

Such has been the extent of their turnaround, United had been backed to inflict just Chelsea's third league defeat of the season tonight. That was until van Gaal's press conference on Friday morning, anyway. The loss of Phil Jones, Daley Blind, Marcos Rojo and most importantly Michael Carrick – all causalities of last week's 4-2 win over their city neighbours – act as decisive blows to the Dutchman's plans whose starting XI during their recent exhilarating run has been near-identical each week.

Of course, that doesn't end United's chances of clinching three points. But you can forgive Jose Mourinho for feeling slightly pleased with that spate of injuries that has tipped the odds back into his side's favour.