Manchester United vs. Chelsea: Red Devils Serve Up Another London Beating

Nathan LoweAnalyst ISeptember 20, 2011

United's most important player this season?
United's most important player this season?Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Manchester United beat down Chelsea 3-1 at Old Trafford Saturday.

We both watched; or maybe you just saw highlights.

Blues forwards misfired throughout most of the first half, only occasionally testing sprightly Manchester United's David de Gea. Form strikers would have netted regardless—Fernando Torres did not.

United scored thrice in the first half, as you know, despite losing on possession.

Ashley Young's crossing ability again paid dividends, as did Chris Smalling's alacrity as he rose to meet the young Englishman's serve. The Red Devils led after being under kosh for eight minutes.

A half-hour later, Chelsea had 10 shots on goal to United's one. Several were near-sitters, and none were converted. Nani, though, used only pace, instead of trickery, on a direct run inwards from the right to rocket in from range, making it 2-0 to Manchester.

On the brink of the break, Phil Jones again marauded down the right—from center-back—to interplay nicely with Nani, eventually breaking to Wayne Rooney to slot home for a 3-0 score at break.

To open the second half, Torres finished an outstanding through ball from Ramires to peg one back. The Spaniard stepped over to deke goalie de Gea before finishing neatly with a right-footed chip.

The home side took and maintained control with passing and movement. Nani dove for a penalty that Rooney justly skied. Ashley Cole bungled purposefully into Javier Hernandez, who just managed to walk off under his own guidance. Meanwhile, Dimitar Berbatov played for the first time this season.

It ended 3-1.

We both knew that.