PREMIER LEAGUE: Man Utd poised to claim Premiership crown

Manchester United after coasting into a two goal lead were made to hang on for a 2-1 win over Premiership rivals Chelsea and take a six point lead over their nearest title challengers.
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Manchester United after coasting into a two goal lead were made to hang on for a 2-1 win over Premiership rivals Chelsea and take a six point lead over their nearest title challengers.

With just two games remaining United have all but got their hands on the Premier League trophy and if the Reds had the perfect start Chelsea were left with a mountain to climb after going two down by the 23rd minute.

For a team with the best defensive record in the top flight the Blues looked vulnerable at the back.

In fact the visitor’s were a goal down after just 36 seconds as Ji-Sung Park played through Javier Hernandez to open the scoring.

With Antonio Valencia and Park in sparkling form Chelsea struggled to get a foothold in the game even though Salomon Kalou had a couple of decent chances, by the time the Blues had settled down they were chasing the game.

Park had a fine effort saved but moments later a short corner was crossed by Ryan Giggs and Nemanja Vidic heads downwards and past Petr Cech.

Chelsea showed more urgency after the break as United lost their dominance and with 21 minutes remaining Frank Lampard pulled a goal back. Ramires crossed and Alex’s knock down was prodded home from close range.

Fernando Torres came on as a substitute but made little impact.

But with Valencia giving Ashley Cole a hard time United had chances to clinch the game and Wayne Rooney, Jonny Evans and Valencia all spurned late chances to catch a stretched visitor’s rearguard.

United have now collected 52 points out of a possible 54 on home soil this season, and are unbeaten at Old Trafford since April 2010 having endured four minutes of stoppage time the final whistle was greeted as if Sir Alex Ferguson had already won a record 19th league title.

But in reality Manchester United now need just one point at Blackburn on Saturday to be crowned champions.

Referee: Howard Webb

Venue: Old Trafford
Attendance: 75,445

Man Utd scorers: Hernandez 1, Vidic 23
Chelsea scorers: Lampard 68

MAN UTD
01 Van der Sar
05 Ferdinand
15 Vidic
20 Fabio Da Silva (Smalling 88)
22 O'Shea (Evans 46)
11 Giggs (yellow card)
13 Park Ji-Sung
16 Carrick
25 Valencia
10 Rooney (yellow card)
14 Hernandez

Substitutes
29 Kuszczak,
12 Smalling,
23 Evans,
08 Anderson,
17 Nani,
18 Scholes,
09 Berbatov

CHELSEA
01 Cech
02 Ivanovic (yellow card)
03 A Cole
04 David Luiz (Alex 46)
26 Terry
05 Essien (yellow card)
08 Lampard
12 Mikel (Ramires 46 (yellow card)
15 Malouda
11 Drogba (yellow card)
21 Kalou (Torres 61)

Substitutes
22 Turnbull,
19 Ferreira,
33 Alex,
07 Ramires,
10 Benayoun,
09 Torres,
39 Anelka

 
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