So far, both Manchester teams have dominated the headlines in the opening weeks of the season with Chelsea going about their business very quietly indeed.
Whilst many people are predicting a two-horse title race between both Manchester sides, you would be pretty foolish to rule Chelsea out of the running.
Sir Alex Ferguson has already said it would be wrong to dismiss the Blues’ title hopes. United’s manager added, "Chelsea will be there at the end of the season. The Manchester teams are enjoying the publicity but Chelsea are lurking and will enjoy not being in the spotlight."
Both teams have played out some classic matches in the Premier League in years gone by; here’s Chelsea’s top five wins against the Red Devils.
It’s not every day you win convincingly in Manchester United’s own backyard, but that’s what Chelsea did following a dominating display.
The start of the 2001-02 season had not gone well for United and this defeat was their fifth in 14 games and it also saw them drop out of the Premier League top six. It only took five minutes for the Blues to take the lead as Mario Melchiot got ahead of Wes Brown to head home a Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink corner.
Hasselbaink was next on the score sheet as he finished off an Eidur Gudjohnsen through ball with an exquisite angled drive across Fabian Barthez.
Gudjohnsen then wrapped up the points for Chelsea as he finished with a carbon copy of his strike partners goal three minutes from time.
With United holding a three point lead going into the match, Chelsea knew three points was a must, especially with a further two games remaining.
In a tense opening, Sir Alex Ferguson’s men suffered a massive blow as Nemanja Vidic was taken off following an accidental clash with Didier Drogba. With United now lacking their main defender, it spurred Chelsea on and they duly took the lead on the stroke of halftime through Michael Ballack’s precise header.
Chelsea certainly looked on top but Ricardo Carvalho then gifted Wayne Rooney an equalizer following a horrendous lapse of concentration. The defender decided to clip the ball back to Petr Cech without looking, but Rooney got on the end of the ball and produced a neat finish to level the scores.
Minutes from the end, Chelsea were awarded a contentious penalty as Michael Carrick was adjudged to have handled Michael Essien’s cross. There was no doubting the finish, however, as Ballack stepped up and duly dispatched the spot kick to leave the title race wide open.
Prior to kick off, Manchester United had to give a guard of honour to the new Premier League Champions as Chelsea took to the field. It certainly hurt everyone at Old Trafford with the Premier League trophy becoming synonymous with the Red Devils since the dawn of the Premier League era.
The hosts did have something to cheer about early on as Ruud Van Nistelrooy turned in Wayne Rooney’s cross-cum-shot to break Chelsea’s watertight defence. The lead wouldn’t last long however as midfielder Tiago netted with one of the goals of the season.
With little ahead of him, the Portuguese international tried his luck from 30 yards and found the net with an astonishing, dipping strike that left Roy Carroll motionless in goal. The strike even took Jose Mourinho by surprise as he pulled a perplexed look on the sidelines.
Tiago would be involved in the visitor’s second goal as he played Eidur Gudjohnsen through with an exquisite through ball before the Icelandic striker finished with a deft chip over Carroll. Joe Cole put the seal on the win late on as Chelsea created a new Premier League record of 94 points.
Going into the match at Stamford Bridge, United were unbeaten in the Premier League since December 19, 1998, it would finish there, however. Chelsea produced a five-star performance to bring the Red Devils’ run to an abrupt end.
The hosts found the net after 28 seconds as Gus Poyet capitalised on a big mistake from United goalkeeper Massimo Taibi to head home into an empty net. Fifteen minutes later, the lead was doubled as summer signing Chris Sutton grabbed his first goal for the club with a powerful header into the far post.
It went from bad to worse moments later for Sir Alex Ferguson’s men as Nicky Butt was given his marching orders after reacting to a nasty challenge from Dennis Wise. Ten minutes into the second half, the game was out of sight for United as Poyet tapped home after yet another mistake from Taibi before Henning Berg diverted the ball into his own net.
Blues midfielder Jody Morris put the seal on the win as he fired through Taibi’s legs to bring United’s unbeaten run crashing to the ground.
April 29, 2006 will be a day Chelsea fans will always treasure after a 3-0 win over the Red Devils sealed their second successive Premier League title.
The win over the Old Trafford club made it all the more sweeter, especially after United’s dominance in the first decade of the Premier League. Going into the game, Chelsea knew that only one point would clinch the title but they wanted to finish the job in style.
William Gallas started the celebrations in the fifth minute as he headed home after Didier Drogba had headed on Frank Lampard’s corner. Ten minutes after the break, Joe Cole doubled the lead with a brilliant piece of skill that left Rio Ferdinand, Nemanja Vidic and Mikael Silvestre stranded before beating Edwin Van Der Sar with a fierce strike.
Defender Ricardo Carvalho then put the game beyond doubt as he ran the length of the field to score as Chelsea got their hands on the Premier League trophy.