One-nil to the Chelsea
Inside Blue Wed 8 Nov 2017
When the final whistle blew at Stamford Bridge on another Chelsea win over Manchester United there should have been little surprise at the margin of victory for the Blues...
No side has more success against the Red Devils in the Premier League era than the boys from west London, with Sunday’s win our 18th against them in 51 meetings, compared to only 14 victories for the side from Old Trafford.
Eight of our wins have been by a goal to nil, which is the most common winning scoreline for one side in this fixture since the English top flight was rebranded in 1992, and we look back at the previous Chelsea victories by that narrowest of margins.
Oh, and for any Blues fans looking to take any other positive omens out of the win: in three of our previous five Premier League title-winning seasons we have recorded a 1-0 victory over Manchester United...
Our first two Premier League wins over United came in the second season, and both of them were by a 1-0 scoreline. Incredibly, the scorer of the winning goal in both games was Gavin Peacock. At Stamford Bridge, the midfielder followed up after Steve Clarke’s initial shot was saved and then at Old Trafford he took a Mark Stein header in his stride before dinking the ball over Peter Schmeichel.
The best part of a decade passed before our next 1-0 victory over the Red Devils, with this one coming in November in the first season of the Roman Abramovich era. The game’s decisive moment arrived in the 30th minute when Joe Cole was brought down in the penalty box by Roy Keane and Frank Lampard stepped up to send Tim Howard the wrong way from 12 yards. Victory moved Chelsea into first place, although we ended the season behind Arsenal’s 'Invincibles'.
Jose Mourinho’s first Premier League game as Blues boss came against Sir Alex Ferguson, who he had outwitted the previous season as Porto beat United on their way to winning the Champions League. He got the better of the Scot in this match, too, as Eidur Gudjohnsen netted a scrappy goal early on and Chelsea showed the resiliency which would see us finish the campaign with only 15 conceded and 25 clean sheets on our way to winning the title.
Another 1-0 win over the Red Devils in another title-winning campaign. In fact, Chelsea would go one better this season under Carlo Ancelotti, securing the FA Cup as well to complete our first Double. Considering we won the Premier League by only one point, this narrow success at the Bridge in November proved absolutely vital. John Terry was our match-winner, turning home a Frank Lampard free-kick, which secured a 10th home victory on the bounce.
The tail-end of this season is best remembered for Frank Lampard becoming Chelsea’s all-time leading scorer and the Blues winning the Europa League for the first time, but shortly before that came a vital 1-0 win at Old Trafford. We were involved in a close battle with Spurs and Arsenal for the final two Champions League spots and these three points helped us to eventually finish third. Juan Mata, who now plays for Manchester United, netted our late winner and a few weeks later he was crowned Chelsea Player of the Year for the second straight season.
Mata’s successor as Blues Player of the Year in the following two seasons was Eden Hazard, and the Belgian also followed his former team-mate in scoring the only goal in a win against our perennial title rivals. This one, however, came shortly before we claimed our fourth Premier League championship and the winning goal was Hazard at his very best. He took an inventive pass by Oscar in his stride and bided his time before slipping the ball through the legs of David de Gea, making the difficult look so very easy.