Late drama at Old Trafford

Chelsea cemented their top-four standing with a 1-0 victory over Manchester United which produced a dramatic finish.

Last Updated: 06/05/13 at 06:55 Post Comment

Juan Mata: Saw late effort deflected in off Phil Jones

Juan Mata: Saw late effort deflected in off Phil Jones

More of the games that matter

Upgrade in minutes or watch with a NOW TV Day Pass.

Juan Mata saw an 87th-minute effort deflected into the back of the net by Phil Jones, sending the Blues back into third place, before Rafael was shown a late red card for kicking out at fellow Brazilian David Luiz.

Although United boss Sir Alex Ferguson insisted there would be no easing off even though the title was won a fortnight ago, it was hard not to notice a slackening in attitude from the hosts.

With Michael Carrick missing, they were forced to look to Ryan Giggs for some incisive passing and it took the veteran Welshman some time to find his range.

In the meantime, both Rafael and Jones burst into the box, only for Petr Cech's massive frame to get in the way.

Just before half-time, Giggs presented Robin van Persie with a decent opportunity when he crossed from the left, only for Cech to again block the route to goal.

The end of season feel was rather at odds with Chelsea's predicament. Europa League finalists may be good for interim manager Rafa Benitez's CV, as Ferguson pointedly noted on Friday, but there is no absolute certainty they will be featuring in next season's UEFA Champions League yet.

Demba Ba put a couple of chances over, as did Victor Moses.

The deadlock should have been broken 15 minutes from time when Frank Lampard picked out Mata with a sublime chip into the box. But, unmarked, the Spain midfielder inexplicably failed to make any contact with his header and Rafael bundled away.

It was all rather humdrum until the final five minutes.

Wayne Rooney felt Ramires had fouled him on the edge of the Chelsea area to win possession in the first place, but once they countered, the visitors always had an extra man.The ball was eventually ferried out to Mata, whose shot may have been creeping in, but definitely did after it flicked off Jones, bouncing in off the post.

United's frustrations boiled over almost immediately as Rafael went through the back of Luiz by the corner flag, believing the Brazilian to have swung an elbow.

Giggs was incensed at Oscar for waving an imaginary card, but after the two sides had been separated, referee Howard Webb did just that, a red one that will mean a three-match ban and an early end to Rafael's season.

Football365 Facebook Fan Page

The Football365 fan page is a great place to meet like minded people, have football related discussions and make new friends.

Footer 365

Mesut Ozil defended by Arsene Wenger after Paul Scholes criticism

Arsene Wenger claims Paul Scholes "would have loved to play with Mesut Ozil".

Football Association names Martin Glenn as its new chief executive

The Football Association has named Martin Glenn as its new chief executive.

Arsenal's Gabriel Paulista out for up to three weeks with hamstring injury

Arsene Wenger has confirmed that Arsenal defender Gabriel has been ruled out for up to three weeks with a hamstring injury.

Mail Box

Is Sissoko's Neck Very Distinctive?

Moussa Sissoko features in a really quite bizarre Distinctive Physical Features XI while we have mails on sexism, Angel Di Maria and Francesco Totti. Ramdom.

Have To Trust Managers On Mata

It's all very well bemoaning the lack of action for Juan Mata, but we have to trust the judgement of Van Gaal and Mourinho. Plus Martinez Out, and Leicester are doomed...

© 2015 Sky Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media company