Chelsea beats Man Utd 3-1

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='' class='caption'> Chelsea rallied on a pair of second-half goals to defeat Manchester United 3-1 beating the Reds for the third time this season.

Updated: February 25, 2007 10:52 IST
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Chelsea rallied on a pair of second-half goals to defeat Manchester United 3-1 beating the Reds for the third time this season and breaking United's English record of league championship points. After Ruud van Nistelrooy gave United a seventh-minute lead on his return to the side after injury, Tiago Mendes equalised with a 35-meter shot and Eidur Gudjohnsen and Joe Cole added second-half strikes at Old Trafford. Chelsea on a roll The result followed the Blues' 1-0 victory over the Reds on the opening day of the campaign. Jose Mourinho's players, who clinched the league title 10 days ago, also eliminated Alex Ferguson's stars from the League Cup with a draw and a victory in the semifinal. Chelsea's record 29th league victory of the season against just one loss gave it 94 points, two more than United's mark set in 1994. Having conceded only 14 goals and with one game to play, it has a good chance of breaking Liverpool's record of 16 set in 1979. "I don't say we will win the title next season," Mourinho said. "I have to say that, in my five years contract, if we don't win the title once or twice more then I would say we don't have a really great team. "But this season only one defeat. A record of points, a record of victories and clean sheets. Everything the team did was absolutely fantastic." It all looked so different when Van Nistelrooy gave United an early lead against a Chelsea side playing without team captain and central defender John Terry, who is about to have surgery on a toe injury. Wayne Rooney drove in a low cross from the left and the ball found Van Nistelrooy, who had enough space to score with an audacious back heel. The lead lasted 10 minutes before Tiago scored. Tiago scores There appeared no danger when he collected the ball 35 meters from goal, but he decided to shoot and the ball flew high into the net off the inside of the post. United keeper Roy Carroll, currently keeping United States international Tim Howard off the starting lineup, didn't move as if he believed the ball was going wide. Cole twice went close to giving the Blues the lead, first with a curling shot that shaved the post and then with an angled drive that Carroll did well to save, diving to his left. Taking the lead The second half was a wide open game and, after United's Darren Fletcher shook the Chelsea crossbar with a 25-meter drive, Chelsea took the lead in the 61st minute. Tiago's angled pass split the United defense and Gudjohnsen ran clear to chip the ball over Carroll. The third goal came nine minutes from the end but shouldn't have counted. Wes Brown gave the ball away to Frank Lampard with a poor crossfield ball on the edge of his area. When the England midfielder crossed from the left two Chelsea players were clearly offside and one of them, Cole, turned the ball home from close range. (AP)

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