Number of meetings at Old Trafford in the Premier League era: 27
W/D/L Record: Draws 11, Manchester United Wins 10, Chelsea Wins 6
Average Attendance: 65,998
Total Number of Goals: 66
Top 5 Fixture Goalscorers: Eidur Gudjohnsen 3, Paul Scholes 3, Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink 2, Louis Saha 2, Dwight Yorke 2
All data correct upto the end of the 2018-2019 season
Manchester United vs. Chelsea is always one of the most attractive fixtures in the Premier League calendar. These two former champions in this modern era of football have produced some exciting encounters throughout the years. Ahead of their opening weekend meeting in the 2019-2020 season, I open up the Premier League archive to look back on 10 notable fixtures at Old Trafford between the sides.
5th March 1994: Manchester United 0-1 Chelsea
Chelsea’s first success at Old Trafford came in the 1993-1994 season, as they recorded a memorable league double over the defending champions. Gavin Peacock, who’d scored the winner when the sides met in September 1993, repeated the trick in this fixture in the 65th minute. Glenn Hoddle’s side came into the match down in 17th place but ended with all three points in a surprising result. The Blues were the only team to win all season in the Premier League at The Theatre of Dreams.
17th April 1995: Manchester United 0-0 Chelsea
Manchester United were hunting down Blackburn Rovers in 1995 when once again, they struggled against a side they’ve often had trouble against in the Premier League era. They dominated the match but Chelsea held on for a goalless draw. Steve Bruce had a goal disallowed for offside and Erland Johnsen was lucky to avoid giving away a penalty for what looked like a clear handball. These two dropped points proved costly for United, who lost out on the title to Blackburn by just a single point.
23rd September 2000: Manchester United 3-3 Chelsea
Six weeks earlier, Chelsea had comfortably beaten Manchester United in the curtain-raising Charity Shield match. They arrived for this game in disarray. Gianluca Vialli had been sacked and the Blues had just one victory recorded. Vialli’s successor, Claudio Ranieri made his bow in the Premier League and witnessed a scorching fixture.
Chelsea made a bright start and led inside eight minutes thanks to a thunderous strike from Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink. Sir Alex Ferguson’s side responded in clinical fashion. Quick-fire goals from Paul Scholes, Teddy Sheringham and David Beckham had them 3-1 infront by the 39th minute. Tore Andre Flo pulled a goal back on the stroke of half-time and the Norwegian’s second of the match ensured a deserved share of the spoils in a breathless match that ended 3-3.
8th May 2004: Manchester United 1-1 Chelsea
It wasn’t official at the time but this proved to be Claudio Ranieri’s last away match as Chelsea boss. He finished the game having secured a runners-up position in the league; Chelsea’s best top-flight finish in nearly half a century. It was a mixed day for Chelsea goalkeeper Carlo Cudicini. Having earlier saved a penalty from Ruud van Nistelrooy, he produced a late goalkeeping howler that allowed the Dutchman to score a late equaliser. Earlier, Chelsea’s young defender Robert Huth had seen red for two yellow cards, whilst Jesper Gronkjaer had scored his first league goal of the campaign.
10th May 2005: Manchester United 1-3 Chelsea
Chelsea’s visit to The Theatre of Dreams in May 2005 was their first after lifting the Premier League trophy. Sportingly, United gave the new champions a guard of honour as they entered the field and the Blues demonstrated their class with a highly impressive 3-1 victory. Tiago scored a stunning equaliser which even left his manager Jose Mourinho looking slightly bewildered. There was also another goal at Old Trafford for Eidur Gudjohnsen, who with three goals is the most successful goalscorer in this fixture.
6th November 2005: Manchester United 1-0 Chelsea
Unbeaten in 40 Premier League matches, Jose Mourinho’s side arrived for this game in November 2005 full of confidence. Their march towards back-to-back titles was partially checked by defeat in Manchester. The Red Devils were coming off the back of a poor performance away at Middlesbrough eight days earlier. Skipper Roy Keane had launched a furious tirade at several of his teammates in an MUTV show which had to be pulled from the schedules. An injured Keane watched in the stands as one of the men he’d severely criticised, Darren Fletcher scored the only goal of the game with a looping header.
23rd September 2007: Manchester United 2-0 Chelsea
Four days earlier, Jose Mourinho’s first spell as Chelsea manager had come to an abrupt end and his successor, Avram Grant was given the toughest of tasks to pick up a bruised Chelsea side. John Obi Mikel’s first half red card added to their woe and they simply weren’t a match for United. Carlos Tevez scored his first Old Trafford goal with a header on the stroke of half-time. Substitute Louis Saha won a debatable penalty in stoppage-game which he converted to secure victory for Ferguson’s side.
3rd April 2010: Manchester United 1-2 Chelsea
Manchester United went into this fixture leading the Premier League title race. Afterwards, Chelsea were the favourites and leaders of this three-way title battle. Carlo Ancelotti’s side took a half-time lead through a delightful cheeky goal by Joe Cole. Then, substitute Didier Drogba struck the crucial goal.
Although replays showed he was clearly offside, the Ivorian played on and finished in typical Drogba fashion with 11 minutes left to play. Missing an injured Wayne Rooney, United struggled throughout to carve out many clear-cut chances. Nevertheless, Federico Macheda bundled home from close-range with nine minutes to go to setup a grandstand finish. Chelsea held on though for a deserved victory which gave them an advantage in the title race that they were never to relinquish.
8th May 2011: Manchester United 2-1 Chelsea
After a rotten winter period, reigning champions Chelsea had found some form in spring 2011 and clawed away at Manchester United’s points’ advantage. Three points behind, victory here would put them level on points with Sir Alex Ferguson’s side. Ferguson admitted in the pre-match press conference: “If we win the game, we will win the league.”
Within 36 seconds, they were infront. Ji-Sung Park’s through pass was missed by David Luiz and Javier Hernandez raced clear to score for the 20th time in the season in all competitions. Skipper Nemanja Vidic doubled in the lead in an immaculate opening 25 minute spell. In the game which was likely to decide who would be champions, United played like champions. Frank Lampard’s scrappy second half strike was not enough. At the final whistle, Manchester United players and coaching staff celebrated like they’d won their 19th league title. Just one more point was required to lift the 2010-2011 Premier League title. This was achieved a week later away at Blackburn Rovers.
28th April 2019: Manchester United 1-1 Chelsea
The most recent encounter between the sides at Old Trafford finished 1-1 in April 2019. Juan Mata opened the scoring for the home side but another mistake by David de Gea enabled his compatriot Marcos Alonso to score an equaliser for the visitors on the stroke of half-time. Chelsea seemed happier with the final scoreline which virtually ensured they would finish above United in the final standings. It was de Gea’s fourth high-profile mistake in four matches – an indictment of Manchester United’s awful season defensively.