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Sunday, October 3, 1999 Published at 19:59 GMT


Chelsea maul Man Utd

Chelsea's Gustavo Poyet takes a seat after scoring Chelsea's third goal

Chelsea 5-0 Man Utd

Manchester United's long unbeaten record came to a sudden end as Chelsea sensationally crushed the champions 5-0 in a bad-tempered match at Stamford Bridge.

It was the first Premiership match United had lost since they went down 3-1 to Middlesbrough last December - a run of 29 games without defeat.

Chelsea, inspired by a two-goal effort from Gustavo Poyet, were in stunning form and they made a mockery of the visitors' status as runaway title favourites.

United played most of the match with just 10 men, after Nicky Butt was sent off for a act of sheer petulance.

But the red card could hardly be said to have changed the game - as by that stage Chelsea were already 2-0 up after an amazing start that had seen them take the lead straight from the kick-off.

Indeed so impressive was the Blues' demolition act that the last 30 minutes resembled a training match, as by then they were four goals up and destined for victory.

Seconds away

Poyet got the game off to a sensational start with a goal after just 27 seconds.

But questions will again be asked about United's new goalkeeper Massimo Taibi, who made his second howler in successive games.


[ image: Chris Sutton helps Jody Morris plays his trumpet]
Chris Sutton helps Jody Morris plays his trumpet
Straight from the kick-off Dan Petrescu sent a cross into the United area. And when Taibi, who let a Matthew Le Tissier shot slip through his legs against Southampton last week, stormed off his line and collided with his own team-mate Dennis Irwin, Poyet was able to head into an open net.

United's hold on their unbeaten record began to look even shakier in the 16th minute when Chris Sutton scored his first Premiership goal for Chelsea.

The second goal was a near replica of the first - barring the goalkeeping blunder.

This time it was Albert Ferrer who hoisted the cross from the right and Sutton stretched to direct a superb looping header over Taibi and into the far corner.

Butt blows it

Butt was sent off in farcical fashion in the 23rd minute.

Denis Wise clattered into the midfielder and sent him crashing to the ground.

Butt did not react immediately and instead lay prone on the floor. But as soon as the referee had come up to the pair he suddenly decided to kick out at Wise - right under the official's nose.

The inevitable sending off - and yellow card for Wise - sparked ugly clashes between the two teams, with furious United players appearing to accuse Wise of making the most of the incident.

United were now smarting and they almost pulled a goal back when Ed de Goey saved well from Paul Scholes.

But tempers were never far from boiling point and Scholes kicked out at Sutton after another clash - although thankfully for the United man, the referee missed it.

Chelsea began to make the most of their numerical superiority and Sutton headed just wide from an almost identical Ferrer cross.

Double blow

United were desperate to force their way onto the scoresheet at the start of the second half.

But instead it was Poyet who claimed the goal that effectively settled the contest in Chelsea's favour in the 55th minute.

The goal came from a well-worked free-kick. With United expecting a high ball into the area, Frank Leboeuf linked well with Celestine Babayaro - and when Taibi did well to save Leboeuf's shot, Poyet was on hand to slam the rebound home.


[ image: The Wise incident led to Nicky Butt's sending off]
The Wise incident led to Nicky Butt's sending off
It became even more embarrassing for United two minutes later - and this time the wound was self-inflicted.

Gianfranco Zola waltzed down the right flank and played a low ball into the area. With Sutton racing in at the far post, Henning Berg stuck out a foot in desperation and turned the ball into his own net.

It was the 16th own goal in the Premiership so far in a remarkable season for such errors.

The impressive Petrescu nearly made it 5-0 - but Taibi at last made amends for his earlier mistake by tipping his lob over the bar.

Ten minutes from time the United defence was ripped apart again. Graeme Le Saux played in fellow substitute Jody Morris, who placed a sharp shot between the legs of the hapless Taibi.

The fifth goal put the gloss on a famous win for Chelsea - while defeat saw United tumble from the top of the table, as Leeds took over as leaders.

Teams:

Chelsea: De Goey, Ferrer, Hogh, Leboeuf, Babayaro, Petrescu, Wise, Deschamps, Poyet, Sutton, Zola. Subs: Le Saux, Flo, Morris, Lambourde, Cudicini.

Man Utd: Taibi, Irwin, Berg, Stam, Silvestre, Beckham, Butt, Scholes, Neville, Yorke, Cole. Subs: Sheringham, Solskjaer, Clegg, Wilson, Van Der Gouw.

Referee: D Gallagher (Banbury)





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