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Friday, 23 August, 2002, 20:57 GMT 21:57 UK
Giggs earns Man Utd point
David Beckham finds the target for Man Utd
Chelsea 2-2 Manchester United

Ryan Giggs hit the century mark for Manchester United as they fought out a pulsating draw with Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.

Sir Alex Ferguson's side twice came from behind to earn a hard-earned point - with Giggs hitting a landmark with his 100th goal for the club in the second half.

William Gallas gave Chelsea coach Claudio Ranieri the perfect start with an early strike, but England captain David Beckham was on target to restore equality in the first half.

Holland winger Boudewijn Zenden put Chelsea back in front in injury-time at the end of the opening period.

  Key moments
3 mins Gallas turns Zenden's free-kick past Carroll for Chelsea's opener
26 Beckham curls home Man Utd's equaliser
45 Zenden scores in spectacular style for Chelsea
64 Giggs scores after a sweeping Man Utd move for the equaliser

But United mounted a second half siege to collect a well-deserved point as Giggs swept home the leveller.

Ferguson will have been left frustrated by United's failure to transform second half domination into three points - and referee Graham Poll's failure to award a blatant penalty when Chelsea goalkeeper Carlo Cudicini hauled down Paul Scholes.

United were unable to call on the services of 30m Rio Ferdinand, who was forced to watch from the sidelines as he recovers from an ankle injury.


I thought it was a fantastic game of football - full of passion and commitment - and we were magnificent in the second half
Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson

The game was preceded by a perfectly-observed minute's silence as a mark of respect to murdered schoolgirls Jessica Chapman and Holly Wells, both avid Manchester United fans.

As the action got under way, Ferguson will have been regretting Ferdinand's absence with Chelsea taking the lead in the third minute.

David Beckham during the minute's silence

Zenden's vicious free-kick only needed the slightest of touches from Gallas in the six-yard area to divert the ball past the helpless Roy Carroll.

Chelsea had made a high-tempo start but United, with Scholes playing in a more advanced role in place of Juan Sebastian Veron, were on terms in spectacular style in the 26th minute.


I'm not happy with a point because we slowed down in the second half and it cost us
Chelsea coach Claudio Ranieri

Mickael Silvestre's raking 60-yard pass found Beckam in space on the right flank.

He turned inside Celestine Babayaro before sending a curling left foot drive past Cudicini with the help of a slight deflection.

Chelsea and United both had chances to go in front as a pulsating opening period swung from end to end - and it was Ranieri's side who struck in spectacular fashion in first half injury time.

Goalkeeper Carroll was at fault, gifting the ball back to Chelsea as he attempted a quick throw out, and he was punished fatally as Zenden lashed a brilliant finish into the top corner.

It was a bitter blow to United - but it stung them into action as they produced a scintillating spell of football that led to an inevitable equaliser.

Gallas celebrates his goal

Chelsea's goal was under siege as the second half started, Cudicini saving well from Scholes and Roy Keane, as well as seeing a Beckham lob bounce back off the bar.

And referee Poll was at fault in the 58th minute, turning away penalty appeals after Cudicini clearly hauled down Scholes as he looked poised to score.

It was only a matter of time before United levelled matters, and they got the equaliser they deserved after 64 minutes, when Silvestre was creator again with a suring run that set up Giggs for a clipped finish beyond Cudicini.

Ferguson's men looked the likely winners, and Cudicini was Chelsea's hero again with another excellent save from United captain Roy Keane as time ran out.



Chelsea: Cudicini, Melchiot, Desailly, Gallas, Babayaro, Zenden, Lampard, Petit (Gronkjaer 75), De Lucas, Hasselbaink (Cole 80), Zola (Gudjohnsen 80).

Subs Not Used: de Goey, Ferrer.

Booked: Desailly, Hasselbaink, De Lucas.

Manchester United: Carroll, Phil Neville, Blanc, O'Shea, Silvestre, Beckham, Butt, Keane, Giggs (Veron 84), Scholes (Solskjaer 76), van Nistelrooy (Forlan 90).

Subs Not Used: Williams, Tierney.

Booked: Phil Neville, Beckham.

Attendance: 41,541.

Referee: G Poll (Hertfordshire).

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
BBC Five Live's Jonathan Pearce
"United were caught cold"
Man Utd boss Sir Alex Ferguson
"An absolutely engrossing game"
Chelsea boss Claudio Ranieri
"We played very well in the first half"
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