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Last Updated: Wednesday, 9 May 2007, 20:51 GMT 21:51 UK
Chelsea 0-0 Man Utd
By Phil McNulty

Referee Graham Poll lectures Man Utd's Gabriel Heinze at Chelsea
Referee Graham Poll lectures Man Utd's Gabriel Heinze at Chelsea
Newly-crowned Premiership champions Manchester United played out a tame draw with Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.

United boss Sir Alex Ferguson and Chelsea counterpart Jose Mourinho both fielded weakened sides, with the forthcoming FA Cup final in mind.

Chelsea looked more likely winners in what was mostly a low-key encounter.

United keeper Tomasz Kuszczak was erratic, but made several saves and Kieran Lee also cleared off the line from Ben Sahar in the closing minutes.


Manchester United boss Ferguson has vowed to field his strongest side in the final league game against relegation-threatened West Ham.

And it showed in his team selection, which was very much a makeshift affair.

It led to the ludicrous spectacle of Chelsea captain John Terry leading a guard of honour for a side featuring Fangzhou Dong, Chris Eagles, Kieran Richardson, Kuszczak and Lee.

With the Premiership title decided, the game was decidedly uneventful until Mikel Jon Obi, still angry at an earlier challenge from Alan Smith, launched into a wild challenge on Eagles.

Referee Graham Poll booked Mikel, and the fear of a red card ruling him out of the FA Cup final led to him being replaced by Joe Cole at half-time.

Gabriel Heinze had United's best chance of the half, but he dragged a right-foot finish wide.

United were denied what looked like a clear penalty after 56 minutes when Eagles was tripped by Michael Essien.

Eagles was so incensed he immediately flattened Shaun Wright-Phillips, receiving a booking from referee Poll.

Chelsea finally had a spell of pressure when Wright-Phillips shot straight at Kuszczak after 68 minutes and Salomon Kalou forced a diving save out of the keeper two minutes later.

Dong had been quiet on his debut after three years at United, and he was replaced by Wayne Rooney with 18 minutes left.

Referee Poll, not for the first time, was centre stage, and he was involved in an exchange of views with Mourinho that led to the Chelsea boss momentarily leaving the dug-out.

Chelsea looked the more likely winners, and Kuszczak had to dive to his left to save a curling drive from Lassana Diarra.

Kuszczak was then fortunate to escape when he dropped Joe Cole's corner, but John Terry's header was smuggled to safety.

And from the resulting corner, the keeper's eventful night continued when he saved from Kalou.

But United held on and, as they have so often done this season, they left Chelsea frustrated.

  • Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho:
    "If somebody has to win, we had more chances, we dominated more and showed more ambition to win the game but the result is not important.

    "The draw is a fair result and is what normally happens in these matches.

    "Graham Poll had a normal performance when he is refereeing a Chelsea match."

  • Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson:
    "I'm pleased with the result because we were playing for a bit of honour and pride.

    "Maybe when people saw the team they were expecting we wouldn't be bothered or that Chelsea were going to roll us over, but that wasn't the case.

    "I have to be happy with a draw and some of our performances. We were good in terms of possession and confidence to play, although we tired markedly in the last 15 minutes and had to hang on a bit."

    Chelsea: Cudicini, Diarra (Morais 88), Ferreira, Terry, Bridge, Makelele, Wright-Phillips, Essien, Mikel (Joe Cole 46), Kalou, Sinclair (Sahar 54).
    Subs Not Used: Hilario, Geremi.

    Booked: Mikel, Diarra, Essien.

    Man Utd: Kuszczak, Lee, Brown, O'Shea, Heinze (Carrick 65), Eagles, Smith, Fletcher, Richardson, Solskjaer, Dong (Rooney 73).
    Subs Not Used: Van der Sar, Ferdinand, Scholes.

    Booked: Heinze, Lee, Brown, Eagles.

    Att: 41,794

    Ref: G Poll (Hertfordshire).

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