Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Chelsea v Manchester United: The stats behind a heavyweight clash

SoccerNews in English Premier League 2 Nov 2017

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The two most successful sides in the Premier League era do battle again on Sunday as Chelsea host Manchester United.

These two clubs have claimed 18 of the 25 titles since the rebranding of English football’s top tier, and some of the game’s greatest names have graced this fixture down the years.

Chelsea will, of course, reacquaint themselves with a familiar foe this weekend as Jose Mourinho – manager for three of those Premier League triumphs – returns to Stamford Bridge, tasked with guiding United back to the heady days of the Alex Ferguson reign.

Reigning champions Chelsea come into Sunday’s meeting trailing red-hot leaders Manchester City by nine points while United are four points and two places better off in the chase to catch Pep Guardiola’s runaway juggernaut.

With the help of Opta, we take a look at some of the standout performers in clashes between these two Premier League ever-presents.

 

Top scorers

Two United icons sit proudly atop this list, with Paul Scholes and Wayne Rooney each having netted on six occasions in matches between the two sides.

Chelsea’s top scorer is Eidur Gudjohnsen, with four – a tally matched by Mark Hughes, who turned out for both clubs during his career.

Juan Mata is another man to have featured for both and he is one of nine players to have scored three goals in Chelsea v United fixtures, along with the likes of Ruud van Nistelrooy and Samuel Eto’o, who netted all of his in one game, a 3-1 win for the Blues in January 2014.

 

Longest winning runs and losing streaks

As one would expect from a fixture between two Premier League heavyweights, neither side has enjoyed prolonged periods of dominance over the other.

Chelsea’s longest winning sequence over United stretches across three matches, between November 2009 and March 2011. United’s best league winning streak is two games, which followed on from that hat-trick of successes for the Blues.

 

Most appearances

Perhaps predictably, the man with the second most Premier League outings in history tops this list. Ryan Giggs played in 31 Chelsea v United fixtures, five more than fellow Old Trafford legend Scholes.

John Terry leads the way for Chelsea, with 25, one more than United’s Gary Neville, while the clubs’ respective record goalscorers Rooney and Frank Lampard each appeared in 20 games.

 

Biggest results

Chelsea’s memorable 5-0 mauling of United in October 1999 remains the heaviest victory enjoyed by either of these two sides. The Blues also demolished a Mourinho-led United 4-0 in October last year, which prompted an apology from the Portuguese to Red Devils supporters.

United have thrice beaten the Blues 3-0 – the latest instance coming in January 2009 – while in October 1995 they romped to a 4-1 triumph at Stamford Bridge, with Scholes bagging a brace.

 

Serbian red mist

By quirk of circumstance, international team-mates Nemanja Vidic and Branislav Ivanovic lead the way when it comes to red cards in this fixture.

During his nine years in the Premier League, Ivanovic was sent off twice – with United the opponents on both occasions. Deep into stoppage time of the October 2014 meeting at Old Trafford, Ivanovic was shown a second yellow card for a foul on Angel Di Maria and from the resulting free-kick Robin van Persie rescued a 1-1 draw for United.

Vidic also saw red in two matches against Chelsea – the second time for a reckless lunge on Eden Hazard in second-half injury time with United having been put to the sword by that Eto’o hat-trick.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

SoccerNews

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