DEEP IN the heart of London's West End, where the Rolex culture reigns supreme, the millionaires of Manchester United last night proved they remain as hungry for honours as a man down to a broken Casio.
Twice behind to a vibrant Chelsea, who took an early lead though William Gallas and another on the stroke of half-time by Boudewijn Zenden, United responded with a pulsing second-half display. Tellingly their equalisers came from two of their most feted stars, David Beckham and Ryan Giggs. Premiership opponents be warned - United's appetite is far from sated.
It took, though, a roasting from Sir Alex Ferguson to rouse them. Chelsea comprehensively outplayed United in the first period and the defender John O'Shea admitted: "We got a mouthful from the manager at half-time."
Chelsea's disappointment at letting victory slip was compounded by Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink. In a post-match interview he effectively begged Barcelona to make an offer for him. Responding to speculation linking him with the Spanish club he said: "I love Chelsea. I don't want to leave. But I am a professional. I want to play at the highest level. If a club the size of Barcelona comes in you have to think about it." With the transfer deadline seven days away it is a case of "your move, Mr Louis van Gaal".
Claudio Ranieri responded: "Maybe Barcelona want Jimmy. If they do they must speak with our chairman. I hope Jimmy stays here." Of the match the Chelsea manager added: "I am happy we played very well but not with the draw. We lost some discipline in the second half and made too many mistakes."
Ferguson also preferred to concentrate on the second half when, he said, United were "excellent" and showed "great passing, movement, drive and enthusiasm."
With Rio Ferdinand and Fabien Barthez still out, though Ferdinand may make Tuesday Champions' League qualifier, Ferguson made one change. Juan Sebastian Veron, substituted when United were still stalemated against West Bromwich Albion last weekend, remained on the bench. Paul Scholes replaced him and was given an attacking role alongside Ruud van Nistelrooy. It was United's third formation in the three games and was no more successful than the other two.
The new system was not helped by Chelsea scoring after three minutes. Gallas, attacking Zenden's near-post freekick, left Roy Keane in his slipstream before steering the ball past Roy Carroll.
With Frank Lampard and Emmanuel Petit dominant Hasselbaink thrice went close to doubling the lead having a shot deflected just wide and two aerial opportunities. Chelsea seemed in total control and disaffection was spreading through the United support when, out of the red, the visitors levelled. …