Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Football: Chelsea Let off the Hook by Red Devils

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Football: Chelsea Let off the Hook by Red Devils

Article excerpt

Chelsea 1

Manchester United 1

MANCHESTER United boss Sir Alex Ferguson was left to rue a missed opportunity to end Chelsea's unbeaten Premier League home record after failing to kill them off at Stamford Bridge.

Ji-Sung Park gave the Devils an early lead and it needed a Salomon Kalou header 10 minutes from full-time to extend Chelsea's record to 85 matches. It also keeps Luiz Felipe Scolari's men six points ahead of United in the early stages of the title race.

"We played with great tempo in the first 20 minutes - the real shame was that we didn't go for the jugular at 1-0 up." Ferguson said. "We had control of the match at that point but we eased off and allowed them to get to half-time."

Chelsea lost Deco to an apparent thigh strain in the warm-up, then Ricardo Carvalho limped off with a knee injury before the opening goal.

Scolari changed things at half-time when he brought on Didier Drogba to partner Nicolas Anelka in attack, then Kalou came off the bench to grab a point.

By that time, Ferguson had already lost goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar to a knee injury who he replaced with Tomasz Kuszczak.

"Didier Drogba came on and gave us a different kind of threat," Ferguson added. "He is big and aggressive and made it more difficult for us physically.

"Edwin suffered a blow to his knee. It is a bit sore but he should be okay for next week."

Scolari, who is set to sign defensive midfielder Mineiro this week, was pleased with his side's spirit, although he does not care about the amazing record they have at home.

"For me, the record is nothing. The record is whether we win the championship. It might mean something for the fans but not for me," Scolari said.

"I have many problems in terms of injuries and I have to change the team but that is my job." Scolari does not feel the title is not a two-horse race at the moment and admitted it is too early in the season to make such a claim. …

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