back in time to play his part in the opening goal.
Neat play between Scholes and Wes Brown after a throw-in on the right flank gave Brown time to pick out a cross for Ronaldo who expertly directed his header past Petr Cech - his 42nd of a staggering season. Who can’t do it on the big stage then, eh?
Chelsea, who had so far offered little in attack, went close to drawing level on 34 minutes. Drogba headed Lampard’s deep cross to the far post, back across goal. Rio Ferdinand dithered for a just second with Michael Ballack breathing down his neck. His presence forced the United skipper into heading towards his own goal, but Edwin van der Sar was alert, beating the effort away at point blank range.
United broke forward immediately from the resulting corner, Wayne Rooney finding Ronaldo with an exquisite 40 yard cross-field pass. The winger controlled it brilliantly and delivered a perfect cross onto Carlos Tevez’s head. Cech blocked the diving effort from the Argentine and was also on hand to parry Michael Carrick’s follow-up shot from the edge of the box. An awesome double save.
The Reds were clearly growing in confidence and Ronaldo in particular was giving Chelsea's stand-in right-back Michael Essien a torrid time. Two minutes before the break Hargreaves won possession, broke forward and fed Rooney on the right. He fizzed in an early daisy-cutter which evaded Makelele at the front post. Tevez was waiting just behind him