The Reds rolled with the punches and started to emerge as a force again with van Persie unable to reach a Young cross and Rooney's header blocked from Valencia's ball into the area. Suddenly, the tide completely turned against the European champions as Ivanovic clipped Young's heels when he capitalised on a fine spin and pass by van Persie to race through. Referee Clattenburg had no option but to show the red card to the Serbian defender.
After Rooney's free-kick sailed over the top, there was real controversy when Torres was shown a second yellow card for simulation after making a meal of minimal contact from Evans. There is no doubting it was a harsh call by Clattenburg, even if the Spaniard's first offence was a dreadful challenge on Cleverley - and it left the hosts down to nine men with 22 minutes still to play.
Van Persie blazed one attempt off target but forced Cech to stretch and save with his fingertips from a 75th-minute snap-shot. The ball was spinning agonisingly towards goal but instead rolled against an upright with the Blues keeper scooping it away. However, the danger had not passed with Rafael firing into the six-yard box where Hernandez, coming back from inside the goal, touched home in predatory fashion.
TV replays showed the Mexican may have been fractionally offside when the full-back connected with the ball although, in real time, there looked at least two defenders between him and the goal. To Chelsea's credit, they refused to accept defeat as Ramires hammered a speculative effort over the top and Di Matteo introduced striker Daniel Sturridge for Hazard.
Hernandez volleyed over with four minutes left from a Young pass as United found holes in the Chelsea defence late on. Five minutes of injury time failed to provide any further addition to the scoreline although