On Sunday, United travel to London for the annual Battle of the Bridge, where the reigning champions remain the team to beat. “The previous winners deserve respect,” says Sir Alex, “the Premier League is difficult.” To whet your appetite, here’s part 3 of our whistlestop ABC of United v Chelsea…
The scene of the Reds’ greatest victory against Chelsea. To many the stage seemed set for Abramovich to win the trophy he most coveted on what was for him home ground. They were one captain’s kick away from that famous victory, until John Terry’s little slip-up (see ‘P’). The name Luzhniki, roughly translated as ‘place of puddles’, comes from the swampy land on which the ground was built – and where Chelsea’s dreams sank.
When Jose joined the Blues in 2004 he told the press: “Please don’t call me arrogant, but I’m European champion and I think I’m a special one.” He had an up and down relationship with Sir Alex (these days, very much ‘up’), and in his last season at Chelsea opined: “After all that’s happened this season, and that is a lot, I’ve reached the conclusion that I’m a good loser.”
United and Chelsea have played each other at three neutral grounds. United won 2-1 at Villa Park in the 1996 FA Cup semi, and we all know what happed at the Luzhniki in 2008. At Wembley, United just have the edge: the teams have one FA