Chelsea, Man U draw 1-1

Louis Saha and Ricardo Carvalho found the back of the net for their teams to end a thrilling Chelsea-Manchester United contest in a draw.

updated: February 25, 2007 11:37 IST
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Louis Saha and Ricardo Carvalho found the back of the net for their teams to end a thrilling Chelsea, Manchester United contest in a draw. After Saha's first-half strike, Manchester United fans were dreaming that the Premier League title could be on its way back to Old Trafford for the first time in four years. When Carvalho's equalizer meant Chelsea rescued a 1-1 draw, reality set in that it will likely be staying at Stamford Bridge for the third season in a row. Directors Joel and Bryan Glazer and the 73,000 other United fans packed into Old Trafford were hoping to savor a six-point advantage at the top of the standings after Saha's first-half strike reflected their team's first-half dominance. But the Blues made sure that United wouldn't get away. They took control of the midfield to get back in the game and earn a point with a strong second half. Mourinho positive Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho knows how vital Carvalho's 69th minute header was and how frustrating the result was to the United followers. "If I was in their place, I would be very, very disappointed because it's a big chance at home to open the gap and they couldn't do it. In the second half, I think we showed our power, and we showed that we are not sleeping," he said. Instead, the Blues remain three points behind and Mourinho says that's nothing. "It's a weekend, it's a game," said the Chelsea manager, who has guided the Blues to lopsided league titles in each of the last two seasons. "We know in the second period of the season, Man United has to go to Arsenal, to Chelsea and to Liverpool. They will have a difficult time," he added. United manager Alex Ferguson chose not to show any frustration. "The performance of the team in general was excellent. Some of the football we played was fantastic. We could have scored maybe more goals, but at the end of the day, I'm pleased with the performance and I'm pleased at the effort they made," he said. Ferguson optimistic Ferguson, who led United to eight Premier League titles in 11 seasons but none since 2003, believes that he has the better team. "We proved we can compete and that when we reach the high levels of performance we are the best team in the country at the moment." "The test for us now is to step forward from this because winning championships is about beating other teams. If we want to win the title, consistency is the name of the game," the veteran Scottish manager said. Chelsea remains a favourite with the bookmakers to win another title and that would mean United going four seasons in a row without the league championship. "I think we can go all the way. We are ready. The good thing is exactly that from the mental point of view. We come here and we go home with the same distance," Mourinho said. Mourinho, naturally confident about his team's ability to overcome problems, said he wouldn't have been worried by a six-point gap anyway. "I don't think that a six-point gap would have killed the Premiership, no way," he said. (AP)