It was a poor match that lacked intensity and had an end-of-season feel about it but it livened up in the final minutes when Juan Mata’s shot deflected off Phil Jones and it was not without controversy, as Rafael was sent off for kicking out at David Luiz after the pair tangled following the goal.
Sir Alex Ferguson likened Luiz to a ‘dying swan’ when the Brazilian duo clashed and the young United fullback was giving his marching orders by Howard Webb. Luiz also appeared to be laughing whilst on the ground which has already become more of a talking point as it didn’t affect the referee’s decision and he was probably amused by Rafael’s stupidity as he retaliated to his rough challenge.
Anyway, I’m sure United’s fans won’t be losing any sleep over it as they’ve already won the war this season by earning their 20th Premier League title but Rafael Benitez and Chelsea won their own battle today knowing that a win over Tottenham will all but guarantee them a Champions League spot due to their vastly superior goal difference over Andre Villas-Boas’ side.
You can see what it meant to players like Mata from his reaction to the goal and he deservedly won the man of the match award, being the best player on the pitch despite not being at his best.
I imagine Chelsea’s victory today was a body blow to both Arsenal and Spurs who would probably have earmarked this game as one in which the Blues would drop points, it also puts us on a high for what is the biggest game of our season on Wednesday night. To confirm our top four status before the away trip to Aston Villa would be a major boon for Chelsea in their quest to win the Europa League too as it gives us the luxury of rotating the squad before we play Benfica, who have a tough trip away at Porto days before the final as they bid to win the Portuguese league.