Chelsea v Man Utd: Looking Back

Tonight’s game is the 68th meeting between the two clubs in the league at Stamford Bridge.

Chelsea’s first meeting with Manchester United game was during the Blues’ first season in the football league and took place in April 1906, finishing as a 1-1 draw.

Chelsea fans had to wait almost fourteen years before the first home win over United, thanks to a single goal from World War I veteran Jack Cock in January 1920. Chelsea’s record against United at Stamford Bridge before World War II wasn’t spectacular – three wins in thirteen games -but one of those victories was a memorable 6-2 thrashing in September 1930 that featured a hat-trick by Alec Cheyne and two goals from fellow Scottish international Hughie Gallagher.

Amazingly, almost twenty years passed before Chelsea beat Manchester United at home again – Hugh Billington was the only goalscorer in November 1950 – and although the Blues won the League Championship in 1954/55, the 6-5 home defeat by United in October 1954 was Ted Drake’s side’s third home defeat that season. Seamus O’Connell –who despite his name was an England amateur international  – emulated Cheyne’s feat by scoring a hat-trick.

Although it’s highly unlikely that tonight’s game will finish 6-5, it’s noticeable that the 5-0 win over United in October 1999 seems to have heralded an era of Chelsea dominance over United in recent seasons. Since then, Chelsea have only lost once at Stamford Bridge in the Premiership to their northern rivals and have kept six clean sheets in their last ten meetings against United in West London: although goals have been at a premium recently, tonight’s game should be another fascinating chapter in a rivalry that’s been established for over a century.

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