Live Commentary: Manchester United 2-2 Chelsea - as it happened

Eden Hazard celebrates with team mate David Luiz after scoring against Manchester United in the FA Cup quarter final on March 10, 2013
© PA Photos
Read how Chelsea staged a second-half fightback to earn a FA Cup quarter-final replay against Manchester United.

Chelsea staged a two-goal comeback to earn an FA Cup quarter-final replay against Manchester United this afternoon.

United raced into an early lead thanks to a pair of goals inside the first quarter of an hour but were pegged back in the second half.

Read how a thrilling game unfolded at Old Trafford below.


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3.31pmAfternoon all! It's the final last-eight matchup of this FA Cup weekend and by far the biggest as Manchester United take on Chelsea.

3.35pmWe're still awaiting team news from Old Trafford so in the meantime let me point you in the direction of plenty of other action on SM. Click here for buildup followed by live coverage of Liverpool vs. Spurs with Barney Corkhill, here for the remainder of another FA Cup quarter between Millwall and Blackburn with Liam Apicella and here for text updates of England vs. Italy in the Six Nations with Matt Cotton.

3.37pmBREAKING TEAM NEWS! No Robin van Persie in the Manchester United starting lineup.

3.38pmUNITED XI: De Gea; Rafael, Ferdinand, Evans, Evra; Kagawa, Carrick, Cleverley, Nani; Rooney, Hernandez

3.39pmCHELSEA XI: Cech; Azpilicueta, Luiz, Cahill, Cole; Ramires, Lampard; Mata, Oscar, Moses; Ba

3.41pmWayne Rooney starts after a tumultuous week then. He's alongside Javier Hernandez up front for the home side. Jonny Evans is back in defence for Nemanja Vidic while Nani, who was controversially sent off in the Champions League, also starts.

3.43pmFor the visitors, Demba Ba is back in the lone-striker role after being ineligible for the Europa League defeat in Bucharest. Victor Moses is chosen ahead of Eden Hazard to play alongside Juan Mata and Oscar in the playmaking trio behind Ba.

3.47pmIn defence, there's no place for John Terry or Branislav Ivanovic as Cesar Azpilicueta and Gary Cahill return. Ashley Cole is also back on the left side after sitting out the Romanian trip.

3.50pmThe half-time whistle has just blown at St James' Park in the Premier League. Read our HT report here.


3.53pmPEEP PEEP! Full time at the New Den. Millwall and Blackburn finish in a stalemate so they'll have to replay their quarter-final. Read our match report by clicking here.

3.56pmStill yet to have confirmation of the two benches but I'll bring it to you as soon as possible.

3.59pm(Just a reminder to open up Barney's commentary of Liverpool vs. Spurs in a new tab!)

4.02pmAnd here are the two substitute benches this afternoon:

United: Amos, Vidic, Anderson, Valencia, Young, Van Persie, Welbeck,
Chelsea: Turnbull, Ivanovic, Terry, Bertrand, Hazard, Mikel, Torres


4.07pmThe reverse fixture in the league at Stamford Bridge finished 3-2 in United's favour. But that's not the whole story. Two Chelsea players were sent off in a game that resulted in Mark Clattenburg's officiating being brought into question.

4.10pmJavier Hernandez scored that day and he has a good record against the Blues, as @OptaJoe tells us on Twitter: "5 - Javier Hernandez has netted in five of his last six games against Chelsea in all competitions. Charm."

4.14pmAway from today's game briefly, check out this video from the Edinburgh derby earlier. The game finished goalless but Hibs should have had a goal when Leigh Griffiths free kick clearly crossed the line:


4.17pmREFEREE WATCH: Today's man in charge is England's top referee, Howard Webb.

4.20pmPREDICTION TIME: With 10 minutes until kickoff, it's time for my cursed prediction. I'm going for a 2-1 United triumph, with Rooney bound to score after the troubles of this week.

4.23pmThere's been a goal at Anfield and it's gone Liverpool's way. Guess who? Suarez of course. Read more here.

4.25pmAnd another in the Premier League! Stoke have taken the lead at Newcastle as Jonathan Walters scores a penalty.

4.26pmBack to Old Trafford and the two sides are in the tunnel ready to go. Both sides in their home colours with United in red tops, white shorts and black socks and Chelsea in all blue.


4.29pmNewcastle have just equalised against Stoke thanks to Yohan Cabaye's lovely free kick.

0 minKICKOFF! We're underway at Old Trafford.

5 minGOAL! Man Utd 1-0 Chelsea (Hernandez)

5 minWas just about to say how bitty a start it had been but that's a delightful goal from Chicharito. Carrick picked the Mexican out with a superb pass over the top and Hernandez guided a header over Cech, who was in no-mans land, into the far corner.

7 minThat's now six goals in seven games against Chelsea for Hernandez. Solid.

10 minUnited break from a Chelsea corner and Nani wins a free kick that Rooney will take.

11 minGOAL! Man Utd 2-0 Chelsea (Rooney)

11 minWhat was my prediction, 2-1 and Rooney to score? Well that's definitely on as the Englishman curls the free kick into a dangerous area and it misses everyone's head before sneaking inside the far post.

13 minThe Stretford End was chanting Rooney's name just as he took that free kick and boy did he deliver.

15 minChelsea win a free kick on the right-hand side of the area and Mata swings it in in similar fashion to Rooney but United show Chelsea how to defend it.

4.46pmUPDATE: Spurs equalise at Liverpool just before the break through Jan Vertonghen. 1-1 at Anfield.

20 minCHANCE! Opening for Chelsea as the ball breaks to Moses on the right of the area. He takes a touch to steady himself but by that time Evra is across to shut him out.

4.52pmUPDATE: Late, late winner for Newcastle against Stoke. Papiss Cisse the scorer. Full-time whistle goes soon after.


22 minCHANCE! Chelsea have come into the game in the last five minutes and you'd back Lampard to score this chance every time. Mata runs at the United defence and lays it off for Lampard who looks for the far corner but places it too close to De Gea.

24 minEnd-to-end stuff at the moment as United streak clear down the right and Hernandez gets ahead of Luiz but gets his shot wrong and it flies wide.

25 minSO CLOSE! Cech with a double save to keep out Rooney and then his own player Luiz. First Evra's cutback made it all the way to Rooney whose low shot was kept out by the Czech stopper. It popped up for Luiz who tried to head it out of danger but mistimed his header and it flew goalwards, meaning Cech had to spring up and tip it over the bar.

30 minOh dear dear. Chelsea break clear and Ba has Moses one side, Oscar the other but elects to shoot and gets it all wrong.

5.03pmIf you want to read more about Newcastle's late triumph against Stoke, our match report is here.

34 minI know United have a two-goal lead, but they're sitting back awfully deep at the moment and inviting plenty of Chelsea pressure.

38 minHORRIBLE MISS! Taxi for Moses! The winger works well with Mata down the left and collects a backheel from the Spaniard before skipping past Carrick and into the box. He could square it for Oscar but shoots with his left but slices it way wide.

5.14pmUPDATE: Spurs have turned it around at Anfield as Vertonghen gets his second.

45 minUNITED SUB: Sir Alex is forced into a change just before the interval as Nani goes off injured, with Antonio Valencia taking his place.

45+2 minTwo minutes have been added on at the end of the first half and Rooney looks to clip in a third but it lands on the roof of the net.

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45+3 minHALF-TIME: United 2-0 Chelsea

5.21pmA blistering start from United sees them leading 2-0 at the break. Hernandez opened the scoring after just five minutes before Rooney's free kick went all the way through to the far corner.

5.23pmIf you've only just joined us and want a concise summary of the first half then click here for our half-time report.

5.25pmUPDATE: Liverpool pull it back to 2-2 at Anfield as Hugo Lloris makes a horrible error to allow Stewart Downing to score.

5.27pmIt's bound to be an exciting last 20 minutes or so in Liverpool so join Barney here.

5.29pmUnited:
Shots 6
On target 4
Possession 49%
Corners 1
Fouls 2

Chelsea:
Shots 6
On target 4
Possession 51%
Corners 1
Fouls 6


5.30pmAs you can see from the stats it's been very even but one stat that isn't even is the scoreline.

5.33pmThe second half will be getting underway very shortly. Is there any hope for Chelsea? They need a quick goal, that's for sure.

46 minKICKOFF! The blue shirts get the second half underway.

51 minSHOT! Not much going on at the start of the half but Ramires tries to change that by running at the United defence before weakly hitting a shot wide of De Gea's post.

5.41pmUPDATE: Liverpool move 3-2 ahead at Anfield thanks to Steven Gerrard's penalty.


52 minCHELSEA SUBS: Strange move from Benitez as he brings on John Obi-Mikel for Lampard. Eden Hazard is also on for Moses.

55 minYELLOW! Luiz is booked for a late sliding challenge on Rafael.

58 minPeculiar from De Gea as Luiz has a pop from 30 yards and the Spanish keeper tries to scoop it away from goal but doesn't push it away. No-one's there to put it away though.

59 minGOAL! Man United 2-1 Chelsea (Hazard)

59 minWhat a beauty! Hazard doesn't take long to have an impact as he collects a pass from Mata before squaring up Rafael and curling a delicious shot round the Brazilian and into the far corner.

63 minUNITED SUB: Here he comes, Robin van Persie on for Hernandez.

64 minVan Persie's introduction means that Rooney has moved out to the left, with Kagawa in behind the Dutchman.

5.55pmUPDATE: The full-time whistle goes at Anfield and that's a massive win for Liverpool as they down Spurs 3-2. Three points for the Reds moves them up to sixth and level with Everton.

68 minGOAL! United 2-2 Chelsea (Ramires)

68 minUnbelievably, Chelsea are level. The Blues break quickly and Oscar flicks it through for Ramires who shapes to shoot but drags it over onto his left before curling it into the far corner. De Gea got a slight fingertip on it but it wasn't enough to keep it out.

72 minWhere's this game going now then? United are on top at the moment but Chelsea have proven their prowess on the counter-attack and could nick a third if United push for a winner. Remember, if it finishes 2-2 then we'll go to a replay at Stamford Bridge.

75 minUNITED SUB: Kagawa comes off for Danny Welbeck. He joins Rooney and Van Persie on the field. United have a free kick in a similar place to where Rooney scored.

77 minPenalty-box pinball ensues but Chelsea just about survive.

77 minCHELSEA SUB: This move will upset a lot of Chelsea fans as Benitez brings on Torres for Ba.

79 minSublime interplay from Mata and Hazard but the latter can't quite squeeze out a cross. This is anyone's game.

80 minUnited streak clear down the other end and Luiz slips to allow Welbeck through. He passes for Van Persie and the Dutchman can't make up his mind and the chance is gone.

82 minMata is down on the ground and wincing after twisting his ankle. Hopefully it's not too serious, and yes the Spaniard is up and jogging. Benitez has used all three of his subs already.

84 minSHOT! Mata nips past Ferdinand to open up space for a shot but it's on his right and he hits it straight at De Gea.

86 minIt's peculiar that the biggest team in the land can't even make their grass decent. The pitch at Old Trafford is really cutting up and the ball is bobbling quite badly.

86 minOH! Replays have just shown Ferdinand clattering his forearm into the back of Torres's head. The ref didn't see it and I'm not convinced it was intentional. Maybe there'll be some retrospective action afterwards.

90 minWHAT A SAVE! Chelsea are ending the stronger and they won't come closer to scoring than this! Ramires floats a pass over the top for Mata and he takes it down beautifully before turning back onto his left and passing for the far corner. You're waiting for the net to bulge but De Gea spreads himself well and in fact gets a toe to it to keep it out.

90+1 minFour minutes have added on.

90+4 minCHANCE! The Blues streak clear and Oscar beats his man and lays it off for Torres who tries to curl to the far corner but hits it too straight.


90+5 minFULL-TIME: United 2-2 Chelsea

6.25pmExcellent game of football at Old Trafford. United started red-hot but Chelsea were brilliant in the second half to pull it back and earn a replay.

6.27pmIf you've only just joined us and want a summary of the match, then read our report - full with pictures - by clicking here.

6.30pmThanks for joining Sports Mole, be sure to stick around on site for analysis and reaction throughout the night. Good night.

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