Match Analysis: Manchester United 0-1 Chelsea

United striker Robin Van Persie in action against Chelsea on May 5, 2013
© PA Photos
Sports Mole looks back over Manchester United's 1-0 defeat at home to Chelsea at Old Trafford.

Juan Mata scored the only goal of the game as Chelsea recorded a 1-0 victory from their trip to champions Manchester United this evening.

The Spaniard scored late in the game and United went on to end the match with 10 men after Rafael da Silva was handed his marching orders for a foul that he committed on David Luiz.

Below, Sports Mole looks back over the clash to determine if the home side could argue that they deserved a share of the spoils.

Match statistics:

Man United:
Shots 10
On target 4
Possession 51%
Corners 2
Fouls 14

Chelsea:
Shots 15
On target 6
Possession 49%
Corners 7
Fouls 9

Was the result fair?

Chelsea were by no means at their fluent best, but they were much the better side and although the goal came late, it was deserved. United got exactly what their performance warranted - nothing.

Man United's performance

Sir Alex Ferguson made a number of changes to his team and that is exactly how they played. They struggled to create any clear-cut chances and there was a distinct lack of urgency about their play. Yes they've already won the title, but they didn't play like champions today and that will have disappointed Ferguson.

Chelsea's performance

Perhaps they didn't create as many chances as they should have for all of their domination, but boss Rafael Benitez can pleased with his players today. They looked solid at the back and it is hard to recall a chance that was gifted to United which left you thinking that they should have scored. Then in the final third of the pitch, they looked dangerous - particularly when Mata or Oscar were in possession.

Sports Mole's man of the match

Juan Mata: It's easy to pick the pint-sized Spaniard because he scored the winning goal after all. However, putting that goal aside, he was head and shoulders above most other players on the pitch today. His touch was top class and time and again he created chances with some neat passing. His goal has probably secured Champions League football for the Blues next season.

Biggest gaffe

Take your pick from numerous attempted crosses by United winger Antonio Valencia. The Ecuadorian has had a really poor season and it continued today. More often than not when he got into a crossing position, he either overhit or underhit his delivery.

Referee performance

Howard Webb is widely regarded to be England's best referee and he showed why today. He allowed the game to flow and only got his yellow card out when it was necessary. The sending off of Rafael in the closing stages was also the correct decision.

What next?

Man United: The Red Devils return to action next Sunday when Swansea City visit Old Trafford.

Chelsea: It's the big one for Chelsea on Wednesday evening as they play host to London rivals and fellow Champions League hunters Tottenham Hotspur.

United striker Robin Van Persie in action against Chelsea on May 5, 2013
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