It was an important win for Chelsea and a meaningless blemish on Manchester United’s home record. Juan Mata’s 87th minute strike took a vital deflection off the underside of Phil Jones’ right leg and found a home in the corner of the goal, beyond the reach of Anders Lindegaard. This was the deciding moment of an otherwise average affair. Rafael was sent off soon after for being a petulant child so he gets go on holidays early but it had no effect on the outcome.
The three points lift Chelsea in to third place with a game in hand over fourth placed Arsenal. It was also Manchester United’s first home loss of the season but with the title all wrapped up no one at Old Trafford will care. Except maybe Alex Ferguson but that’s only because he really doesn’t care for Rafa Benitez.
United lift their title and Chelsea’s season is almost salvaged. If Rafa can lead them to Europa League glory and Champions League qualification he’s certain to find himself employed come the start of next season. Even if it’s unlikely to be at Stamford Bridge.
Here’s an animated GIF of Juan Mata’s deflected goal/Phil Jones’ own goal.