Manchester, May 6 (IANS) Juan Mata’s deflected shot gave Chelsea a 1-0 victory over Manchester United which moved the third-placed Blues closer to the Champions League qualification.
The clash between the Premier League rivals Sunday appeared to be a draw until the 86th minute. Oscar’s low cross found Mata in the left area and the Spanish midfielder’s left-foot shot went in after rebounding off Phil Jones and the far post. Two minutes later, United’s right fullback Rafael Da Silva was sent off for fouling visitor’s defender David Luiz, reports Xinhua.
The victory lifted Chelsea one point ahead of Arsenal in the fight for the top-four finish. The Blues are also satisfied to see they are three points above the fifth-placed Tottenham Hotspurs, whom they will meet in a critical London Derby Wednesday.
With the victory, Chelsea thus becomes one of the very few Premier League clubs which has the upper hand in head-to-head record against the Red Devils with 14 wins, 15 draws and 13 defeats.
Though some of the 75,500 spectators at Old Trafford might feel disappointed after the loss, they can still enjoy the success of their side seven days later when Manchester United will formally lift the league trophy at the Dream Theatre.
Also Sunday, the famous Merseyside Derby ended in a goalless draw. Though Everton failed to grab a first league victory at Anfield since 1999, they are in sixth place and five points ahead of Liverpool.
If the Toffees can maintain their lead after the last two games, they will finish above the Reds in successive seasons for the first time in more than 50 years.