English Premiership

Man Utd back from the dead

2012-02-05 20:07
Chelseas Michael Essien and Manchester United's Ashley Young (AP)
London - Manchester United staged a stunning fightback from three goals down as Javier Hernandez's late equaliser rescued a dramatic 3-3 draw against Chelsea in one of the games of the season at Stamford Bridge on Sunday.

Alex Ferguson's team seemed to be heading for a heavy defeat as an own goal from United defender Jonny Evans gave Chelsea the lead late in the first half before Juan Mata and David Luiz added further goals for the Blues soon after the interval.

But Wayne Rooney finally sparked United into life with two penalties midway through the second half and the champions' frenzied pressure was rewarded when Mexican striker Hernandez headed home from a Ryan Giggs cross with six minutes left.

The draw leaves second-placed United two points behind leaders Manchester City, but the manner of their remarkable revival should provide a massive confidence boost as they try to overhaul their local rivals.

Chelsea forward Daniel Sturridge was the catalyst as his side took the lead in the 36th minute. His neat piece of skill took him past Patrice Evra on the left side of the United penalty area and he drove in a low cross that clipped David de Gea's foot before deflecting off Evans into the unguarded goal.

United were further behind just 30 seconds after half-time when Fernando Torres whipped a cross to the far post for Spanish winger Mata to lash a sublime volley past de Gea.

Chelsea struck again five minutes later when Mata's teasing free-kick was met by Luiz and the Brazilian defender's header glanced in off Rio Ferdinand's shoulder.

Rooney gave United a lifeline when he drove home a penalty after Webb ruled that Sturridge's 58th minute challenge on Evra was worthy of a spot-kick.

And England striker Rooney struck from the spot again 11 minutes later when Danny Welbeck tumbled over Branislav Ivanovic's out-stretched leg.

Suddenly United were rampant and Hernandez came off the bench to cap their comeback with a clinical close-range header from Giggs's cross in the 84th minute.

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