Tempers fray in Stamford Bridge stalemate
May 10, 2007 - 11:48:23 AM
London, May 10 - Champions Manchester United have celebrated their title with an ugly goalless draw away to Chelsea in the English Premier League.
Chelsea formed a guard of honour for United, who were confirmed as Premiership winners at the weekend, but that was where the goodwill ended.
With both sides far from full strength, the game was never going to be much of a spectacle Wednesday, but it did showcase the antipathy that exists between the sides.
The Chinese forward Dong Fangzhuo made his debut for United, but aside from one shot that looped just over, he was a peripheral figure and was substituted with 20 minutes remaining.
Seven players were booked, but a stricter referee than Graham Poll could have shown at least two red cards as tackles flew in.
Mikel John Obi was fortunate only to be booked after a rash lunge on Chris Eagles, and then Eagles himself, aggrieved at having been denied a penalty as he stumbled over Michael Essien, was lucky to escape with a yellow after a studs-up foul on Shaun Wright-Phillips.
Chelsea threatened with a couple of late corners as the handling of Tomasz Kuszczak deserted him, but the real test will come when the sides meet again - at full strength - in the FA Cup final on May 19.
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