On this day eleven years ago, Chelsea became record breakers at the Theatre of Dreams as they comprehensively beat Manchester United.
Manchester United 1 Chelsea 3
Chelsea walked into Old Trafford as champions of England, having secured their first title in 50 years and having not lost since October the previous year.
The Red Devils formed a guard of honour to greet the league winners, which was met by a mixture of boos and applause from the home crowd.
United, despite being consigned to third place, started the game better.
They took the lead in the seventh minute when Ruud van Nistelrooy displayed the composure needed to slot home from Rooney’s ball, bagging a first goal since November.
The lead was not to last long however, as Tiago brought proceedings level ten minutes later with a wonderful dipping shot that evaded Roy Carroll.
In the second half, the Blues took the lead, with Tiago again instrumental. The Portuguese midfielder slipped through the Eidur Gudjohnsen who dinked calmly over the onrushing Carroll.
With less than ten minutes left, Joe Cole wrapped up the points as he poked home from close range following Frank Lampard’s feed.
Chelsea moved onto 94 points for the season, surpassing the previous single season points record held by Manchester United, who recorded 92 in 1993/94.
The Guardian recall the sense of disbelief that unusually captured the Old Trafford crowd that day.
“Chelsea broke into United’s home and, like vandals, smashed the records that Ferguson had proudly collected. Mourinho’s side have now amassed the most points ever achieved in the Premiership. They have also run up 29 league wins, where United only ever reached 28.”
The season went on to be quite memorable for Jose Mourinho’s side as they achieved the following: Fewest goals against in a Premier League season (15), most clean sheets kept in a season (25), most wins in a season (29), most consecutive away wins (9) and the most points in a season (95).
Man Utd: Carroll, Gary Neville, Brown, Ferdinand, Silvestre, Fletcher, Keane, Scholes, Ronaldo, Rooney, van Nistelrooy. Substitutes: Howard, Smith, O’Shea, Fortune, Saha.
Goals: Van Nistelrooy 7.
Chelsea: Cudicini, Johnson, Ricardo Carvalho, Huth, Gallas, Geremi, Tiago, Makelele, Lampard, Cole, Gudjohnsen. Substitutes: Cech, Forssell, Jarosik, Grant, Nuno Morais.
Goals: Tiago 17, Gudjohnsen 61, Cole 82.
What they said
Sir Alex Ferguson was somewhat positive despite the result.
“Once Chelsea’s second goal went in they were worthy winners. I didn’t expect us to get second place after a disappointing result against West Brom on Saturday. But tonight was about trying to keep our confidence up and on the whole it was good. That is the one thing I can take out of the game.”
Jose Mourinho was buoyant after adding the icing on the cake.
“It is perfect. The record was our motivation. We wanted to beat it and this is a special moment. It is the perfect way to do it – at a great stadium against a team who in Sir Alex Ferguson have a manager who leads by example in success and fair play.
“We are the champions and it is a great feeling.”