Last Updated: 05/02/12 6:28pm
It's all over and Manchester United have rescued a point against Chelsea after a remarkable turnaround saw them come from three goals down in the second half to draw 3-3 at Stamford Bridge. This will surely go down as one of the great Premier League games but once the euphoria of the comeback dies down, United might still feel a little downbeat to be trailing leaders Manchester City by two points in the title race.
Cahill goes for debut glory with a fierce shot from outside the box but De Gea tips over the bar What a classic encounter this has turned out to be!
The cross into the box is partially cleared before Carrick's long-range shot goes straight into the arms of Cech.
It's a corner for United with two minutes of stoppage time to play after Evra's low cross is put behind.
Mata's curling effort is heading for the top corner before De Gea pulls off a tremendous save to turn the ball wide. He's answered his critics with that one!
United get the ball clear and will look to come forward on the counter. This move breaks down but there's still time for a dramatic winner.
The visitors have all the momentum now and will surely fancy their chances of getting a winner. What a sickener that would be for Chelsea and Manchester City.
GOAL HERNANDEZ - Giggs takes his time on the left side of the box before picking out Hernandez with a pin-point cross and the Mexican heads home from close range - what a comeback!
Rooney's turn and shot from the edge of the box is brilliantly saved by Cech but the danger isn't over yet...
Giggs' delivery is headed wide of the post by Welbeck as Chelsea survive for the time being at least.
If you offered Sir Alex Ferguson a 3-3 draw now I'm not so sure he'd take it - he'll want all three points from this and he'll believe there's time for two more goals.
It really is thrilling end-to-end stuff at the moment with both teams pushing for the next goal. With just over 10 minutes to play, any result seems possible.
Torres is put through on goal inside the box but he takes far too long and allows United's defenders to get back and prevent him even taking a shot.
Chelsea may feel as though they need a fourth to win this game and Essien goes close as his sizzling shot from distance is punched over the bar by De Gea.
Down the other end, the ball breaks for Hernandez inside the box but the Mexican striker drags his shot wide.
Chelsea's body language has changed now and you certainly wouldn't bet against United finding another one or two goals in the last 20 minutes.
GOAL ROONEY - This time the United striker curls his spot-kick into the corner of the net, sending Cech the wrong way. Game on!
Incredible scenes here as United are awarded another penalty after Welbeck is tripped by Ivanovic inside the box.
A wonderful pass from Luiz cuts through the United defence to pick out Sturridge down the left and when his deflected cross rolls into the path of Mata, the Spaniard shoots straight at De Gea.
The hosts are showing few signs of slowing the game down as you might expect them to do in this position.
United have upped their tempo following Rooney's goal and another one will set up a thrilling finish.
GOAL ROONEY - Rooney fires a ferocious spot-kick into the top corner of the net to give United a glimmer of hope.
Well, I might have spoken too soon. United have a penalty after Evra is felled by Sturridge down the left side of the box.
Chelsea fans probably weren't expecting their team to be 3-0 up at this stage of the contest - surely not even the most pessimistic of them will expect them to lose or draw from here!
The hosts will move three points clear of fifth-placed Newcastle if they hold on for this victory and within four of Tottenham in third.
United's players look despondent as you might expect but if they want to mount an unlikely comeback they need to bounce back quickly.
Manchester City fans will be celebrating just as much as Chelsea fans at the moment as it looks as though they will remain three points clear at the end of the weekend's action.
Here come Chelsea again with Torres but this time the United defence are able to deal with the threat.
GOAL LUIZ - It's another one! Mata curls the resulting free kick into the area and Luiz heads into the top corner - albeit helped along by a deflection off Rio Ferdinand.
Sturridge beats Evra down the right wing and the United man is forced to bring him down, resulting in a yellow card.
Apologies to anyone who followed my pre-match tip. Shows what I know! Back to the game and Chelsea are full of confidence now and will look to go for the kill.
The technique from Mata was fantastic. You could watch that goal a number of times without getting bored of it - but I doubt De Gea even saw it the first time it was that ferocious.
GOAL MATA - What a goal! Torres' high cross into the box from the right wing picks out Mata and the Spaniard lashes home an unstoppable volley into the net. Absolutely brilliant!
Chelsea get the second half under way looking to preserve their advantage over Manchester United at Stamford Bridge.
Kieran Cross writes: "As a Chelsea fan I reckon that the final score will be 2-1 to Chelsea with Torres scoring and then Rooney!" And Akogwu Austine says: "I'm expecting an equaliser from United but Chelsea to salvage a late win."
Sky Bet now make Chelsea 1/2 to take all three points while United are the outsiders at 5/1, with the draw priced at 9/4. My pre-match prediction of 3-1 isn't looking so hot now is it?! That can now be backed at 25/1. In the next goalscorer betting, Wayne Rooney is 5/1 and Danny Welbeck 6/1 while Chelsea strikers Daniel Sturridge and Fernando Torres are both 8/1. Head now to www.skybet.com to place your in-running bets.
The half-time whistle sounds and Chelsea go into the break with a 1-0 lead thanks to an own goal from Jonny Evans.
Giggs is brought to ground by Mata, who escapes being shown the yellow card. Last chance for United to get the ball into the box before the interval.
A clumsy foul from Ivanovic on Young in midfield results in the Chelsea player being booked. That was needless.
It's one-way traffic at the moment and Chelsea are being forced to dig deep in the closing stages of the half.
United look to pile the pressure on Chelsea but Young's looping cross from the left is headed away by Luiz.
Chelsea are able to get the resulting ball into the box clear to safety as they look to protect their one-goal advantage.
Welbeck's powerful shot from the edge of the box following a lay-off from Rooney is well saved by Cech, who turns it round the post.
Young's curling shot from the left edge of the box is turned away by Cech and Rooney is unable to reach the rebound.
Chelsea are clearly fired up now after taking the lead and United now have a real test on their hands.
Moments later a confident Sturridge goes for goal from distance and his stinging shot has to be pushed away by the diving De Gea.
OWN GOAL EVANS - Sturridge uses his quick feet to beat Evra down the right side of the box before his low cross deflects off De Gea before being turned into his own net by the unfortunate Evans, who couldn't really do anything about it.
Apart from that early scare when bringing down Young, Cahill has been quite assured on his Chelsea debut and doesn't seem fazed.
For all of Chelsea's hard work keeping the ball, they're finding it tough to create decent opportunities.
Torres is shown the yellow card after a push on Evans inside the box. He's not happy about it but Webb obviously isn't going to change his mind.
Valencia's lovely chipped pass on the right finds Rooney but his low pass across for Welbeck is cut out by Ivanovic for a corner.
A pass from Michael Carrick down the left side of the box looks for Young but the winger can't quite keep it in while under pressure from Luiz.
The hosts are enjoying the lion's share of possession and their fans will at least be encouraged by that.
Chelsea have a free kick on the right wing after Evra's foul on Mata and the Blues will look to send the ball into the box.
Chelsea just about have the momentum at the moment although they're not doing a great deal with the possession.
Torres has space in which to shoot outside the box but slices his attempt well wide of the post. That was the shot from a man clearly low on confidence.
Fernando Torres, probably still haunted by his embarrassing miss at Old Trafford, is brought down and Chelsea have a free kick around 35 yards out.
Ryan Giggs' cross from the left is well cleared by Cahill. Moments later the ball is at Young's feet outside the box before his shot is deflected into Petr Cech's arms.
Patient build-up from Chelsea but the move breaks down after a sloppy pass from Juan Mata to Ivanovic on the right wing.
Possession is pretty equal so far but at the moment I'd just say United are looking a little more dangerous.
Young is too keen to get the ball off Branislav Ivanovic on the United left wing and ends up fouling the Chelsea defender.
An urgent-looking United side keep pressing but Danny Welbeck is flagged offside in this latest attack.
Debutant Gary Cahill is in danger of conceding a penalty as he appears to bring down Young just inside the box...but Webb says no penalty.
Jose Bosingwa unleashes a fierce shot at goal from distance which De Gea is able to save comfortably.
Ashley Young appeals for a penalty when he goes to ground under pressure from David Luiz but Howard Webb isn't interested.
A nervous David De Gea flaps at what should have been an easy catch, instead pushing the ball into the path of Raul Meireles inside the box. Fortunately the goalkeeper's blushes a sparred when Meireles fires into the side netting.
The delivery is cleared but only as far as Malouda on the edge of the box. The Chelsea man blasts one at goal which takes a deflection and goes behind for another corner.
Daniel Sturridge shows quick feet to get down the right side of the area before his tame cross is collected by David De Gea.
The visitors have an early opportunity having been awarded a free kick just outside the area on the left following Michael Essien's foul on Patrice Evra.
Manchester United get this clash under way at Stamford Bridge looking for the victory which will take them level on points with leaders Manchester City.
Actually I'm going to squeeze one more in quickly. Chelsea fan Patrick Merrifield from Poole says: "I'm going to opt for Chelsea to win 2-1, I think Mata and Torres will score for Chelsea with Rooney scoring for United."
And the honour of the last word goes to Man Utd fan Chris Owen, who says: "I think the scoreline is going to be 2-0 Man Utd. The quartet of Young, Valencia, Rooney and Welbeck is going to be a challenge for chelsea having Terry out. I think that Welbeck and Rooney will get the goals, Come on United!"
Time for two more emails before the game starts. Firstly Joban Singh says: "This will be a challenge for United, my prediction is that Cheslea will win 2-1 with Sturridge and Mata to score for Chelsea and Rooney to score for United."
The teams have emerged onto the pitch at Stamford Bridge. Kick-off is now just minutes away so stay tuned!
Tony Lee from Walsall says: "I'm going for a United 2-1 win with Carrick opening the score, with Malouda equalising before half-time, Welbeck to get the winner. Given Chelsea's imbalances in midfield, United could exploit them with fast counter attacks. Overall, I reckon united will control large periods of the game without having any real cutting edge."
Diarmaid Malone is unsure who to support today, saying: "If United win this they will go on to win the league but if Chelsea win they will most likely get a Champions League spot and I don't want either to happen. Chelsea need to get out of the dreamworld that they are doing well and United are going to fall apart with there stupid buys and good players getting old! Saying this as a Liverpool fan." I think you should support the draw!
Rishabh Ananthan from Oman writes: "I'm going for a high scoring 4-2 win for Man Utd with Rooney to net a hat-trick, Welbeck to score and Mata and Meireles for Chelsea. I honestly don't see Chelsea winning this one."
Chelsea fan Matthew Nankivell says: "I'm a little worried but still hopeful we mite rise to the occasion! Very disappointed however that once again as usual we opt for Bosingwa at left back in the absence of Ashley Cole intead of using very promising younster Ryan Bertrand?! It's no wonder we send all our youngsters out on loan! They must be fed up of being constantly overlooked. We have to trust them! Good Luck to Gary Cahill today! Come on you Blues! 2-1 Chelsea" I'm a Bolton fan and I can tell you that Chelsea have got a cracking player in Gary Cahill. Ideal for how AVB wants his Chelsea team to play.
Ben is quickly back to say: "Don't write us off just yet! Last season we came within touching distance and I expect us to do it again this season!" If you win the title I'll be extremely shocked - but I've been known to be wrong about many things! Don't worry what I think!
Elijah Handley writes: "As a neutral fan who despises United, I'm hoping that Chelsea can win today but I doubt it will happen without Terry and Lamps. But with De Gea in goal they will score at least one and I think they will draw 2-2, Sturridge with a brace for Chelsea and Rooney and Young to get one apiece for United. Ought to be very close."
Mark Ward writes from NYC and says: "Torres has actually been playing well lately and has been unlucky not to score. Saying that, Torres and Sturridge will be on the scoresheet today with Essien running the mid with Meireles. Gary Cahill will make an impressive debut covering for Terry. It will be a close game, as usual, but 2-1 to Chelsea at the whistle. Big day today for soccer in the NYC area and throughout the US. Come on Chelsea!" I was in America at the time of Manchester United's Champions League final with Barcelona and I have to say the atmosphere from the US-based fans was extremely passionate to say the least in the bar I was watching in. I expect it will be like that again for a game as important as this one.
Chelsea fan Ben writes: "I hope that we can step up the performances of late and get a positive result to boost our faint title hopes. Torres may shine today as he normally does against United. He needs to forget his daunting miss and he needs to draw the positives from the previous fixture. I can't see why we cannot win this today. I'm going for a 2-1 victory with Torres and Essien on the scoresheet and Rooney to score for United. Come on you Blues!" You're quite optimistic to say Chelsea's title hopes are only faint!
Ashvin Charitar says: "I say a 1-0 win for Manchester United although Chelsea have Essien back which should make the match more intense! Hopefully Torres keeps his drought going! Come on United!"
A confident Miso Kovacik writes: "Chelsea is going to win today. They'll beat Man United 3-0 with Sturridge scoring two goals and Ivanovic one. However Frank Lampard and John Terry not playing I think it is going to be tough for Chelsea." It can't be that tough if you're predicting a 3-0 win!
As you can see from the team sheets below, Gary Cahill makes his debut for Chelsea at Stamford Bridge today. John Terry and Frank Lampard miss out but there is a first start of the season for Michael Essien. Under-fire goalkeeper David De Gea returns in goal for Manchester United, who also include fit-again duo Wayne Rooney and Ashley Young in the starting line-up. The Red Devils need a victory to go level with leaders Manchester City on points while the hosts are chasing a win to boost their top-four hopes. Today's referee is Howard Webb.
Jem Sharp disagrees, saying: "Chelsea to spring a suprise with a 2-1 win. I don't get this that certain Man Utd fan calls Chelsea an 'old mans team' when they have Giggs, Ferdinand and Scholes to call upon today. Let the youth of Chelsea run Utd's old men ragged."
A lot of love for the potential of a 3-1 scoreline to United today!Great minds think alike?! Fatou Sanyang writes: "Hi! I think United are going to win 3-1. Not that I'm underrating Chelsea but they don't seem to be in the competition. It's going to be a good game."
Apologies if I don't get through all your emails before kick-off - you are flooding my inbox to the point where it's bound to explode! Jack Pearce says: "I'm a lifetime Chelsea fan, I hate to say it but im worried United will be to much for us today. Without Terry and Drogba I think we will struggle."
Chelsea fan Thomas Jones wasn't impressed by his side's performance at Swansea in midweek but still expects a win today. He says: "I went to the Swansea game and it seems that Chelsea fall apart without Terry or Lampard and to be honest these big players are going soon, so Chelsea need to spend wisely. My prediction is 2-1 Chelsea with Mata and Sturridge scoring and maybe Rooney to score."
Stewart Marshall writes: "Hoping for a United win 2-1 - Rooney to score first I think. Chelsea could struggle at the back today and if Torres plays then they will struggle up front as well...Come on you Reds!"
Shane Brett from Tokyo writes: "I feel a repeat of the encounter in Old Trafford earlier this year with an easy 3-1 win with goals coming from Chicharito, Rooney and Nani and with a late consolation goal for Chelsea coming from Fernando Torres. Man of the match to Michael Carrick. Let's go United!"
Chris Dunkerley writes from America and says: "Torres will score as he always does against united. United midfield will be exposed today. Rooney is right, United policy of buying youth is misguided and littered with errors. Chelsea to win 2-1."
Natalie Hinchliffe from Holyhead is backing my prediction. She says: "United to win 3-1, Chelsea don't stand a chance with half their players missing!"
Manchester United fan Aleem Mawji from Bromley writes: "Really tough game here for United, a number of players hopefully returning to the starting 11 but our recent results at the Bridge in the League are poor. Can see a draw with Torres and Rooney to both get on the scoresheet."
The Chelsea team is: Cech, Ivanovic, Cahill, Luiz, Bosingwa, Essien, Meireles, Malouda, Sturridge, Mata, Torres. Subs: Turnbull, Romeu, Lukaku, Ferreira, Hutchinson, Bertrand, Piazon.
The Manchester United team is: De Gea, Rafael, Evans, Ferdinand, Evra, Valencia, Carrick, Giggs, Young, Rooney, Welbeck. Subs: Amos, Berbatov, Park, Hernandez, Fabio Da Silva, Scholes, Pogba.
Carl Taylor is on a similar wavelength to me, writing: "I predict 0-2 to Man Utd. Time to finish Chelsea's league season once and for all. Old mans team, reminds me of the Chelsea pensioners." I think Chelsea's league season is over already in terms of the title - a top-four is their goal now.
Manchester United head into this clash as marginal 13/8 favourites with Sky Bet while Chelsea are 17/10, with the draw priced at 9/4. If forced to make one, my personal prediction is an entertaining 3-1 victory for the visitors, which you can back at 20/1, but to be perfectly honest I can see this clash going either way. Head now to www.skybet.com to place your pre-match and in-running bets.
Good afternoon and welcome to our live text commentary of the Premier League clash between Chelsea and Manchester United at Stamford Bridge, which goes ahead despite the cold snap. Several sporting events have been postponed over weekend due to snow and frozen playing surfaces but earlier today Chelsea confirmed this fixture has survived. Share your pre-match predictions and thoughts by emailing me at email@example.com.