All eyes where on Torres at the start of the game and had a great ten minutes, showing pace and looking alive forcing a corner from a Vidic clearance. Both playing a 4-4-2 formation Chelsea showed more confidence in the first ten minutes as it looked like United where finding their feet. United started off playing very wide, with a surprised choice to play Chicharito upfront with Rooney whilst keeping Berbatov on the bench. Chicha didn't do much throughout the game, and at times looked like United needed the extra strength up front.
From Ramires booking in the thirteenth minute, the game continued to entertain with some great individual battles, shots on goal, important saves and five yellow cards and one red given to Vidic in extra time, who will now miss the clash between rivals Liverpool, who will now be feeling more confident after tonight's results and the loss of Premier Leagues best defender for United.
Rooney continued to prove a threat with his pace and strength getting through the Chelsea's defense, missing a few goals traveling past the face of the goal. By the twenty minute mark United showed confidence and created space, with swift movement through the midfield as Chelsea looked anxious. Great play and a crucial pass from Nani provided us with the first goal of the game, a Rooney near- side strike as it looked like Chelsea would have a mountain to climb as they left a powerful United forwards too much space to maneuver and strike outside the box, his first from 25 yards in three years.
Van Der Sar proved his ability still regardless of age with a superb 'three in one' save if you like from a powerful Malouda free kick after Torres was brought down by Evra. VDS managed to get a hand to the ball and flicked it out enough for Chelsea to be denied an tie. Vidic was dealt a yellow card in the 44th min, proving costly in the outcome of the game.
It was the second half when the shift of play changed, with United put on the back foot and playing deep as Chelsea looked more confident and it was a matter of time before they would equalize. Evra and Nani proved trouble for Ramires on the left but it was a great right foot volly in the 53rd minute from Luiz that was unstoppable by VDS as it bypassed him on his left. Chelsea took control and United looked like they needed a change of play, especially as Chelsea subbed Drogba on for Anelka. Giggs and Berbatov where brought on for Scholes and Hernandez. This was Giggs 606th game and anniversary of his debut for United, and not the result that will mark this achievement.
It was to be a 'trip over' by Zhirkov over Chris Smalling, that would give Chelsea a penalty and a goal from taker Lampard. Not a clear cut penalty but non the less a great strike by Lampard. United seemed to let Chelsea dominate, and United fate was sealed when shirt pulling by Vidic outside the box forced Ramires to go down in the box. One of them had to go as both on two yellow cards. Full time and Chelsea will be relieved to have pulled out a great performance in the second half to show there fans and the Premier League, all is not lost.
It proved to be a perfect game. Two Premier League giants creating an entertaining tie with goals, challenges, great passing, pace, strength, battles and a tale of two half's. This is why Premier League is the best league in the world.
Everton where the favorites to win the tie with Championship side Reading in the FA Cup quarter finals wining Chelsea in the previous game and coming out of a win against Sunderland at the weekend, making their league hopes of climbing to 5th sport more optimistic (4 points off with a game in hand.)
But Reading are no strangers to 'Giant' killing, as we remember them knocking out a Rafael Benitez' Liverpool side in 2010. And Everton are no strangers to being 'killed' from smaller teams throughout the competition in previous years. Tranmere Rovers in 2002, Oldham in 2008 and a league two Shrewsbury in 2003, to name a few.
Everton where great down the left but Reading proved to have a hold over Everton from a early start and it was not looking easy for the blues and Reading where proving to be