United win completes bad week for Chelsea

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Manchester, England, Sep 24: Chelsea's troubled week ended on a low note today with manager Avram Grant losing his first game after taking over from Jose Mourinho, 2-0 to fierce rivals Manchester United today.

A positive result might have softened the blow of Mourinho's shock departure after three successful years at Chelsea but a first United goal for Carlos Tevez and a late Louis Saha penalty ended those hopes.

Grant, a former Israel national coach, might have felt luck was against him when John Obi Mikel was sent off after 32 minutes.

With 10 men, Chelsea never looked like recovering from Tevez's headed goal in first half injury-time.

For the 2005 and 2006 champions it was the second defeat in three Premier League games and the fourth game in a row without a win.

United have not enjoyed the most fluent of starts to their season either and, despite enjoying the numerical advantage for an hour, they looked to be heading for a fifth successive 1-0 victory from a less than convincing performance until Saha added the second goal.

HIGHLY CHARGED

But in such a highly-charged game, manager Alex Ferguson will take satisfaction from the result and the fact that Tevez finally got on the scoresheet in his sixth Premier League start.

The Argentina international has yet to reproduce the form he showed for West Ham United last season but displayed sharp reactions to get to a lovely cross from Ryan Giggs ahead of goalkeeper Petr Cech.

United had threatened sporadically in the first half with Cech making a brilliant save to keep out a curling short from Wayne Rooney in the second minute.

Cech also saved from Tevez and Giggs volleyed over from a tight angle before Chelsea, watched from the directors' box by Netherlands manager Marco Van Basten, were rocked by Mikel's dismissal.

The midfielder lost control of the ball and then in trying to regain possession sent United fullback Patrice Evra flying in what referee Mike Dean deemed to be a dangerous a two-footed tackle.

United failed really to press home their advantage after the break as a strike force of Rooney, Tevez and Cristiano Ronaldo failed to click.

By his own admission Ferguson does not yet know his best attacking formation and it was old favourite Giggs who had gone closest to a second goal when he volleyed a Michael Carrick pass over the crossbar.

The scrappy game then degenerated further with two players from each side collecting cautions, including Joe Cole whose desperate lunge at Ronaldo provoked a furious response from Ferguson.

United made sure of their three points after Saha went flying after what appeared to be slight contact from Tal Ben-Haim in the box.

The Frenchman picked himself up to drive home the spot kick and give United a second goal for the first time this season.

Reuters>

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