By Phil McNultyChief football writer at Stamford Bridge
Manchester United closed the gap at the top of the Premier League to one point after Javier Hernandez's late winner gave them a hotly contested win over nine-man Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.
David Luiz's own goal and Robin van Persie's clinical finish gave Manchester United a two-goal lead early on, but leaders Chelsea fought back superbly to level with goals from Juan Mata and Ramires either side of the interval.
A pulsating game then turned on two red cards awarded against Chelsea in the space of five minutes that set the scene for substitute Hernandez to secure the three points for Sir Alex Ferguson's side.
Hernandez gamble worked - Ferguson
Chelsea had few complaints about Branislav Ivanovic's red card for fouling Ashley Young as he raced through, but the dismissal of Fernando Torres for diving was bitterly disputed by the home side - and they looked to have a case.
The Spaniard appeared to be caught by Reds defender Jonny Evans but referee Mark Clattenburg ruled he had dived and produced a second yellow card, to the obvious astonishment of Torres and the undisguised fury of Chelsea.
Substitute Hernandez then smuggled in a winner from close range but it was converted from an offside position to leave Chelsea manager Roberto Di Matteo nursing a burning sense of injustice.
Objects were thrown and a steward injured as United's players celebrated - a sad conclusion to a thrilling game that ended in Chelsea's first Premier League defeat of the season.
As of now there are no teams with a positive head-to-head record v Manchester United in the Premier League era. Chelsea are level with W13-D15-L13.
It was the first time a PL team has been reduced to nine men at home since Chelsea were against Man City in Feb 2010.
Mark Clattenburg has handed out almost a quarter (4/17) of the red cards in the Premier League so far this season.
Van Persie scored a hat-trick in Arsenal's 5-3 win on his last visit to Stamford Bridge, and he was the central figure as United stunned Chelsea with a devastating opening burst.
Ferguson ditched the diamond formation he has used recently and gave United natural width in the shape of the returning Antonio Valencia and Ashley Young. It yielded spectacular results early on.
Young's pace allowed him to play in Wayne Rooney and when the England forward pulled the ball back Van Persie's shot ended up in the back of the net via the upright and Luiz.
And before Chelsea could recover United doubled their lead as Valencia once again demonstrated his value with a fine run and cross for Van Persie to sweep a finish past Petr Cech.
It was to Chelsea's credit that they managed to clear their heads and find a route back into the game. United goalkeeper David de Gea resorted to the unorthodox to kick away Luiz's free kick and Evans deflected Jon Obi Mikel's cross on to a post with De Gea wrong-footed.
Referee got it wrong - Di Matteo
Chelsea deserved some reward and it came on the stroke of half-time. Rooney was booked for hauling down Eden Hazard and Mata curled home a superb free-kick.
Mata was then denied once more by the excellent De Gea but Chelsea had all the momentum and they were back on level terms after 53 minutes when Ramires rose above Tom Cleverley to equalise.
The game was balanced perfectly but it shifted decisively towards United when Chelsea lost two players to red cards just after the hour. Ivanovic was sent off for tripping Young as he raced on to Van Persie's pass then, far more contentiously, Torres was also dismissed for picking up a second yellow card for diving.
Torres was arguably fortunate to escape a red card when he was booked for a high challenge on Cleverley but felt he had been hard done by after falling following Evans's challenge.
Hernandez happy with scoring form
It was a huge call by Clattenburg because it looked like Torres had been caught by Evans, but the referee was convinced the striker had dived. Chelsea's backroom staff were furious and angry words were exchanged between Ferguson and his opposite numbers as the heated debate continued.
Chelsea's depleted numbers were always going to be in danger. And so it proved as United went ahead with 15 minutes remaining. Van Persie's shot was blocked by the feet of Cech but when Rafael returned the ball into the six-yard area Hernandez turned in from an offside position.
United's players celebrated in a corner of Stamford Bridge but they were met by furious scenes, with objects appearing to be thrown and a steward requiring lengthy treatment.
Ferguson's side closed out the win to move within striking range of Chelsea at the Premier League summit but the jeers directed at Clattenburg as he left the pitch at the final whistle demonstrated the strength of feeling inside Stamford Bridge.
Full Time The final whistle goes and the game is over.
Ryan Giggs challenges Daniel Sturridge unfairly and gives away a free kick. Mikel restarts play with the free kick.
Short corner worked by Robin van Persie.
Antonio Valencia produces a right-footed shot from the edge of the box and misses to the left of the target.
David Luiz fouled by Antonio Valencia, the ref awards a free kick. David Luiz takes the direct free kick.
Petr Cech takes the direct free kick.
90:00 +1:09 Booking
Booking Antonio Valencia is shown a yellow card for unsporting behaviour.
Shot by Javier Hernandez from inside the six-yard box clear the bar.
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Ryan Giggs by Nascimento Ramires. Rio Ferdinand restarts play with the free kick.
The ball is swung over by Mikel, clearance by Rafael Da Silva.
The assistant referee signals for offside against Robin van Persie. Free kick taken by Ryan Bertrand.
The assistant referee flags for offside against Javier Hernandez. Indirect free kick taken by David Luiz.
Foul by Mikel on Robin van Persie, free kick awarded. Free kick taken by Michael Carrick.
Direct free kick taken by Mikel.
Substitution Daniel Sturridge joins the action as a substitute, replacing Eden Hazard.
Javier Hernandez concedes a free kick for a foul on Nascimento Ramires.
Javier Hernandez takes a shot. Petr Cech makes a comfortable save.
Eden Hazard produces a cross, David De Gea makes a save.
Effort from just outside the area by Nascimento Ramires goes over the bar.
Booking Mikel receives a yellow card for dissent.
Assist on the goal came from Rafael Da Silva.
74:40 Goal scored
Goal! - Javier Hernandez - Chelsea 2 - 3 Man Utd Javier Hernandez gets on the score sheet with a goal from close range low into the middle of the goal. Chelsea 2-3 Man Utd.
Robin van Persie takes a shot. Save made by Petr Cech. Rafael Da Silva takes a shot.
Substitution Wayne Rooney goes off and Ryan Giggs comes on.
Robin van Persie produces a left-footed shot from just outside the penalty box that misses to the left of the target.
Robin van Persie fouled by David Luiz, the ref awards a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Wayne Rooney.
Eden Hazard restarts play with the free kick.
Substitution Ryan Bertrand joins the action as a substitute, replacing Juan Mata.
Wayne Rooney gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Ashley Cole.
The ball is swung over by Cesar Azpilicueta, clearance by Rio Ferdinand.
Robin van Persie produces a right-footed shot from the edge of the box and misses to the right of the target.
David De Gea restarts play with the free kick.
Dismissal Fernando Torres is shown a red card.
Foul by Mikel on Antonio Valencia, free kick awarded. Michael Carrick takes the direct free kick.
The ball is delivered by Juan Mata, clearance made by Jonny Evans.
Substitution Cesar Azpilicueta is brought on as a substitute for Emboaba Oscar.
Free kick taken by Petr Cech.
Substitution Javier Hernandez on for Tom Cleverley.
The assistant referee signals for offside against Antonio Valencia.
Direct effort from the free kick comes in from Wayne Rooney.
Dismissal The referee red cards Branislav Ivanovic for professional foul.
Branislav Ivanovic concedes a free kick for a foul on Ashley Young.
Antonio Valencia crosses the ball, Wayne Rooney takes a shot. Blocked by Gary Cahill. Inswinging corner taken from the right by-line by Robin van Persie, save by Petr Cech.
A cross is delivered by Ashley Young, Petr Cech makes a save.
Antonio Valencia fouled by Nascimento Ramires, the ref awards a free kick. Wayne Rooney takes the free kick.
Free kick awarded for a foul by Eden Hazard on Wayne Rooney. The ball is swung over by Robin van Persie, Close range header by Jonny Evans goes wide of the left-hand post.
The ball is sent over by Juan Mata, Eden Hazard produces a left-footed shot from deep inside the penalty box which goes wide of the left-hand post.
Emboaba Oscar takes a shot. Save by David De Gea. Short corner worked by Eden Hazard.
Emboaba Oscar provided the assist for the goal.
52:45 Goal scored
Goal! - Nascimento Ramires - Chelsea 2 - 2 Man Utd Nascimento Ramires scores a headed goal from close in. Chelsea 2-2 Man Utd.
Centre by Juan Mata. Emboaba Oscar produces a cross,
Juan Mata takes a shot. Save by David De Gea.
Antonio Valencia produces a cross, David Luiz gets a block in.
Ashley Young fouled by Nascimento Ramires, the ref awards a free kick. Michael Carrick takes the direct free kick.
Rafael Da Silva gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Eden Hazard. Eden Hazard crosses the ball from the free kick right-footed from left by-line, Foul by David Luiz on Robin van Persie, free kick awarded. Free kick taken by David De Gea.
Outswinging corner taken right-footed by Emboaba Oscar, Juan Mata takes a shot. Blocked by Michael Carrick.
Corner taken by Robin van Persie from the right by-line, Fernando Torres manages to make a clearance.
The second half begins.
45:00 +2:33 Half time
Half Time The referee blows for half time.
David Luiz crosses the ball, Jonny Evans gets a block in. Inswinging corner taken by Juan Mata, clearance made by Jonny Evans.
Inswinging corner taken by Wayne Rooney from the left by-line, Mikel manages to make a clearance.
Free kick taken by Jonny Evans.
45:00 +0:40 Booking
Booking Booking for Fernando Torres for unsporting behaviour.
Unfair challenge on Tom Cleverley by Fernando Torres results in a free kick.
Juan Mata takes a shot. Save made by David De Gea.
The assist for the goal came from Eden Hazard.
43:42 Goal scored
Goal! - Juan Mata - Chelsea 1 - 2 Man Utd Juan Mata finds the net with a goal direct from the free kick from just outside the penalty area to the top left corner of the goal. Chelsea 1-2 Man Utd.
Booking Wayne Rooney is shown a yellow card.
Wayne Rooney concedes a free kick for a foul on Eden Hazard.
Corner taken by Eden Hazard from the left by-line, clearance by Wayne Rooney. Corner taken by Juan Mata, clearance made by Tom Cleverley.
Juan Mata delivers the ball, Fernando Torres takes a shot. Save by David De Gea.
Branislav Ivanovic delivers the ball, blocked by Ashley Young. Corner taken by Juan Mata from the right by-line, clearance made by Rio Ferdinand.
The ball is crossed by Emboaba Oscar, clearance by Jonny Evans.
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Wayne Rooney by Nascimento Ramires. Rio Ferdinand takes the free kick.
Mikel fouled by Antonio Valencia, the ref awards a free kick. David Luiz shoots direct from the free kick, blocked by Robin van Persie.
Emboaba Oscar takes a shot. Blocked by Michael Carrick.
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Emboaba Oscar by Antonio Valencia. Juan Mata delivers the ball from the free kick left-footed from left wing.
Centre by Mikel, Jonny Evans manages to make a clearance. Corner taken left-footed by Juan Mata, Gary Cahill takes a shot. Save by David De Gea. Corner taken left-footed by Juan Mata, Robin van Persie makes a clearance.
The offside flag is raised against Fernando Torres. David De Gea takes the free kick.
The ball is sent over by Robin van Persie, Gary Cahill makes a clearance.
Nascimento Ramires concedes a free kick for a foul on Tom Cleverley. Patrice Evra restarts play with the free kick.
The referee blows for offside against Robin van Persie. Gary Cahill takes the free kick.
Antonio Valencia produces a cross, Ashley Cole gets a block in.
Antonio Valencia takes a shot. Blocked by Gary Cahill. Inswinging corner taken by Robin van Persie from the right by-line. A cross is delivered by Wayne Rooney, save by Petr Cech.
Eden Hazard fouled by Wayne Rooney, the ref awards a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Emboaba Oscar.
A cross is delivered by Patrice Evra, Gary Cahill manages to make a clearance.
Robin van Persie fouled by Mikel, the ref awards a free kick. Patrice Evra takes the direct free kick.
Rafael Da Silva challenges Emboaba Oscar unfairly and gives away a free kick. Emboaba Oscar takes the direct free kick.
Shot from just outside the area by Eden Hazard misses to the right of the target.
Foul by Michael Carrick on Nascimento Ramires, free kick awarded. Direct effort from the free kick comes in from David Luiz, save by David De Gea.
The ball is sent over by Rafael Da Silva.
Branislav Ivanovic sends in a cross.
The ball is swung over by Antonio Valencia, clearance by Ashley Cole. Inswinging corner taken left-footed by Robin van Persie from the right by-line, Mikel makes a clearance.
Eden Hazard crosses the ball, Jonny Evans manages to make a clearance.
The ball is sent over by Antonio Valencia.
Assist on the goal came from Antonio Valencia.
11:46 Goal scored
Goal! - Robin van Persie - Chelsea 0 - 2 Man Utd Robin van Persie fires in a goal from inside the area to the bottom left corner of the goal. Chelsea 0-2 Man Utd.
The ball is crossed by Antonio Valencia,
A cross is delivered by Fernando Torres, clearance made by Wayne Rooney.
The ball is delivered by Fernando Torres, Rio Ferdinand makes a clearance.
Assist by Robin van Persie.
3:06 Goal scored
Goal! - David Luiz - Chelsea 0 - 1 Man Utd An own goal is conceded by David Luiz. Chelsea 0-1 Man Utd.
Robin van Persie produces a right-footed shot from inside the box and strikes the post.
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