Chelsea 0 Manchester United 0

Last updated : 17 July 2007 By Paul Lagan
Chelsea and newly-crowned Premiership champions Manchester United battled out a tame goalless draw at Stamford Bridge.

A virtual United reserve side was given a guard of honour by the now ex-champions Chelsea before kick-off.

And it was the Blues who had the first worthwhile attack through Shaun Wright-Phillips after seven minutes.

The winger latched on to a John Obi Mikel through ball and raced into the United area. Tomasz Kuszczak was alive to the threat and blocked Wright-Phillips' shot.

A mistimed cross almost resulted in a goal for Wright-Phillips on 15 minutes but his deep right-wing pass inched over Kuszczak's crossbar. The Polish goalie then watched as Scott Sinclair swerved a right-footer over his top.

A flare-up following Mikel's foul on Chris Eagles resulted in a yellow card for the Chelsea midfielder and a yellow for United captain Gabriel Heinze on 20 minutes for dissent.

Kieran Richardson let fly from 25 yards on 25 minutes but the ball sailed well wide of Carlo Cudicini's left-hand upright.

John Terry almost snatched the opener on the stroke of half-time when from a free-kick Kuszczak failed to hold the ball and it fell to the right foot of the England captain. But unfortunately for him his shot on goal was cleared.

Richardson hit a crisp left-foot free-kick on 52 minutes, but the effort was just wide of the Chelsea goal.

Joe Cole was a half-time replacement for Mikel and Chelsea also introduced Ben Sahar for Sinclair on 54 minutes. Within seconds he produced a wonderful right-wing cross, which Wes Brown did well to clear for a corner.

The game's second flashpoint came on 56 minutes when, having seen a good shout for a penalty turned down for a tackle from Michael Essien, Eagles lunged into Wright-Phillips close to the by-line.

Referee Graham Poll only brandished a yellow card to the youngster.

Wright-Phillips produced a shot on target on 68 minutes, which Kuszczak parried away and Salomon Kalou forced the keeper into action again a minute later.

Wayne Rooney entered the fray for Fangzhuo Dong on 73 minutes.

Flashpoint number three came on 78 minutes when Jose Mourinho appeared to be sent to the stands after an exchange of words with Poll, but the Chelsea manager returned to his seat within seconds.

Lassana Diarra got on with the football a minute later and curled a wonderful right-footer towards goal, which Kuszczak acrobatically tipped away for a corner

Kuszczak then produced two excellent saves within seconds of each other from Kalou with the final whistle minutes away.

The draw was eventually inevitable, with the two sides set to meet in the FA Cup final a week on Saturday.