Manchester United 0-3 Chelsea (Sky Sports)
Chelsea The Old Trafford Kings Again
Adrian Sherling reporting
Manchester United stumbled to yet another defeat as Chelsea's amazing run at Old Trafford continued in front of the Sky Sports cameras.
Mario Melchiot, Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink and Eidur Gudjohnsen scored - the Blues have lost only three times in 28 games in the stadium.
Right from the sixth minute, Claudio Ranieri's side were in full control and could have won by an even larger margin but for some profligate first-half finishing.
It was the Red Devils' fifth loss of the season and Sir Alex Ferguson's side could find themselves as low as eighth by the end of the day. For the first time this season, they couldn't even find the net.
After the debacle at Highbury last week, Ferguson employed captain Roy Keane as a centre-back alongside Laurent Blanc, with Wes Brown playing on the right, yet it the leaky defence took just six minutes to be breached. Mario Melchiot rose above Brown to power Hasselbaink's corner into the back of the net.
Hasselbaink, going through something of a dry patch, should have doubled the lead soon after, but fired over from six yards out, while Sam Dalla Bonna produced almost a carbon copy five minutes later. Graeme Le Saux also came close, his ferocious volley thumping off the crossbar.
Yet it could all have looked different had Carlo Cudicini not made a stunning save after only three minutes. Ruud van Nistelrooy found some space in the Blues' box and fired a low, hard shot towards the bottom corner, yet the Italian keeper did superbly to push the ball round the post.
The second half was almost identical, with Chelsea breaking down weak Manchester United attacks and breaking fast. In the 64th minute, Hasselbaink picked up a Gudjohnsen pass wide, yet fired a magnificent shot past Barthez and into the far corner.
That's what it took to spur Manchester United into action. Cudicini raced from his goalline to clear with van Nistelrooy through on goal and although the ball broke to Scholes and he fired a chip towards the top corner, the immense William Gallas sprinted back to clear.
Veron had a low drive well saved by the Italian stopper and then the Blues broke quickly again to finish the game off. With Brown and substitute Gary Neville playing offside, Gudjohnsen ghosted through and took his time before unleashing another lethal drive into the bottom corner.
It completed a wonderful week for Chelsea after following criticism received for their disappointing draw against Blackburn last week after which manager Claudio Ranieri was reported to have tendered his resignation.
First a Worthington Cup win over high-flyers Leeds, then a thumping victory against the champions. The Blues boss' job looks far safer now.
MAN-OF-THE-MATCH: John Terry (Chelsea)
Man Utd: Barthez, Brown,
Blanc, Keane, Phil Neville, Beckham (Solskjaer 76), Scholes, Veron,
Fortune (Gary Neville 67), Cole (Chadwick 90), van Nistelrooy.
Opta Index (Match Stats)