Three And Easy For Champions  (Sky Sports)

Chelsea 3 Manchester United 0

William GallasChelsea put the seal on back-to-back Premiership titles with an emphatic 3-0 victory over closest rivals Manchester United at Stamford Bridge, although an injury to Wayne Rooney cast a shadow over the celebrations.

Jose Mourinho's men proved worthy champions after a performance of guts and guile was too classy for a dispirited Red Devils to cope with.

William Gallas' early header set The Blues on their way and a wonderful solo goal from Joe Cole, followed by a sweeping counter-attack finished by Ricardo Carvalho, earned the host a deserved second title.

But the closing moments of the game were overshadowed by an injury to Rooney, which could jeopardise the striker's chances of representing England at the World Cup.

Chelsea struck after just five minutes as the champions took full advantage of slipshod defending in the visiting back-line.

A tenacious tackle from Frank Lampard on Cristiano Ronaldo in midfield was the spark for Chelsea pouring forward and menacing pressure forced United into conceding a corner.

Lampard curled over the set-piece, Didier Drogba headed goalbound and Gallas, having been left free by Mikael Silvestre, converted a simple opportunity from close range.

Rooney was then fortunate to escape punishment for a late tackle on John Terry, which left the Chelsea captain limping and in pain for much of the first half.

Arjen Robben scuffed a shot at compatriot Edwin van der Sar and Michael Essien was off target with an ambitious effort from distance, as United struggled to keep possession.

Ronaldo exceeded Essien's ambition by driving a 40-yard free kick safely into the arms of Petr Cech before Rooney fluffed a golden chance to draw United level midway through the first half.

Rooney picked up on a loose ball and powered through the Chelsea defence, only to drag his shot wide of goal when one-on-one with Cech.

Chelsea immediately countered and only a woeful cross from Robben denied the hosts a certain second goal as Drogba lurked unmarked in the six-yard box.

Essien lashed another shot wide before United finished the half stronger after spending much of the opening 45 minutes in The Blues' slipstream.

After a poor headed clearance to the edge of the area, Rooney cut back inside and unleashed a fearsome low drive, which Cech did superbly to push out.

In injury time, John O'Shea nodded tamely over the bar as Chelsea were seemingly happy to keep United at arm's length and look to hit on the counter.

Ronaldo, having been switched to the left flank during the first half, started the second by selfishly shooting off target and the Portuguese winger's frustration soon resulted in a yellow card.

Poor control from Drogba saw another Chelsea chance slip by, while Robben blazed off target from a good position before a piece of individual magic from Cole brought Chelsea a deserved second goal on 61 minutes.

Collecting the ball on the edge of the box, Cole outfoxed three United defenders before sprinting clear of Silvestre and coolly placing his shot past an exposed van der Sar.

United were now a beaten team and Rooney picked up a yellow card for a rash challenge on Drogba before Chelsea claimed a third goal on 73 minutes which covered the length of the pitch.

Carvalho won possession off a lifeless Ruud van Nistelrooy in his own area before breaking forward with his team-mates to receive a pass from Cole in the opposition box and smash a fierce drive past van der Sar.

With just over 10 minutes remaining, panic set into the England camp when Rooney reeled in agony after a challenge from Paulo Ferreira. The youngster clutched his foot and seemed in severe pain when he was stretchered off the pitch.

The game petered out following Rooney's injury, although both substitute Hernan Crespo and Drogba failed to connect with a cross which would have brought Chelsea a fourth goal.


Chelsea  Cech, Gallas, Ferreira, Carvalho, Terry, J. Cole (Crespo 76), Essien, Lampard, Makelele, Drogba (Maniche 85), Robben (Duff 66)
Subs Not Used  Cudicini, Geremi
Booked  Cech, Makelele, Gallas, Cole
Goals  Gallas 5, J. Cole 61, Carvalho 73

Manchester United Van der Sar, Ferdinand, Neville, OShea, Silvestre, Vidic, Giggs (Richardson 73), Ronaldo (van Nistelrooy 64), Park, Rooney (Evra 82), Saha
Subs Not Used
  Howard, Brown
Booked  Ronaldo, Rooney

Attendance  42,219

Referee  M. Dean

The Soccerlinks Hit List