Chelsea have gone five points clear at the top of the English Premier League after a 1-0 victory over reigning champions Manchester United at Stamford Bridge on Sunday.
John Terry, captain of both Chelsea and England, was the hero for the West London side, who last won the Premier League title in the 2005-06 season, with his 76th-minute header from a Frank Lampard free-kick securing all three points.
Terry's goal had a hint of controversy. The free-kick which lead to the goal was awarded for a challenge by Darren Fletcher on Chelsea full-back Ashley Cole.
But Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson was far from happy with the decision to give the free-kick, made by referee Martin Atkinson. Ferguson was also angry that United defender Wes Brown was apparently impeded as the winning goal was being scored. He said:
"Clearly, Darren Fletcher's won the ball - Ashley Cole's never touched and has jumped up in the air - and then (Didier) Drogba's pulled Brown to the ground for the goal. The referee's position to make the decision was absolutely ridiculous - he can't see anything. He's got a Chelsea player (Joe Cole) standing right in front of him - and he doesn't even move. It was a bad decision, but there's nothing we can do about it. You lose faith in refereeing sometimes, that's the way the players are talking in there - it was a bad one"
Terry's header was on its way in to the Manchester United net, Blues striker Didier Drogba tried to help the ball along whilst in an offside position. Yet he missed the ball completely, ensuring the goal was not disallowed.
Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti was angry too, but his anger was directed at the United players, Rio Ferdinand was not amongst those players as he is out injured at the moment, who he claimed had attempted to get Blues defender Ricardo Carvalho sent off. Ancelotti explained:
"The Manchester players protested a lot. I don't know why. I don't like this. At the end of a very difficult match, all the players worked very hard - and sometimes it can happen.
Topping the table with 30 points from 12 games, Arsenal are second on 25 points and Manchester United are third, also with 25 points, Chelsea will be pleased that their excellent defensive record at Stamford Bridge is continuing. They have conceded only one goal in six league games at home this season, having won all six games, and that goal was conceded during the first game of the season against Hull City."
One of English football's most successful clubs in recent years, Chelsea are owned by Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich. He will be very happy indeed if, come the end of the season, the English Premier League, the current table can be viewed as it does today.