Chelsea aggrieved as United sneak win
Spaniard deviating from the goalkeeping coaching manual again to keep out Gary Cahill’s header.
Torres was having another shocker but his failure to react to a corner missed by everyone else was forgivable and his header was only kept out by a brilliant De Gea save.
The goalkeeper could do nothing when Wayne Rooney needlessly upended Eden Hazard with a revenge tackle a minute from half-time — earning a booking — and Mata stepped up to curl a sumptuous free-kick into the corner.
Mata would have equalised moments later had De Gea not made amends for a horrendous clearance before Torres earned his first booking for a foul on Tom Cleverley. But Chelsea needed only seven minutes of the second half to deservedly level as Mata took the game by the scruff of the neck.
After scuffing a right-foot shot, he showed sublime control to keep Oscar’s ball in play, allowing the Brazilian to cross again for Ramires to head home.
Hazard had two more sniffs before United got a grip. And they were given a golden opportunity to snatch all three points as disaster struck for Chelsea when Ivanovic and Torres were both sent off in the space of five minutes.
Ivanovic could have no complaints, the right-back seeing red for bringing down Young, who had been played clean through by Van Persie.
Rooney fired the resultant free-kick just over before United replaced the ineffective Cleverley with Javier Hernandez and Chelsea sent on Cesar Azpilicueta for Oscar.
They were about to bring on Daniel Sturridge for Torres but the striker joined Ivanovic in the dressing room when he was controversially shown a second yellow for diving when replays showed he had been caught by Evans.
Torres was furious, trudging off and berating the fourth official, who was then forced to keep Di Matteo and Ferguson apart on the touchline.
Ryan Bertrand joined the fray instead of Sturridge but Chelsea faced an impossible task with nine men and Hernandez snatched what proved the winner 15 minutes from time from an offside position.
Petr Cech brilliantly tipped Van Persie’s shot onto the post but Rafael followed up and Hernandez turned the ball home.
Mikel was booked for his protest, Sturridge entered the fray and Valencia also saw yellow as well as wasting a chance to kill the contest.