The home fans’ anger at interim manager Rafael Benitez took centre stage before, during and after the match. There were a number of anti-Benitez banners dominating the stands at Stamford Bridge while the name “Jose Mourinho” was sung often and loudly by Chelsea fans.
On the pitch, Demba Ba’s first-half goal was all that separated the teams, while Frank Lampard had his 200th club goal ruled out for offside.
Japanese international Shinji Kagawa became the first Asian player to score a hat-trick in a Premier League match and a stoppage-time goal from Wayne Rooney sent United 15 points clear at the top of the table.
At the other end of the table Queens Park Rangers made the relegation battle a little more interesting as as they cut the gap to safety to only five points after a 2-1 victory against Southampton.
The win was only QPR’s third win of the season and came courtesy of Jay Bothroyd’s winner after Loic Remy’s opener was cancelled out by Saints star Gaston Ramirez.
Meanwhile, Everton comfortably beat Reading 3-1 triumph at Goodison Park, with goals from Marouane Fellaini, Steven Pienaar and Kevin Mirallas securing the points for the Toffees, while Hal Robson-Kanu scored a consolation with five minutes to play.
Sunderland came back from 2-0 down to record a 2-2 draw against Fulham. Dimitar Berbatov made it 1-0 from the spot while Sascha Riether added Fulham’s second before half-time, but a penalty from Craig Gardner and a 70th minute strike from Stephane Sessegnon levelled the score in a lively affair.
And West Ham rose to 12th after a 1-0 win over Stoke at the Brittania Stadium, with Jack Collison scoring the game’s only goal, while Luke Moore scored his first goal of the season to secure a 1-0 home victory for Swansea over Newcastle.