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Nine-man Chelsea beaten by Man Utd in Stamford Bridge thriller

updated 8:07 AM EDT, Mon October 29, 2012
Javier Hernandez celebrates scoring the winner for Manchester United against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.
Javier Hernandez celebrates scoring the winner for Manchester United against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Manchester United beat Chelsea 3-2 at Stamford Bridge
  • EPL leaders Chelsea have Branislav Ivanovic and Fernando Torres sent off
  • Chelsea lodge complaint to Premier League over referee
  • Pulsating Merseyside derby ends in 2-2 draw

(CNN) -- Nine-man Chelsea lost 3-2 to Manchester United in a pulsating and controversial top-of-the-table English Premier League clash at Stamford Bridge Sunday.

It was the first league defeat of the season for the Blues, who hold a slender one point lead in the standings after nine games over second-placed United and defending champions Manchester City.

The score was tied at 2-2 just after the hour mark when Branislav Ivanovic was shown a straight red for pulling down Ashley Young after he was played through by Robin van Persie.

There could be few arguments with referee Mark Clattenburg's decision but six minutes later Fernando Torres was shown his second yellow card in highly controversial circumstances.

He pushed the ball through the legs of United defender Jonny Evans but went down spectacularly as he went past him -- replays indicated he had been clipped by the Northern Irishman.

He (Torres) could have carried on and scored so I cannot understand it. It's his own fault
Alex Ferguson

Clattenburg ruled it was a deliberate dive and the Spain international trudged off, his manager Roberto Di Matteo shaking his head in disagreement.

Soon afterwards, United boss Alex Ferguson was seen remonstrating with his Chelsea counterpart, but his anger turned to joy when his second half substitute Javier Hernandez reacted quickly to turn home a Rafael cross shot.

To add to Chelsea's sense of injustice, television replays appeared to indicate the Mexican had come back from an offside position to score the winner.

Later Sunday, Chelsea said they had made a formal complaint against referee Clattenburg, accusing him of using "inappropriate language" to two of their players.

A club spokesman said: "We have lodged a complaint to the Premier League match delegate with regards to inappropriate language used by the referee and directed to two of our players in two separate incidents in today's match."

The visitors had been two goals ahead inside 12 minutes as Van Persie's early shot rebounded off a post to hit David Luiz and dribble over the line.

Dutchman Van Persie then connected with an Antonio Valencia cross to make it 2-0.

But back came the leaders with Juan Mata stroking home a free kick just before the half time break.

They came out in inspired form at the start of the second half and Oscar picked out fellow Brazilian Ramires to head the equalizer.

Chelsea looked the more likely side to go on to take three points before the red cards changed the course of the match.

Ferguson believed Torres was at fault for his own sending off. "Did he intend to dive? I thought he went down," he told Sky Sports.

"I think Jonny may have just caught him a little bit but he can either carry on running -- which he could have done -- but he chose to go down. "He could have carried on and scored so I cannot understand it. It's his own fault."

In the early kick off, Liverpool had led Everton 2-0 in the Merseyside derby before the home side hit back to salvage a draw.

Uruguay international Luis Suarez was at the center of the action, his early shot deflecting off Leighton Baines to produce the opening goal.

His celebration raised eyebrows as he ran and dived full-length in front of Everton manager David Moyes in response to his remarks about him earlier in the week.

Suarez then headed home Steven Gerrard's free kick to put Liverpool in command but the home side were quick to respond.

Leon Osman and Steven Naismith were on the score sheet to stun Brendan Rogers' men.

Suarez thought he had scored the winner in injury time as he lashed his shot high into the net, but it was controversially ruled out for offside.

Tottenham Hotspur moved into fourth place in the standings with a 2-1 win at struggling Southampton with Gareth Bale, returning to his old side, putting the visitors ahead after 15 minutes.

Clint Dempsey added the second but Southampton hit back after the break through a Jay Rodriguez goal.

Papiss Cisse hit an injury time winner for Newcastle as they beat West Bromwich Albion 2-1 in the day's other match in the EPL.

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