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Battling United defy Chelsea
Updated: 2005-01-13 11:33

Premiership giants Chelsea and Manchester United stood toe to toe to fight out a goalless draw in their Carling Cup semi-final first leg at Stamford Bridge.

Manchester United's Gabriel Heinze (R) and Mikael Silvestre react at the final whistle of their 0-0 draw against Chelsea in their English League Cup semi-final first leg soccer match at Stamford Bridge in London January 12, 2005. [Reuters]

The 0-0 draw must have pleased United boss Sir Alex Ferguson boss most as he still rested several senior players despite the FA Cup debacle against Exeter last weekend.

Chelsea made most of the running in the first half but were unable to find the breakthrough.

Frank Lampard and Damien Duff were not far off with a couple of efforts and Eidur Gudjohnsen's close-range finish was correctly ruled out for offside as the hosts enjoyed the majority of possession.

But a United side showing eight changes from the team held to a dismal draw by Exeter in the FA Cup at the weekend looked lively on the break and Carlo Cudicini produced the best save of the half to deny Wayne Rooney's near-post header.

Chances were created at both ends after the break with Lampard being denied by Gabriel Heinze's goal-line clearance the best of them.

Chelsea brought on strikers Didier Drogba, Mateja Kezman and Jiri Jarosik whose late goalbound shot was hacked off the line by Phil Neville.

But neither side could find the crucial goal leaving the Red Devils confident of reaching the final after the second leg in a fortnight's time.

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