By ESPNSTAR.com staff
United got the best possible start when they raced into a two goal lead in 12 minutes courtesy of an own goal by David Luiz and a clinical strike from in-form striker Robin Van Persie.
However, Chelsea showed great character to bring the fight to United despite their early setback, and drew level via a sublime free-kick from Juan Mata in the 44th minute, followed by a headed goal by Ramires in the 53rd minute.
Both Branislav Ivanovic and Fernando Torres were then controversially dismissed midway through the second half, the former for hauling back Ashley Young when the England international was through on goal, while the latter was given his second yellow card of the night for simulation.
This swung the momentum firmly in United's favour and they soon found the back of the net in the 75th minute through substitute Javier Hernandez's inventive flick, although there was more than a hint of offside about the goal.
Here, ESPNSTAR.com rates the players from Sunday's game at Stamford Bridge.
Petr Cech - 7
The Chelsea stopper was definitely the less buy of the keepers and he looked comfortable when called into action, although he could do nothing about all three of United's goals.
Branislav Ivanovic - 4
Ivanovic will not look back on this game fondly as he got sent off for hauling back Young when the England international was through on goal. It was a critical point of the game and his dismissal was arguably the turning point of the game.
Gary Cahill - 7
Cahill, operating without his usual partner John Terry, did very well to nullify the threat of Rooney. He dominated the aerial battles and showed excellent composure at the back.
David Luiz - 7.5
Luiz, despite unwittingly putting the ball into the back of his own net, was one of the sprightlier players in blue on the pitch and drove his team on from the back with several bombing forward runs.
Ashley Cole - 5.5
Cole was not given much protection from the midfield on his flank and often found himself outnumbered down the left. However, his positioning in this game was extremely suspect and the fact that two of United's goals came from his flank spoke volumes about the England international's poor performance.
Ramires - 7.5
The Brazilian was an energetic presence in the middle of the pitch for Chelsea; his industry and tenacious tackling helped shackle Wayne Rooney for large parts of the game and he took his goal, a header from a Oscar cross, very well.
John Obi Mikel - 5.5
Mikel was once again highly ineffective for the Blues and did not really seem to manage to really get into the game. Poor offensively and weak defensively, one can only wonder if Di Matteo will invest in a proper defensive midfielder come the January transfer market.
Juan Mata (72' off) - 8.5
Mata had been in imperious form prior to this game and he was once again the catalyst for Chelsea in attack and provided some much needed incision for Chelsea in the final third with several defence splitting passes. His capped his impressive performance with a goal; a sublime free-kick which curled beautifully into the corner of the net which left De Gea grasping at thin air.
Oscar (66' off) - 8
The young Brazilian enhanced his burgeoning reputation with a performance full of creativity and invention. He stretched the United defence with his fantastic range of passing, even getting an assist after sending in a pinpoint cross into the box for Ramires to head home, and was unlucky to have been sacrificed when the Blues went down to 10 men.
Eden Hazard - 6.5
Hazard failed to really sparkle in this game and bar a few flashes of brilliance, did not manage to contribute much to the Chelsea attack, although it should be pointed out that he won the free-kick which led to Mata's goal.
Fernando Torres - 4
Di Matteo must regret jumping to Torres' defence in the pre-match build up to this game after Torres once again disappointed with yet another lacklustre display upfront for the Blues. To compound the Spain international's misery, he was sent off, albeit controversially, to leave his side two men down and snuff out any hopes of Chelsea picking up all three points.
César Azpilicueta (66' on) - 6
Azpilicueta was brought on to provide the Blues with much needed defensive cover after Ivanovic had been sent off but apart from a few smart challenges, really did not make much of an impact on the game.
Ryan Bertrand (72' on) - 6
Bertrand showed some good touches when he came on but could not do much for his numerically disadvantaged side in the time he came on.
Daniel Sturridge (82' on) - N/A
David De Gea - 8
Any doubts about why Ferguson broke the British record fee for a goalkeeper by paying £17 million for De Gea last season were certainly dispelled as the 21-year-old produced several stunning saves to prevent the Blues from running away with the game.
Rafael - 7
Rafael was given a real test by Hazard but he proved his mettle and held his own reasonably well, whilst also combining well with Valencia to stretch the Chelsea defence with his overlapping runs down the right flank. And his adventurous spirit paid dividends late in the game when his cross-shot from the right was turned in by Hernandez.
Rio Ferdinand - 7
There were fears that Ferdinand would have struggled with the pace of Chelsea's attacks but the veteran defender used his experience well to read the game and he was on hand to make several crucial interceptions to stop Chelsea from threatening his goal.
Jonny Evans - 7
Evans was a steady presence in the back along with Ferdinand, making a few well timed challenges in the game and putting his body in the line of Chelsea fire to block several shots.
Patrice Evra - 7
With many calling for Alexander Buttner to replace the ageing Evra, the 31-year-old French international showed that he could still offer something for United with a respectable and disciplined shift down the left flank.
Antonio Valencia - 7.5
Valencia provided much needed width for United and he was integral in his side's victory as both of the first two Red Devils' goals came from his flank. His direct running cause Cole all sorts of problems and he always looked lively on the ball.
Michael Carrick - 7
Carrick was quietly effective as the deep lying midfielder of the team and offered sufficient defensive cover for his back four, although his usually impressive range of passing was absent in this game.
Tom Cleverley (65' off) - 6
The 23-year-old showed that he still has some way to go before he can be considered as good enough to be a regular starter for the United midfield. He was caught in possession once too many times and failed to really get to grips with the game.
Ashley Young - 6.5
Young was not as involved in the game as he would have liked to be, although it was his brilliant run to meet Van Persie's through pass which caused Ivanovic to be sent off.
Wayne Rooney (75' off) - 7.5
The England international put in yet another typically hardworking display for his side and could be seen tearing around the pitch supporting his team-mates offensively and defensively. There are suggestions that Rooney should be deployed as a centre-midfielder and on the basis of this performance that does not seem like that bad an idea at all.
Robin Van Persie - 9
Van Persie was once again the hero for United as he wreaked havoc in the Chelsea defence throughout the game, scoring one, inadvertently setting up another, and being heavily involved in his side's winner. It was also his fantastic through pass which set Young free and forced Ivanovic to commit the foul which led to the Serbian international's dismissal.
Javier Hernandez (65' on) - 7.5
The hero for United in their midweek Champions League victory against Braga, Hernandez was once again on hand to win all three points for the Red Devils with a typical poacher's goal.
Ryan Giggs (75' on) - N/A