Sir Alex Ferguson had every right to be furious with Ashley Cole's challenge on Javier Hernandez on Sunday. As far as I am concerned the Chelsea left-back knew exactly what he was doing when he steamed into the striker at Old Trafford.
With Chelsea 3-1 down, Cole had given up the ghost. He was thinking 'Hernandez is going to score this' and just went for the man. He should have been sent off, not just given a yellow card. There is no excuse.
I found it incredible that Cole then had the gall to moan about the yellow card. I was astounded. The man was just born to snarl all the time, born to scrunch his face up. He moans about every decision but he should have been dismissed at Old Trafford. As Sir Alex said, dangerous challenges are part of Cole's game because he is indisciplined in everything he does. He can be reckless when things are not going his way; we saw that at Arsenal and we have seen even more evidence of it at Chelsea.
Villas-Boas suggested that the tackle was borne of frustration but he does it all the time so he must spend his life frustrated. There is no excuse for what he did. He jumped at the man - you could tell that much by how high his boot was when he made contact with Chicharito's shin.
There is too much petulance in Cole's game. It was a nasty tackle and initially when I saw the incident in slow motion I had to look away as I thought he had definitely broken Hernandez's leg. Thankfully he didn't, and I just hope it is heavy bruising at the most.
Should it have been a penalty? I think the linesman called it right as the ball just crossed the line before contact was made. Credit to the official, he made the right call, but Phil Dowd's response should have been to send Cole off and I think he may get a slap on the wrist from the Football Association for failing to deal with the incident properly.
Despite the victory, United had their poorest performance of the season so far. To borrow a phrase from Ferguson, they were very careless. They gave the ball away too frequently and I think they missed the presence of young Tom Cleverley in midfield. Despite the extra energy of Darren Fletcher, Cleverley doesn't cede possession - and in his absence Chelsea were able to hit them on the counter-attack, especially in the second half.
Andre Villas-Boas was very bold at half-time as he removed Frank Lampard, brought on Nicolas Anelka and got Juan Mata operating in a more central role. Lampard was a real problem for Chelsea in the first half as he wasn't in the match. He hasn't been at the top of his game for a long time for his club or his country and while it was a big decision for Villas-Boas to take to remove one of Chelsea's modern greats, it certainly benefited the side.
Chelsea looked a far better team when Anelka came on and he quickly set up Fernando Torres for a lovely goal. They had much more energy and were more potent in attack, and they moved the ball quicker, which of course is something that Torres has publicly stated he wants them to do. Prior to Lampard's removal they were too slow in possession.
Torres certainly looked a much better player, his horrendous miss aside, and his goal was a thing of beauty as he lifted the ball over David de Gea. Chelsea must be happy that Torres showed what a good player he can be if he is given the right service and if he plays with the right personnel. I think Torres can only improve now, especially if Villas-Boas is brave with how he evolves his team and gets them playing how he wants. That is not the Jose Mourinho way, but the quick, attractive style that accompanied his four trophy wins at Porto last season.
I think that may well entail dropping Lampard and possibly bringing Mata into the centre of the pitch, as Villas-Boas needs players who can run with the ball at their feet and play a quick passing game. Lampard is not that kind of player. If he doesn't score a goal you don't know he is there, and Chelsea, and Villas-Boas, need more than that if they are to challenge Manchester United.
Lampard has won trophies and scored goals by the bucketload, but he is 33 now and sentiment does not win you trophies. I think Villas-Boas has a very big decision to make when he picks his next team.
The scoreline very much flattered United. Chris Smalling and Nani appeared to be offside for the first two goals and Chelsea created plenty of chances; however, we must remember that had Wayne Rooney not emulated John Terry's Moscow penalty then United could have won by a bigger margin.
Ultimately I think United got through the game and secured the result thanks to the speed with which they have gelled as a team and as a unit this season. Their continuity has been a real asset in the early stages.