Cats get the Blues.
Sunderland lost yet again at home, which means that they have now slipped into the relegation zone for the first time under Martin O’Neill.
The Lads could have been behind in the first 9 minutes. Barely 90 seconds in Belgian star Eden Hazard was sent through on goal. However, fellow countryman Mignolet came out and tackled the midfielder off the ball. However, there were claims for a penalty and red card for Larsson as earlier in the move the Swede had tugged at Hazard and if he had went down, it would have been a penalty.Then, danger man Juan Mata had a crossing opportunity but his ball, which went across the face of goal, was just out of the reach of Fernando Torres. Soon after, O’Shea seemed to have cleared the danger when he headed the ball away from a cross but the ball rebounded of Cuellar’s head, sending it straight into the path of Torres, a few yards from goal. Mignolet, though, reacted quickly and soon smothered the ball.
Chelsea then managed to make their fourth chance count when Hazard got a cross in from the left. Torres, unmarked, then latched onto the ball and poked the ball past Mignolet and into the top corner. Chelsea was deservedly 1-0 up.
The next chance of the match came on the 20th minute as Connor Wickham headed a ball into Sessegnon’s path. The Benin, 25 yards out, hit a powerful shot that stung the finger tips of Cech and went over the bar. Sunderland built and built the pressure but couldn’t find any real openings.
However, it was Chelsea who got the next goal when Seb Larsson brought down Ramires, who was going nowhere, in the box. Torres then scored his second of the game when he put the ball in the bottom left corner.
The second half was barely four minutes old when a poor touch by the out of sorts Bardsley meant the ball went to Torres on the edge of the box. The Spanish international then saw his shot rattle the bar but fall to Mata whose 12 yard effort went into the bottom corner.
On 66 minutes Sunderland found a goal. Johnson, from a crossing position, managed to curl the ball around Petr Cech and into the far corner to pull it back to 3-1. If Johnson had scored his chance 5 minutes later, it would have been an exciting last 15 minutes. Sunderland won a free kick just outside the box, slightly to the right of the D. Adam Johnson then took it but it took a reflex action from Cech to bat the ball away.
In the four minutes of injury time the Lads had two chances. The first one came when Connor Wickham, in for the injured Fletcher, fired a shot just wide of the box from 25 yards. Then, from the exact same position as Johnson’s free kick, Gardner won another one. It was Gardner who took it but his smashed shot rattled the bar.
Sunderland played much better than other performances but after a bad first half they left themselves with too much to do against a Chelsea side backed by over 3,000 Londoners. Tuesday night’s game looks to be a much win game for the Cats, as three points would see them go 15th in the table.
Simon Mignolet, Phil Bardsley, Danny Rose, John O’Shea, Carlos Cuellar, Adam Johnson, James McClean, Seb Larsson, Craig Gardner, Stephane Sessegnon and Connor Wickham