By Kieran Lovelock
Chelsea 0-3 Sunderland
Chelsea suffered their biggest home defeat for seven years after being thumped 3-0 at home to Sunderland.
Sunderland’s two previous visits to Stamford Bridge had seen them concede 12 goals but looking at this performance you would have thought that it was the other way around as the Black Cats gave Chelsea’s European rivals a lesson as to dismantle the Blues.
Sunderland were so dominant that they had 53% of the possession and as many as 19 shots on goal- something unheard of at Stamford Bridge in recent years.
But for as terrific as Sunderland were Chelsea were simply awful. A sense of concern spread around Stamford Bridge as Chelsea’s team sheet read that they would be without both Alex and John Terry and were forced to play four full backs across the back line, and so it proved right.
The truth is that Sunderland could have been out of sight before they scored their first. Gyan missed two one on ones and Kieran Richardson somehow missed from seven yards out. But then the moment came when on loan full back Onoua left a line of Chelsea defenders on the floor with a mesmerizing run to then scuff it part Petr Cech to put Sunderland one up on the stroke of half time.
The second half started much the same as the first half ended. Sunderland were simply irresistible as they destroyed Chelsea with a balanced attacking display of pace, power, trickery and width.
Asamoah Gyan put Sunderland two up after Chelsea’s backline was simply cut in half on 52 minutes. Ivanovic and Ferreria were caught out too far apart leaving plenty of space for Jordan Henderson to slip through Gyan and the Frenchman coolly side footed it past Cech to send the travelling supporters wild.
Chelsea huffed and puffed but were still in a state of shock. Sunderland keeper Gordon was left with nothing to do all day and Chelsea’s performance was summed up when on loan Manchester United striker Danny Welbeck dispossessed the ever reliable Ashley Cole inside the Chelsea penalty box to virtually pass it into an empty net to make it three in the 87th minute.
The score line was as deserved as it was emphatic and it showed up Chelsea’s biggest potential problem. The truth is that without centre backs Terry and Alex they are extremely vulnerable against a dynamic strike force and one must fear for the Premier League and Champions League aspirations should these two be injured for much longer.
Chelsea (4-3-3): Cech; Bosingwa, Ivanovic, Ferreira, Cole; Mikel, Ramires (McEachran 69), Zhirkov (Kakuta 75); Malouda (Kalou), Anelka, Drogba.
Sunderland (4-4-2); Gordon; Onuoha, Bramble, Turner, Bardsley; Richardson, Henderson, Cattermole (Riveros 90+4), Zenden; Gyan (Malbranque 83), Welbeck (Al-Muhammadi 90)
Man of the Match: Michael Turner