Match Report: Chelsea FC 1-2 Sunderland AFC
The match at Stamford Bridge started with absolute yet polar opposite ambitions for the two teams, where Blues strived to embark on a run of first win in four remaining matches. Meanwhile Sunderland energized from their away Man City draw needed to wreak an upset in their bid to climb out of the table’s extreme bottom.
The match started with an indifferent intensity given the dire needs for either team to meet requirements. Sunderland showed collective performance,by exchanging passes to evade the Blues. In the 3rd minute an absent mindedly commited pass to Schwarzer by Oscar was almost recieved by a Toon player. The first corner kick of the match saw Willian shoot straight against Vitor Mannone from whose,fists the ball ricochetted off. The resolve of the away side was almost on the brink of being broken in the 10th minute when Chelsea would not let them off past their D-Box. Eto’o pulled off a fantastic dodge to overcome two Sunderland players close inside their D-Box before his shot was blocked by Santiago Vergini for a corner. Then in the,12th minute from a Willian delivery rightly picked up the Cameroonian hit man who met it with an unstoppable shot beyond Mannone. The Stamford Bridge crowd went into raptures as the camera focused on a smiling Jose Mourinho. The lead however would be short lived as in the 18th minute Toon managed to win a corner on an Ivanovic challenge. Like the corresponding away match where all of the opposition’s three goals were scored from set pieces the Blues showed poor defense. The free-kick was delivered to an unmarked Marcos Alonso positioned at the periphery of D-Box perpendicular to it. The Blue shirts heavily outnumbered the ones from the visiting side and afforded him plenty of space. The Spanish Left Back duly shot a bit rightward which any of Cahill or Terry should have thwarted with their back side but let it flow straight to Schwarzer’s hands. The 41 year old Aussie fisted it instead of parrying it away as the ball auspiciously landed at the feet of Connor Wickham. The 21 year old easily outran Ivanovic to slot it beyond Schwarzer, to drive his mates in the field ecstatic. Hence in the 20th minute things became weary for Chelsea in their hunt for the second goal. They could run forward at will and spent most of their time in the Toon’s D-Box. Meanwhile a foul on Azpilicueta which was clearly yellow card offense was spared by the referre Mike Dean. Corners took place one after another for the home side where in the 38th minute Ivanovic’s goal bound header could not be grabbed by Mannone. It bounced off to strike the upper frame of the goal post that the Goal keeper safely collected. In the 44th minute Ramires largely quiet throughout the match was played in a through ball leaving him one on one with Mannone was prevented a clear goal by Sebastian Larsson. Then the first half ran out with the host side’s unfulfilled task of producing a lead.
The second half resumed with Sunderland earning a free kick worryingly for Chelsea whose deputizing Goal Keeper Schwarzer struggled with clearances as he slipped to the ground each time. From the corner kick Ivanovic crossed from a narrow angle to a team mate. Then Willian received the ball and stormed into the Toon D-Box and laid it at the path of the charging Eto’o to shoot from the left. However the clear opportunity was scuppered to silence the crowds. Then shortly past the 50th minute Oscar was replaced by Demba Ba. Willian the consistent player on the pitch created a golden scoring opportunity for Ba to stroke an easy ball to the net of the net. Somehow the unmarked Senagalese contrived to miserably miss it. Chelsea resumed their offensive moves which was faced without nervousness from the Sunderland team that threw bodies to congest their D-Box. Salah was withdrawn for Schurrle whose direct shot was skillfully blocked by Mannone. As frustrations continued in the 81st minute Azpilicueta tripped over with the ball at his feet that allowed Jozy Altidore to recover the ball. As the American ran past the Spaniard who had to stand before making a chase got his foot struck between that of Alttidore in a fair challenge. The referre’s assistant at the left side misjudged it as a foul drawing a penalty kick decision from his chief Mike Dean. It was Chelsea’s first ever penalty conceded in the League this season. Yet the first conceeded penalty struck a massive dreadful blow as the ex Blue Fabio Borini aptly converted. Schurrle responded immediately from the left flank with a sublime shot that Mannone was equal to with his save. The following minutes saw Chelsea intensifying their offensive moves yet with safe feelings from the opposition. Rui Faria could not suppress his emotions against Mike Dean on the invalid penalty issue and had be drawn back by other members of the coaching staff. Five minutes of added time was given with the mountain climbing task of scoring two goals to save the Title triumph possibile. Sunderland held on frustrating them with late time killing substititions and ran out winners of the contest. However Blues were hard done by some invalid decisions by Dean who did not award them three absolute penalty kicks via handball by the away players in the second half. Moreover Matic was blamed for a harmless contact against his marker in the first that invalidated a Terry shot into the net. Chelsea racked up 30 plus goal attempts and nearly 70 percent possession which was rendered ineffective by woeful ill-luck.
Chelsea Samuel Eto’o (12′)
Sunderland Connor Wickham (18′) Fabio Borini (82′) (Pen)
Chelsea Formation (4-2-3-1) Schwarzer: Ivanovic-Cahill-Terry-Azplilicueta: Ramires-Matic: Salah-Oscar-Willian Eto’o
Subtitites: Ba↓ Oscar↑, Torres↓ Eto’o↑, Schurrle↓ Salah↑
Sunderland Formation (4-1-4-1) Mannone: Vergini, Brown, O’Shea, Alonso: Cattermole: Larsson, Johnson, Coleback, Borini: Wickham.
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