Chelsea torn apart by clinical Cats

Nedum Onuoha scored a fine individual effort on the stroke of
half-time to get Sunderland on their way in Sunday’s Premier League
encounter and second-half efforts from Asamoah Gyan and Danny
Welbeck did not flatter the visitors in the slightest. It was
Chelsea’s first home defeat since March and their first at the
hands of Sunderland since 2001. The Black Cats had conceded seven
on their last visit to the Bridge but they served their first
warning to Carlo Ancelotti’s side inside the opening few minutes
when Gyan sent his shot just wide of the far post. Chelsea’s new
defensive partnership of Paulo Ferriera and Branislav Ivanovic,
forced upon them by injuries to captain John Terry and Alex,
struggled to cope with the movement of Gyan and Welbeck. Chelsea
managed to fashion their first real chance in the 18th minute when
John Mikel Obi put Nicolas Anelka in the clear, but the striker
could not control it in time and the opportunity went begging.
Moments later Florent Malouda created an opening for Yury Zhirkov
but the Russia international ended his twisting run into the area
with a shot that flashed past the far post. Chelsea midfielder
Ramires sent an 18-yard header towards the top corner in the 24th
minute but Craig Gordon was able to make the save. Sunderland
defender Michael Turner was booked by referee Chris Foy after he
brought down Didier Drogba on the edge of the penalty area in the
28th minute. The Ivory Coast striker sent a rising free-kick just
over the top of the crossbar but Chelsea earned a corner as his
effort took a deflection. His next effort, from 35 yards after Lee
Cattermole has brought him down, went straight into the hands of
Gordon. But Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech kept the scores level in
the 36th minute when Onuoha crossed for Welbeck to head the ball
towards the bottom corner. The Czech keeper dived low to his left
to turn the ball around the post. Sunderland were unlucky not to
score from the resulting corner when Kieran Richardson sent a shot
across the face of the goal and Cech saved Chelsea again in the
38th minute when he saved with his feet from Welbeck after Gyan put
his strike partner through. Moments later Welbeck was brought down
by Ivanovic when he got ahead of the defence and the Chelsea
defender was lucky to get just a yellow card. But after Cech made
another superb double save, Onuoha dribbled through the Chelsea
defence to put Sunderland in front. It was the first goal Chelsea
had conceded at Stamford Bridge since they hosted Aston Villa in
March. And the champions’ afternoon got worse in the 52nd minute
when Sunderland opened up their defence once more and Gyan added
the second. Jordan Henderson collected the ball from Welbeck and
put Gyan clear, and the Ghanian made no mistake as he slipped the
ball beyond Cech. Chelsea were now rocking and unable to cope with
Sunderland’s quick passing and movement. In the 59th minute Welbeck
sent a curling effort just wide of the far post as the visitors
threatened to add to their lead. Chelsea had been restricted to a
couple of long shots from Drogba and the boos rang out from the
home fans when Malouda was replaced by Salomon Kalou. The home side
had rarely threatened in the second-half and Bolo Zenden almost
made it three for the visitors when he tried to divert the ball
past Cech from close range in the 63rd minute. Chelsea huffed and
puffed in a bid to get themselves back into the game but Anelka was
just over with an 18-yard shot in the 86th minute. And Sunderland
made it three in the 87th minute when Ashley Cole’s poor back pass
was intercepted by Welbeck, who kept his cool to beat Cech.