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.