Chelsea beats Sunderland 4-2 in Premier League
Chelsea striker Nicolas Anelka responded to the signing of Fernando Torres by scoring one goal and setting another up in the defending champions' 4-2 Premier League win at Sunderland on Tuesday.
The former France striker, whose place in the starting team could be under threat following the British-record purchase of Torres on Monday, rounded off the scoring in injury time to cap a superb individual display in Chelsea's third straight league win.
Chelsea midfielder Frank Lampard canceled out Phil Bardsley's fourth minute goal before Salomon Kalou put the Blues in front in the 23rd after running onto Anelka's pass.
Kieran Richardson equalized for the hosts in the 26th but second-half goals by John Terry and Anelka earned Chelsea maximum points.
The win kept Carlo Ancelotti's side 10 points adrift of unbeaten leader Manchester United, which beat Aston Villa 3-1 on Tuesday.
Torres, who joined from Liverpool for a reported fee of 50 million pounds ($81 million), wasn't registered in time to play. Neither was Brazil defender David Luiz, who also moved to Chelsea on deadline day from Benfica.
Sunderland's 3-0 win at Stamford Bridge in November sparked Chelsea's mid-season freefall and the northeast club caused the defending champions problems early on in the return match between the sides.
Bardsley's rampaging run down the left ended with him cutting in, past John Obi Mikel, and firing in a shot that dipped past wrong-footed Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech.
The visitors quickly settled and after Ahmed Elmohamady fouled Ashley Cole in the area, Lampard stepped up to send Craig Gordon the wrong way from the penalty spot.
A dominant period by the Blues saw them score a second goal eight minutes later, with Kalou running onto the sprightly Anelka's through-ball and slipping his finish past Gordon, who had raced off his line in an attempt to clear.
That goal only stirred Sunderland back into action and Richardson equalized by drilling a low free kick underneath Chelsea's defensive wall and past the motionless Cech.
Michael Essien had a powerful shot saved and Branislav Ivanovic crashed an effort against the crossbar as Chelsea finished the first half well, without retaking the lead.
The action was just as end to end after the break and Gordon got down well in the 52nd to push away a shot from Lampard.
Another long-range effort by Lampard was then parried away by the Scotland goalkeeper but the ball fell to Terry, who prodded it into the roof of an unguarded net from 10 meters.
Chelsea was looking irresistible going forward and Kalou was unfortunate not to make it 4-2 when his shot smashed against one post and flew across the line before hitting the other.
Anelka got the goal his performance deserved in the dying seconds, latching onto substitute Florent Malouda's cross to turn in a finish.