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19 April 2014
• Stamford Bridge, London
Referee: M. Dean
• Attendance: 41210
S. Eto'o 12'
C. Wickham 18'
F. Borini 82'
Chelsea now turn their attentions to Champions League football as they travel to Spain to play Atletico Madrid on Tuesday. As for Sunderland, they will look to continue their great escape when they host fellow strugglers Cardiff next Sunday. Thanks for joining me on another captivating day of Premier League football. Until next time, goodbye.
Gus Poyet can expect a large bottle of wine from Brendan Rodgers after that result. That defeat for Chelsea means that Liverpool remain top and they can go five points clear if they win at Norwich tomorrow. Sunderland are now just three points adrift of the Canaries and with a game in hand, they now have a very realistic chance of consolidating their Premier League status.
FT: Chelsea 1-2 Sunderland. You just cannot write the script in the Premier League. Gus Poyet is jubilant on the touchline as his side have ended Jose Mourinho's 77-game unbeaten league run to boost their hopes of surviving in the top flight. What a sensational advert for English football!
FT: SUNDERLAND HAVE WON AT STAMFORD BRIDGE!
90' + 5'
Mike Dean looks at his watch for the first time as Chelsea desperately pump the ball into the Sunderland box. Can they find a late, late equaliser?
90' + 4'
CHANCE FOR SUNDERLAND! The Black Cats still have energy to come forward and Giaccherini goes close to wrapping up the points when his dipping effort goes narrowly over the bar.
90' + 3'
Larsson has been terrific for Sunderland this afternoon but he is replaced by Celustka for the final few minutes. Sunderland were denied late on against Manchester City in midweek. Will they suffer heartache again?
90' + 2'
Yellow Card Fernando Torres
90' + 1'
MANNONE SAVES! Every Sunderland player is pegged back inside their own half as they desperately attempt to hold out. Ivanovic produces a superb outside-of-the-foot cross to pick out Terry in the box but his header is well held by Mannone.
Sunderland are defending brilliantly here and they head clear a number of crosses into the box, much to the delight of their travelling fans. There will be FIVE minutes of stoppage time.
You can almost hear the Liverpool celebrations from here as Sunderland continue to defend resolutely and hold onto their lead. Gus Poyet's side are just two minutes plus stoppage time away from their first league win in 10 matches. Is the great escape on?
The Chelsea fans are desperate for their side to find an equaliser and they scream for a penalty when Torres' cross strikes the arm of Cattermole who couldn't get out of the way. Mike Dean waves away their appeals and play continues.
GREAT SAVE BY MANNONE! It's going to be a nervous finish for Gus Poyet's side and he has his Italian goalkeeper to thank that they are still ahead as he tips Schurrle's long-range effort over the crossbar.
It's all kicking off on the touchline now and Jose Mourinho's assistant is sent to the stands after venting his frustration to Mike Dean. Can Chelsea respond? The Premier League title is on the line.
Penalty Goal Fabio Borini
BORINI GIVES SUNDERLAND THE LEAD! The on-loan Liverpool striker deals Chelsea's title bid a huge blow as he coolly slots the ball down the middle, with Schwarzer diving to his right. Jose Mourinho is eight minutes away from losing his first home league game at Stamford Bridge in 78 attempts.
PENALTY TO SUNDERLAND! It's a horror show for Azpilicueta as his slip allows Altidore to roam towards goal. The American striker is set to shoot but has his legs taken away by the Spaniard, giving the referee no option but to point to the spot.
It's all hands to the pump for Sunderland at the moment as they try desperately to keep out this blue tide. Torres has certainly made an impact for the hosts and he sees a left-footed shot flash over the bar before his header is then well held by Mannone.
Torres will be desperate to earn a start against his former club in the Champions League in midweek and he produces an acrobatic effort from Willian's cross which goes just over Mannone's crossbar.
This time it is Sunderland's turn to attack and they win another corner when Ivanovic turns Giaccherini's dangerous cross behind. Larsson delivers it but Matic stands firm to head the ball clear.
Chelsea once again break quickly from a Sunderland corner and Schurrle produces an incise pass to pick out Ba inside the box. However, the Senegalese forward cannot beat Mannone from a narrow angle and the Italian turns the ball behind.
Jose Mourinho decides to make his final change as Fernando Torres replaces Samuel Eto'o. Can the expensive Spaniard boost Chelsea's title charge? They have just over 15 minutes to find the winner.
Yellow Card Wes Brown
Wes Brown picks up the second booking of the game after he clumsily brings down Ba outside the box.
There is a stoppage in play here as Mannone receives treatment after colliding with his own teammate. The Italian goalkeeper receives a chorus of jeers from the Chelsea fans who clearly feel he is timewasting.
Sunderland launch a rare attack as Vergini comes forward from right-back and he attempts to pick out Borini with a ball over the top. However, Schwarzer is alert to the danger and races off his line to gather the ball, albeit at the second attempt.
Incidentally, Jozy Altidore has scored only one league goal for Sunderland and that came against Chelsea at the Stadium of Light earlier this season. Can he repeat that feat today?
A flurry of substitutions here as Jozy Altidore and Emanuele Giaccherini come on to replace Connor Wickham and Adam Johnson for Sunderland while Andre Schurrle replaces Mohamed Salah for Chelsea.
WHAT A CHANCE FOR BA! The former Newcastle striker produces a terrific one-two with Willian to unlock the Sunderland defence. However, he cannot produce the finish to match as he slices the ball wide when the goal was gaping.
With home games to come against Cardiff, West Brom and Swansea, it seems that Sunderland are happy to sit back and hold onto their point here. It's a dangerous game for Gus Poyet's side.
You can sense that the Chelsea fans are starting to become restless now and their fans continue to glance towards the clock as the score remains tied. Who can provide the inspiration to continue their title push?
Jose Mourinho is desperate for his side to find that elusive second goal and he makes his first change, introducing Demba Ba in place of Oscar. The Senegalese talisman has three goals in his last four league appearances.
Sunderland look to relieve the pressure on their goal when they win a throw high up the pitch. However, Larsson's floated cross towards the back post is well caught by Schwarzer and Chelsea prepare to come forward again.
Yellow Card Lee Cattermole
Lee Cattermole is no stranger to a yellow card and he unsurprisingly picks up the first booking of the game after his sloppy pass gifts possession to Oscar who he then hauls to the ground. He can have no complaints about that one.
It's all Chelsea at the moment though they are again denied as Oscar's shot from outside the box is comfortably saved by Mannone. Can Sunderland weather the storm? The Chelsea fans are starting to find their voice here.
Chelsea appeal for a penalty when Eto'o goes down inside the box under pressure from Catterole. However, Mike Dean waves away the complaints and play continues.
Chelsea have started the second half strongly but Colback continues to deny the hosts as he produces a superb block to deny Willian before Ramires' effort is deflected over the top. The next goal here is crucial.
CHELSEA GO CLOSE! The home side break quickly from a corner and Willian drives his way towards the Sunderland goal from deep inside his own half. He has Salah on his right but opts to slip in Eto'o on the left who curls a shot agonisingly past the far post. The Cameroon striker clearly feels he should be doing better there.
Wickham appears to have shaken off that first-half knock and he does well to win a corner for Sunderland. However, Larsson's delivery is too close to Schwarzer who manages to punch clear.
The teams are back on the field for the second half and Chelsea, unchanged, get the game back underway. The next 45 minutes could be so telling in this enthralling Premier League campaign.
It's a huge 45 minutes ahead for both teams here. Jose Mourinho knows that his side cannot afford to slip up at home in the title race while Gus Poyet knows that his team must desperately start picking up points if they are to consolidate their Premier League status. Who will come out on top? The second half is moments away...
HT: Chelsea 1-1 Sunderland. Mike Dean blows his whistle to signal the end of a thrilling first-half of football. Samuel Eto'o gave Chelsea the lead when he reacted quickest to volley Willian's corner beyond Vito Mannone for his ninth league goal of the season. However, Sunderland responded brilliantly and Connor Wickham levelled the scores when he lifted the ball over Mark Schwarzer to add to his midweek double. It's been end-to-end stuff here at Stamford Bridge and there certainly seem to be more goals in this one.
45' + 1'
Ramires has cut a frustrated figure throughout the first half and he aims an arm at Larsson which sends the Swedish midfielder to the turf. However, Mike Dean was looking away from the pair and the Brazilian is fortunate to escape without punishment. That's a big let-off for Chelsea.
HUGE CHANCE FOR SUNDERLAND! Azpilicueta is a lucky boy! The Spaniard has enjoyed a terrific season but his poor control gifts possession to Johnson just outside the Sunderland box. The Sunderland winger has the whole goal to aim at but he decides to take an extra touch which allows Azpilicueta to get back in and win the ball. Why didn't he shoot?
Chelsea are really upping the pressure at the end of the first half and Larsson shows his determination by racing back to prevent Ramires from heading in from close range after Mannone had parried Willian's shot. Can Sunderland hold out until half-time?
CHELSEA UP THE ANTE! Mannone has looked assured after his midweek blunder and he produces two fine stops to deny Matic and then Willian before Chelsea have a penalty appeal turned down after the ball struck Alonso's arm. In truth, I don't think he could have done anything about that.
Sunderland are allowing Chelsea little time to settle on the ball and Colback does well to deny Eto'o from getting his shot on goal. Chelsea have the best home league record this season (W15 D2 L0).
There is a real lack of urgency and pace in this Chelsea midfield and Sunderland are doing a good job of pressing their opponents high up the pitch and stealing back possession. Colback, Cattermole and Larsson are working tirelessly for Poyet's side. Can they hold on until the break?
IVANOVIC HITS THE BAR! Sunderland have already been undone from one corner and they nearly repeat their mistake here as slack marking allows Ivanovic to get his header on goal. The Serbian rises highest to thump a header into the turf and it is deflected by the arm of Mannone onto the bar and then fortunately into his gloves. That's a huge let-off for Sunderland.
There is certainly no problem with Wickham's biceps and he launches a long throw into the Chelsea box which causes problems. However, Sunderland cannot take advantage of the loose ball and Ramires manages to hook the ball to safety.
Mike Dean has been lenient so far and he resists the urge to give Johnson a yellow card after a high boot on Azpilicueta. Chelsea lump the resulting free kick into the box but Terry has a goal ruled out for offside as Matic is adjudged to have fouled Colback in the build-up.
Wickham gets back to his feet gingerly as he trots back to help Sunderland defend a set-piece. Oscar steps up to take it but his free kick is well collected by Mannone who anticipated the Brazilian's effort.
Connor Wickham has picked up an injury for Sunderland now and it does not seem that the goalscorer will be able to continue. That's a huge blow for Gus Poyet's side.
Oscar is looking to impress on his return to the Chelsea starting line-up and the Brazilian latches onto Salah's neat lay-off on the edge of the box before finding Mannone's gloves with a first-time effort.
Chelsea crank up the pressure on the Sunderland goal but they cannot find a way through the resilient Black Cats defence. O'Shea is back on his feet and rejoins the action.
Salah has made a promising start to his Chelsea career and the Egyptian produces a brilliant piece of skill to deceive Alonso before his low cross is hacked to safety by Brown. There is an injury concern for Sunderland here as O'Shea receives treatment.
Johnson attempts to complete the turnaround for the Black Cats when he cuts inside the challenge of Azpilicueta down the right. However, the former Manchester City winger cannot wrap his foot around the ball and his shot bends wide of Schwarzer's far post.
That Wickham goal was the first that Chelsea have conceded at Stamford Bridge in almost 14 hours of football.
That equaliser has stunned Stamford Bridge and despite their title aspirations, there is a real lack of atmosphere among the Chelsea fans. Ramires looks to lift their spirits with a shot from distance but it flashes high over the bar.
Goal Connor Wickham
Sunderland have responded well to going behind and they enjoy a sustained spell of possession, albeit inside their own half. Sunderland have scored only six times in their last nine league matches.
It does not look good for Sunderland. Chelsea have the best defensive record in the Premier League - with 24 goals conceded in 34 games - and they have not conceded a league goal at Stamford Bridge since January.
Goal Samuel Eto'o
ETO'O GIVES CHELSEA THE LEAD! The Cameroon international notches his ninth league goal of the season as he ghosts ahead of Cattermole to volley Willian's corner beyond Mannone and into the roof of the net. It's a huge mountain for Sunderland to climb now.
Chelsea are upping the tempo here and Willian forces Mannone into a routine stop from the edge of the box before Vergini does well to prevent Eto'o stealing in. Can they find the opening goal?
Cattermole scored a rare goal in the recent 5-1 defeat to Tottenham and he shows his defensive resilience here as he flings himself in front of Matic's effort before then blocking Salah's shot on goal. In fact, Cattermole has one Premier League goal for every 66.8 fouls he has conceded.
Chelsea respond down the other end with Oscar, Ivanovic and Salah combining neatly outside the Sunderland box. However, all three players resist the urge to shoot and Oscar's cross towards the back post is comfortably plucked out of the air by Mannone.
CHANCE FOR SUNDERLAND! Wickham is full of confidence after his midweek double and he holds off the challenge of Cahill brilliantly before teeing up Borini on the edge of the box. The on-loan Liverpool striker makes a good connection with his effort but it flashes just wide of Schwarzer's goal.
Azpilicueta has been terrific since replacing Ashley Cole at left-back and the Spaniard has made a bright start here with several marauding runs into dangerous areas. However, on this occasion he cannot pick out a teammate with his low cross.
Vito Mannone was the villain in midweek and he survives an early awkward moment as he does well to punch clear Willian's inswinging corner from the left. That will help to settle his pre-match jitters.
Sunderland will be hoping for a better start than they enjoyed against Manchester City on Wednesday night when they went 1-0 down after just two minutes. Gus Poyet will be relatively pleased with how his side have started and the Black Cats look determined to get the ball on the deck.
It's quite simple for Chelsea: win their last four Premier League games and they will be crowned champions. Can they secure all three points today? Sunderland, in their famous red and white stripes, get the game underway.
The two teams emerge from the tunnel into the Stamford Bridge sunshine and captains John Terry and John O'Shea begin the respective handshakes between the sides. Today's referee is Mike Dean.
Sunderland will be hoping to rekindle some of the spirit which helped them to knock Chelsea out of the League Cup earlier this season. The two sides also enjoyed a 4-3 thriller at the Stadium of Light and even Jozy Altidore got on the scoresheet that day. The American has only two Premier League goals in 55 appearances and his Black Cats future is very much in doubt.
Sunderland subs: Celustka, Altidore, Ba, Giaccherini, Scocco, Mavrias, Ustari.
SUNDERLAND (4-4-2): Mannone; Vergini, Alonso, Brown, O'Shea (c); Cattermole, Colback, Larsson, Johnson; Borini, Wickham.
Chelsea subs: Hilario, David Luiz, Mikel, Lampard, Torres, Schurrle, Ba.
CHELSEA (4-2-3-1): Schwarzer; Ivanovic, Cahill, Terry (c), Azpilicueta; Ramires, Matic; Willian, Oscar, Salah; Eto'o.
SUNDERLAND TEAM NEWS: Gus Poyet unsurprisingly names an unchanged side to the team which drew 2-2 at Manchester City on Wednesday. Connor Wickham will hope that his midweek double can kick-start his Black Cats career while Vito Mannone will aim to atone for his error which allowed Samir Nasri to score a late equaliser. Phil Bardsley remains sidelined through suspension.
CHELSEA TEAM NEWS: Jose Mourinho resists the urge to rest key players for the Champions League tie against Atletico Madrid on Tuesday and makes just three changes to the side which beat Swansea 1-0. Despite scoring in his last two appearances, Demba Ba drops to the bench, with Samuel Eto'o taking the lone striking berth. Oscar replaces Andre Schurrle in the midfield while Mark Schwarzer is handed a rare start between the sticks due to Petr Cech feeling unwell. Eden Hazard once again misses out through injury.
Could there be a worse place for Sunderland to come today than Stamford Bridge? Chelsea are unbeaten in 77 home league matches under Jose Mourinho and have not conceded at home since a Javier Hernandez strike in January.
However, Sunderland manager Gus Poyet will be keen to derail his former side's title challenge as the Black Cats are six points adrift of safety, albeit with a game in hand on Norwich. With five games remaining, the pressure is really on Sunderland who have only won two of their 12 Premier League games at Stamford Bridge, conceding 38 goals - including a 7-2 defeat in January 2010.
It's title challengers vs. relegation fighters in the late Premier League kick-off today as Chelsea look to go top of the table with a win against bottom-of-the-table Sunderland. Jose Mourinho's side have a mouthwatering Champions League tie with Atletico Madrid on Tuesday but the West Londoners know that they must first focus on today's encounter against a Black Cats side who were cruelly denied all three points against Manchester City in midweek.
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