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Played
April 7, 2013 10:00 AM EDT
Stamford Bridge — London
Referee:‬ N. Swarbrick‎
Attendance:‬ 41500‎
 
Top of the Match
David Luiz
David Luiz
Chelsea
Fernando Torres
Fernando Torres
Chelsea
Flop of the Match
Sebastian Larsson
Sebastian Larsson
Sunderland
Matthew Kilgallon
Matthew Kilgallon
Sunderland

Chelsea 2-1 Sunderland: Deflected goals consign Di Canio to debut defeat

The Blues did not have to be at their best at Stamford Bridge but still emerged victorious thanks to two fortuitous strikes against the relegation-threatened Black Cats.

By Adam Mazrani

Despite a promising opening 45 minutes for his Sunderland, Paolo Di Canio was unable to inspire the Black Cats to a positive result in his debut game as the club’s new manager, with Chelsea emerging as 2-1 victors at Stamford Bridge.

In a disappointing affair, all three goals carried an element of fortune to them, with Cesar Azpilicueta’s own goal followed by two deflected strikes in Chelsea’s favor courtesy of Sunderland's Matthew Kilgallon and then Branislav Ivanovic to give the Blues all three points.

With the win and Tottenham's draw with Everton, Chelsea pulled level on points in third place but ahead on goal differential, leaving Arsenal two points behind its London rivals.

Within three minutes, Sunderland almost had a dream start to the Di Canio era, as Stephane Sessegnon found himself in behind Ivanovic, but with Conor Wickham free for a tap-in, the Benin international went for goal himself and could only to find the side netting.

The hosts were certainly not at their sharpest in the opening period, perhaps understandably so given the clash represented their fourth match in only nine games.

On 17 minutes the game burst into life with chances at both ends of the pitch, though. First David Luiz and then Demba Ba were denied by two wonderfully brave blocks by Kilgallon. Then, from the resulting counter-attack, the impressive Sessegnon drove at the heart of Chelsea’s defense before finding the onrushing Adam Johnson with a perfectly rolled pass.

The England international just delayed his shot a touch, though, and that allowed Luiz to snuffle the ball away when the visitors looked more likely to score.

Chelsea may have had the likes of Hazard, Oscar and Juan Mata on the pitch, but its attacks were lacking in both inspiration and creativity and it proved no real surprise when Sunderland took the lead on the stroke of halftime.

After Wickham had done well to initially win a corner, Johnson’s delivery was flashed across goal by the head of John O’Shea, and Blues fullback Azpilicueta just could not react in time as he prodded beyond Petr Cech into his own net.

Chelsea was forced into a halftime change, and Fernando Torres, the replacement for Demba Ba, made an immediate impact as the hosts drew level. After jinking past Phil Bardsley, the Spaniard picked out Oscar, who saw his effort blocked by Mignolet, only to hit the unfortunate Kilgallon and trickle agonizingly into the corner of the net.

Within 10 minutes luck deserted the visitors again as Chelsea found itself in front from another scrappy effort.

After Sunderland cleared a corner, Luiz was afforded far too much room to take aim from just outside the box. His effort may have just been heading wide but a lucky intervention via Ivanovic’s heel ensured the ball found its way past Mignolet.


Chelsea

1
Petr Cech
Goalkeeper
2.50
2
3.50
4
David Luiz
Defender
55′ 68′
3.50
28
2.00
23
Ryan Bertrand
Defender
2.50
7
Ramires
Midfielder
2.50
11
Oscar
Midfielder
3.00
12
John Obi Mikel
Midfielder
3.50
17
Eden Hazard
Midfielder
85′
2.50
8
Juan Mata
Midfielder
89′
2.50
19
Demba Ba
Striker
46′
2.00

Sunderland

2.00
22
Simon Mignolet
Goalkeeper
1.50
2
3.00
3
Danny Rose
Midfielder
62′
2.50
27
3.00
16
John O'Shea
Defender
2.50
18
Alfred N'diaye
Midfielder
1.00
7
1.50
8
Craig Gardner
Midfielder
25′ 82′
2.00
11
Adam Johnson
Midfielder
1.50
28
1.50
10

Substitutes

21
Ross Turnbull
Goalkeeper
 - 
26
John Terry
Defender
68′
 - 
20
 - 
8
Frank Lampard
Midfielder
89′
 - 
21
Marko Marin
Midfielder
 - 
30
Yossi Benayoun
Midfielder
85′
 - 
9
3.50

Substitutes

 - 
20
 - 
5
 - 
14
Jack Colback
Midfielder
82′
2.00
-
James McClean
Midfielder
71′
 - 
30
 - 
-
 - 
-

Coach/Manager

-
 - 

Coach/Manager

 - 
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Results
 
Top Scorers
Player   Goals Penalties
Luis Suárez Luis Suárez
Striker
Liverpool
30 0
Daniel Sturridge Daniel Sturridge
Striker
Liverpool
20 0
Yaya Touré Yaya Touré
Midfielder
Man City
18 6
Sergio Agüero Sergio Agüero
Striker
Man City
16 0
Wayne Rooney Wayne Rooney
Striker
Man United
15 2