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December 8, 2012
• Stadium of Light, Sunderland
Referee: M. Halsey
• Attendance: 39273
A. Johnson 66'
Fernando Torres 11', 45'+
That concludes our coverage of this game, stay with Goal.com for all the reaction to this afternoon’s matches. I’ve been Chris Teale, and I hope to see you again soon.
90' + 4'
FULL-TIME, and Chelsea get their first win under interim boss Rafael Benitez. They had too much for Sunderland, who threatened at times and scored a superb goal through Adam Johnson but could not really gain much of a foothold in this game. The pressure will now increase on Martin O’Neill as his side drop into the relegation zone, but perhaps this victory will relieve some of the negativity surrounding Benitez. Perhaps.
90' + 3'
Cole is ruled to have fouled Johnson just outside the box, and the resulting free kick hits the bar from Gardner! That was a superb effort.
90' + 1'
There'll be four minutes added on to this game, and we're into them now.
Great ball across the box from McClean but none of his team-mates are there to nick a goal.
Yellow Card Juan Mata
Finally, Mata is booked, presumably for persistent fouling. He must have made five or six bad tackles this afternoon.
Yellow Card Ramires
Ramires then picks up a booking for a foul on substitute Louis Saha right under the referee's nose.
Lampard goes for goal from way out and Mignolet is there to palm the ball clear. Sunderland can't get hold of the ball at the moment.
Good cross there from McClean with his right foot, but Cech is there to claim the ball easily.
Torres tries to use his strength and hold up the ball to try and take the sting out of Sunderland's attacking play, but he's ruled to have used his hand to get control.
It's fair to say Hazard hasn't quite been as effective as usual, and he's replaced late on by Frank Lampard.
There goes Torres at the other end, as he sends a pass across the face of goal but O'Shea is there to get the ball away.
Sunderland really want this now, as they pour forward again. However, Chelsea are defending stoutly and clear any danger comfortably.
Sunderland have a free kick in a dangerous area, quite near Chelsea's box. Johnson strikes it very well, but Cech scrambles across and manages to claw the ball away.
Yellow Card Branislav Ivanovic
There's a first booking for a Chelsea player, as Ivanovic has his name taken for blocking off McClean.
Great cross there from Larsson, but Luiz is there to head the ball away. The home side really fancy getting a couple more here.
Gardner is very fortunate to escape a booking there, as he flies in on Ashley Cole and leaves the England man writhing on the turf.
Assist James McClean
Goal Adam Johnson
GOAL!! It's 3-1!!! The ball comes to Adam Johnson at an acute angle on the left of the box, and he hammers a swerving shot into the top corner to give the home side some hope.
Interesting from Cech, who flaps somewhat at a corner. However, neither Wickham nor Sessegnon can get a telling touch on the ball.
The Sunderland fans are getting very frustrated, as their team look devoid of ideas and seem unable to keep the ball for more than two or three seconds at a time.
Mata is very lucky not to be booked there, as he has a swipe at Larsson but still manages to avoid a caution from referee Halsey, who has been very lenient with the Spaniard in this game.
Chelsea are quite content to pass the ball around at the moment, then Oscar lets fly with a shot that goes well over the bar.
Oscar lifts a ball into the box looking for Torres, but Sunderland's defence are there to hack it away.
Decent ball there from McClean into the box, but no team-mates were there to get something on it.
Sessegnon puts one through to McClean, but it's too heavy for the Irishman, whose frustration is evident.
Moses is all alone on the right of the penalty area and drives a shot towards the far post, but it goes wide past the dive of Mignolet.
Goal Juan Mata
GOAL!! Chelsea lead 3-0!!! Torres hits the bar with a superb shot after a terrible mistake from Bardsley, but Mata is there to stroke his follow-up chance home with ease.
Gardner plays the ball through to Wickham, and Cech nearly has hold of the ball outside his area, but the referee rules it was in.
Good ball into Oscar but his touch is poor in the penalty area and he gives Sunderland a free kick.
We're back for the second half already, and it's Sunderland who get things going again.
45' + 3'
HALF-TIME, and Chelsea lead 1-0 thanks to Fernando Torres’ goal. The away side looked really good in the opening 20 minutes, but have since been matched by their hosts, who have improved as the half has gone on. Sunderland’s star performer has been Adam Johnson, whose battle with Ashley Cole has been fascinating on the Black Cats’ right. It promises to be an enjoyable second half, especially with the Blues looking quite unconvincing defensively, especially from set-pieces.
45' + 2'
Penalty Goal Fernando Torres
GOAL!!! Torres scores from the spot! 2-0 Chelsea!
45' + 1'
PENALTY CHELSEA!!! Ramires tries to keep the ball in play but Sebastian Larsson clips his heels and the Blues have a spot kick. Torres to take.
There'll be two minutes added on in this first period.
Mata has also been throwing the fouls around this afternoon, as he is a little heavy-handed with Rose and perhaps lucky not to have his name taken.
Yellow Card Craig Gardner
Craig Gardner then goes into the book after a clumsy tackle on Oscar, leaving his leg in as they came together.
Gardner goes for goal from well outside the box but Cech watches it all the way as it sails wide.
Decent effort from Oscar, who hits Torres' knock-down on the half-volley but sends it well wide of the mark.
Ouch, that was late from Bardsley on Mata, in a central area right near referee Mark Halsey. Unnecessary, really.
Sunderland are matching Chelsea at the moment, as the Blues are unable to launch any meaningful attacks.
Oh Danny. Sunderland have a bit of pressure, then Rose lets fly with a shot that goes into the stand behind Cech's goal.
Long ball forward from Bardsley to Wickham, but Ramires is tracking back and snuffs out the danger.
Ouch. Gardner steams forward and is body-checked by Ramires, who is lucky to escape with a warning.
More diabolical defending, this time from Chelsea as Johnson takes advantage of a ricochet to fizz a cross in that is deflected away for another corner.
Great strike there from Sessegnon outside the area, who forces Cech to parry the ball away for a corner.
Johnson does brilliantly to keep the ball in and sends in a dangerous cross, but Chelsea manage to defend well, with Petr Cech catching a follow-up shot from Phil Bardsley.
Torres plays a delightful ball through to Mata, who tried to stay onside but couldn't quite manage to.
That resulting corner caused all sorts of problems in Chelsea's penalty area, with Gardner being a nuisance at the back post. However, the Blues clear thanks to the calm Gary Cahill.
Sessegnon is in space and tries a through-ball to Wickham, but Chelsea's defence are up to the task. Then, Danny Rose marauds forward and forces a corner off Branislav Ivanovic.
Alas, Romeu is not able to continue, which is a shame. He walked off the pitch, but is obviously not able to make a return. He's replaced by Oscar.
Oriel Romeu has been receiving some treatment after a heavy fall, but it looks like he'll be OK to continue.
David Luiz settles over a free kick but blasts the ball over the bar, to the delight of the Sunderland fans.
Martin O'Neill is standing right on the edge of his technical area, imploring his players to work hard and harry the Blues for the ball. It's doubtful he'll sit down at all in this game.
Assist Eden Hazard
Goal Fernando Torres
GOAL!!! 1-0 Chelsea! Victor Moses plays a great ball through to Hazard, he puts a cross in from the left and there is Torres to head the ball home brilliantly. Could his confidence be back?
Sunderland are looking to set a high tempo but the long ball to McClean from O'Shea is too long and goes harmlessly out of play.
Chance Torres! Some terrible defending by John O'Shea and Carlos Cuellar sees the ball ricochet to Torres, who's all alone in the box. However, he can't get the ball out of his feet and Mignolet smothers the danger.
Mata swings in Chelsea's first corner but Craig Gardner is there at the near post to head the ball away.
Chance, perhaps? The ball is floated through to Mata inside the box, he comes forward on the right and plays the ball across but Fernando Torres is nowhere near to applying the finish.
This game has started very fast, as Ashley Cole heads away a cross from James McClean superbly with Connor Wickham lurking.
Early chance for Eden Hazard who is put through brilliantly by Juan Mata, but there is Simon Mignolet for the home side to slide in and avert the danger.
They’re off! Chelsea get the first half going.
Not long until kick-off out there as the teams make their way onto the pitch at the Stadium of Light.
Steven Fletcher is out injured for the home side, so young Connor Wickham starts up front with Stephane Sessegnon in a supporting role. The Blues are unchanged from their midweek Champions League win, with Frank Lampard returning to the squad and taking a seat on the bench.
While Chelsea look like this: Chelsea: Cech; Ivanovic, Luiz, Cahill, Cole; Romeu; Ramires, Moses; Hazard, Mata, Torres. Subs: Turnbull, Lampard, Oscar, Ferreira, Marin, Azpilicueta, Bertrand.
How are those teams looking? First, here’s Sunderland: Mignolet, Bardsley, Rose, O'Shea, Cuellar, Larsson, Gardner, Johnson, McClean, Sessegnon, Wickham. Subs: Westwood, Campbell, Kilgallon, Colback, Vaughan, Bramble, Saha.
Meanwhile, Chelsea picked up their first win under interim manager Rafael Benitez as they beat FC Nordsjaelland 6-1 at Stamford Bridge. It was not enough to keep them in the competition they won last season, however, and they now drop into the Europa League. A victory here today would be their first in the league since October and would end a dreadful run of form that has seen them pick up just four points from a possible 21.
Sunderland sit perilously close to the Premier League’s relegation zone, having picked up only two wins all season, with their last coming on November 18th against Fulham. A lack of goals has been their problem, with only new signing Steven Fletcher really hitting any form since his move from Wolves in the summer. The Black Cats sit in 17th, just one point above the danger zone but with a game in hand on nearly every team around them after the postponement of their game against relegation rivals Reading.
Good afternoon, and welcome to Goal.com’s LIVE! text commentary on this Premier League clash between Sunderland and Chelsea. My name is Chris Teale. I hope you’re excited for this one.
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