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Key Events

J. O'Shea
Yellow Card
N. Matić
Yellow Card
Ramires
Oscar
D. Graham
D. Watmore
L. Rémy
Diego Costa
J. Obi Mikel
Fàbregas
J. Rodwell
Yellow Card
F. Borini
Goal
Oscar
Penalty Goal
C. Pantilimon
Yellow Card
F. Borini
O. Toivonen
A. Johnson
S. Coates
Pedro
Goal
Willian
Assist
B. Ivanović
Goal
3
1
3
3

Stats

Possession
% %
6
6
Shots Off Target
Shots On Target 7 3
Total Passes 577 280

Commentary

The referee blows his whistle for the final time and brings an end to the first game of the second post-Mourinho era, one in which Chelsea struggled at times but were nonetheless able to come away with a big, and much-needed, victory. They helped by poor defending from Sunderland, who looked off the pace in the first half but improved after switching to a back four. Defoe came to life in the second half as the introduction of Borini gave the Black Cats more of an attacking threat, but they still found it difficult to find a way back into the game and, as a result, remain inside the relegation zone.
FULL-TIME: CHELSEA 3-1 SUNDERLAND
Unsurprisingly, Chelsea are slowly keeping hold of the ball as they look to run down the clock. They haven't looked particularly strong during the second half but, thanks to a great start to the game, they fully deserve three much-needed points.
Willian steps up and unleashes a curling strike from the resulting free kick, but it's well saved by Pantilimon, who darts across the face of goal to stop the shot from finding the top left-hand corner of the net.
The fourth official has indicated that there will be three minutes of added time.
J. O'Shea
Yellow Card
Sunderland
And now O'Shea enters the referee's book for a clumsy challenge on Ramires just outside of the Sunderland penalty area.
N. Matić
Yellow Card
Chelsea
Matic receives a late yellow card for a poor challenge midway inside the Chelsea half of the pitch.
Wonderful save by Courtois! Matic is caught in possession just outside of the Chelsea penalty area, allowing Defoe to fly towards goal. The striker then unleashes a thumping strike, but it's well stopped by the aforementioned Belgian, who dives acrobatically to his left.
It's all Sunderland at the moment as they desperately push forward in search of a second goal that could completely change the complection of the game. They're doing well to put Chelsea under pressure but the hosts are just about managing to hold on.
What a chance for Pedro to make it 4-1! A Sunderland attack breaks down, allowing Chelsea to fly forward on a blisteringly quick counter-attack. The Brazilian then tees up the aforementioned Spaniard, who charges into the box before unleashing a thumping strike that flies just over the top of the crossbar.
Ramires
Oscar
Chelsea
Oscar receives a rousing round of applause from the home fans as he makes way for Ramires.
Chance for Remy! The Frenchman flies down the left wing and cuts inside before unleashing a well-struck curling shot, but Pantilimon does well to dive to his left before parrying the effort away from goal.
D. Graham
D. Watmore
Sunderland
Graham comes on to replace Watmore in Sunderland's last change of the afternoon.
Matic muscles his way into the left-hand side of the penalty area before fizzing a great low pass into the heart of the penalty area. It almost finds Remy but the Frenchman fails to make contact with his attempted flick, resulting in the ball sailing over to the opposite flank.
Remy is quickly involved in the action as he links up well with Willian on the right wing. The Brazilian then darts into the penalty area before looking to unleash a cross, but his final touch is poor and sends the ball out for a goal kick.
L. Rémy
Diego Costa
Chelsea
Boos for Costa and chants for Mourinho ringing around the stadium as the Spaniard slowly makes his way off the pitch to be replaced by Remy for the final quarter-of-an-hour. The striker doesn't look best pleased with that reaction...
Great chance for Pedro! Ivanovic muscles his way through the disjointed Sunderland defence before firing a low pass across the face of goal, but the Spaniard's outstretched foot isn't able to make decent contact with the ball and, as a result, it sends it away from Costa.
J. Obi Mikel
Fàbregas
Chelsea
Fabregas receives a few boos from the Chelsea fans as he makes his way off the pitch to be replaced by Mikel. Chelsea are now looking to sit deep and hold on to their two-goal lead.
Willian holds up the ball well on the left flank before spinning and teeing up Oscar. The Brazilian skips past Rodwell before unleashing a thumping strike, but it can only find the side-netting after flying past the near post.
Costa and Willian initially link up well on the right wing before the latter tries to break into the Sunderland penalty area, but M'Vila does well to track back and cut out the danger at the vital moment.
Great chance for Defoe! A lofted pass forward from Kaboul is poorly dealt with by Zouma, allowing the aforementioned striker to pick up the ball, penetrate the penalty area and unleash a thumping, close-range shot that flies just past the near post.
Oscar loses possession in the middle of the pitch, allowing Borini to fly forward before sending a through-ball into the path of Defoe. The pass is well placed but the Englishman's run is mistimed and, as a reuslt, the linesman's flag is quickly raised.
J. Rodwell
Yellow Card
Sunderland
Rodwell, who had already been warned by the referee for previous fouls, cynically drags Pedro to the ground after being beaten by the Spaniard, resulting in him receiving a yellow card.
It's now Sunderland who are on the front foot as they look to put a nervy Chelsea back line under an increasing amount of pressure. Watmore muscles his way along the edge of the penalty area before teeing up Van Aanholt, who immediately unleashes a thumping strike that clears the top of the crossbar by quite some distance.
Chelsea break forward well, with Matic playing an important role in the attacking move. The Serbian then sends the ball out to Pedro, who controls it well before trying to pick out Costa with a curling cross, but it's completely mishit and sails harmlessly out of play for a Sunderland goal kick.
Borini almost scores a second! Johnson twists and turns just outside of the Chelsea penalty area before teeing up the aforementioned Italian. He's left in far too much space on the edge of the box, allowing him to unleashing a curling shot that beats Courtois before bouncing just wide of the goal. The hosts have completely fallen asleep since scoring their third goal!
And now Defoe goes close! Rodwell breaks forward before sending a great pass into the feet of the aforementioned striker. He spins round Ivanovic before unleashing a low shot, but he ends up dragging it wide of the far post.
F. Borini
Goal
Sunderland
GOAL! Sunderland have pulled one back! Johnson sends the resulting free kick over to Kaboul, who is left in acres of space on the right-hand side of the penalty area. The defender then nods the ball towards Courtois, who is only able to parry it into the path of Borini, and the Italian is easily able to tap the ball into the back of the net from close range. Game on!
Borini flies forward on an impressive run before being dragged down to the ground, resulting in a free kick for Sunderland in a very dangerous position 25 yards away from the Chelsea goal.
Oscar
Penalty Goal
Chelsea
GOAL! It's 3-0! Oscar steps and up and, after a stuttered run, sends Pantilimon diving the wrong way before slotting the ball into the right-hand corner of the net. It's proving to be far too easy for Chelsea, who are running riot.
C. Pantilimon
Yellow Card
Sunderland
PENALTY! Pedro flies forward on a great run down the left flank before sending a beautiful lofted pass over to Willian. The Brazilian meets the ball well before penetrating the box, where he beats Van Aanholt before being tripped over by the outstretched limbs of Pantilimon, resulting in the referee immediately pointing to the spot before showing the goalkeeper a yellow card.
And we're underway once again!
F. Borini
O. Toivonen
Sunderland
Sunderland have made one substitution during the break, with Borini coming on to replace Toivonen.
The two teams are making their way back out onto the pitch ahead of the start of the second half.
It's been an incredibly comfortable first half for Chelsea, who, thanks to a blisteringly quick start to the game, head into the half-time break with a well-deserved two-goal lead. Sunderland have looked poor at the back and have been unable to deal with the hosts' determined front line, which has found far too much joy time and time again. Oscar and Willian have looked particularly bright, whilst Costa has done well to hassle O'Shea and force the centre-back into making several poor mistakes.
HALF-TIME: CHELSEA 2-0 SUNDERLAND
Oscar breaks forward before dinking a lovely lofted pass into the Sunderland penalty area. It looks set to meet Costa but O'Shea is just about able to get a head on it to send the ball away from danger.
The fourth official has indicated that there will be just one minute of added time.
Van Aanholt steps up and unleashes a strike, but it fails to beat the wall in front of him. He has the opportunity to fire a follow-up shot, but the second is just as bad as the first and comfortably flies over the top of the crossbar.
Toivonen charges through the middle of the pitch before sending the ball out to Watmore on the right flank. The youngster cuts inside and attempts to fly towards the edge of the Chelsea penalty, but he's clumsily brought down by a poor sliding challenge from Azpilicueta, resulting in a free kick for Sunderland in a dnagerous position 35 yards away from goal.
Pedro flies down the left wing before curling a dangerous cross into the heart of the Sunderland penalty area. It looks set to find the head of Costa but Pantilimon does well to claw the ball away from the striker.
Jones loses the ball on the right wing, allowing Chelsea to break away on a quick counter-attack. They eventually slow down the attack before Costa tries to set up Pedro with a through-ball, but the aforementioned Sunderland full-back is able to stick out a foot to stop it from doing so.
Another chance for Costa! Willian flies forward and takes advantage of the acres of space left in the centre of the pitch by the Sunderland midfielders before teeing up Pedro. The Spaniard then plays a quick one-two with Fabregas before chipping a beautiful cross over to the far post, but the aforementioned striker can only send his close-range header just wide of the goal.
Costa goes close! Willian and Oscar move the ball wonderfully well as they run rings around the Sunderland defence before the latter tries to tee up the aforementioned striker. It does so after a poor touch from O'Shea, but, with his back to goal, the Spaniard ends up spinning and sending his thumping strike just over the top of the crossbar.
Chance for Watmore! M'Vila picks up the ball near the halfway line and immediately sends a wonderful lofted pass towards the edge of the Chelsea penalty area. It meets the aforementioned youngster, who controls it well and skips past Zouma before firing his strike wide of the goal.
Once again, Oscar is left in far too much space in the middle of the pitch, allowing him to dart forward under very little pressure. He then plays a quick one-two before trying to find Costa, but his final pass fails to beat the line of white and red shirts camped just in front of him.
Van Aanholt whips the resulting set-piece towards the near post, but it's underhit and, as a result, fails to beat the first man.
Watmore twists and turns on the right flank before cynically being dragged to the ground by Azpilicueta, resulting in a free kick for Sunderland in a dangerous position. They take it short and send it to M'Vila, who immediately unleashes a thumping cross, but Costa is there to volley it out for a corner.
Great save by Pantilimon! The Sunderland back four completely falls asleep, allowing Oscar to comfortably dart forward completely unopposed. He penetrates the right-hand side of the penalty area before unleashing a low strike, but the Black Cats' goalkeeper does well to keep it out with an outstretched foot.
Sunderland are finally able to push forward on an attack of their own after weathering a lengthy Chelsea storm. They're unable to beat the sea of blue shirts in front of them, however, before Azpilicueta deals with a lofted pass forward by heading it safely back into the hands of Courtois.
A. Johnson
S. Coates
Sunderland
With just 23 minutes on the clock, Sam Allardyce has decided to switch from a back three to a back four, with Coates making way for Johnson.
After enjoying a lengthy spell of possession, Fabregas eventually tries to pick out Costa with a long though-ball from midway inside the Sunderland half of the pitch, but it's overhit and misses the striker before rolling safely out of play for a goal kick.
It's all Chelsea at the moment as they patiently but confidently work their way around the Sunderland half of the pitch. The visitors are finding it increasingly difficult to break forward, and both Defoe and Watmore have barely seen the ball at all.
Costa breaks into the Sunderland penalty area before being pushed to the ground by O'Shea. The striker immediately screams for a penalty, as do most of the home fans, but the referee quickly shakes his head and waves play on.
Once again, Willian whips a brilliant cross into the heart of the box, where it causes the Sunderland defence plenty of problems. Terry rises high and almost meets the ball near the penalty spot, but it's slightly too high for the captain and misses him at the last moment.
Matic is left in acres of space just outside of the Sunderland penalty area, allowing him to thread a lovely pass into the path of Willian. The Brazilian controls the ball well before unleashing a low shot, but it's deflected out of play for another Chelsea corner.
Pedro
Goal
Chelsea
GOAL! It's 2-0! Chelsea keep pushing hard, putting the Sunderland defence under an incredible amount of pressure. The ball bounces out to Ivanovic on the right wing, and the full-back immediately whips a dangerous cross into the heart of the box. It beats each of the visitors' centre-backs before reaching Pedro, who quickly unleashes a thumping strike that Pantilimon can't stop from finding the back of the net. What a start by the hosts!
Pedro patiently makes his way down the left wing before cutting inside and trying to find Costa. He sends a sharp pass into the feet of the striker but O'Shea is just about able to poke the ball away from the Spaniard before he can turn and shoot from the edge of the penalty area.
Watmore temporarily looks as if he's going to cause problems for Chelsea down the right wing, but Oscar does really well to track back and dispossess the youngster before he can turn his possession into a cross into the box.
Chelsea come back quickly once again, with Oscar embarking on a marauding run forward before being fouled in a dangerous position 10 yards away from the Sunderland penalty area. Willian steps up and unleashes a strike that beats the wall with ease but ends up sailing comfortably into the hands of Pantilimon into the middle of the goal.
Willian
Assist
Chelsea
That was a wonderful cross by Willian, but questions have to be asked of Coates, who was beaten far too easily by Ivanovic in front of goal.
B. Ivanović
Goal
Chelsea
GOAL! Chelsea have taken the lead! Willian charges forward towards the edge of the Sunderland penalty area before teeing up Costa, who then plays the ball back to Ivanovic. The right-back immediately unleashes a curling cross but it deflects off Kaboul before going out for a corner. The set-piece is curled by the aforementioned Brazilian into the middle of the box, where it finds the full-back, who rises high above Coates before sending a bullet header into the top left-hand corner of the net.
A slip and a miskick from Zouma allows Watmore to pounce on the ball before flying down the left flank on an excellent run. The young forward then heads towards the edge of the Chelsea box before trying to unleash a low cross, but the aforementioned defender does well to track down and cut out the danger at the vital moment.
Chelsea immediately fly forward on a bright attacking move from the kick-off, with Willian and Oscar looking particularly bright down the right wing. The latter then cuts into the box before trying to tee up Costa, but his pass is sent too far away from the striker and can only find a white and red shirt on the edge of the penalty area.
And we're off! Chelsea get us underway, attacking from right to left.
The two sides are making their way out onto the pitch, with just a few minutes to go until kick-off.
There's an interesting atmosphere inside Stamford Bridge, where several of the starting players were booed as their names were read out by the stadium announcer, whilst others, such as Terry and Willian, were cheered. Meanwhile, as expected, there are plenty of pro-Mourinho banners and flags flying high in every corner of the ground.
Meanwhile, Sunderland boss Sam Allardyce has made three alterations to the side that started the aforementioned defeat against Watford, with DeAndre Yedlin, Fabio Borini and Steven Fletcher making way for Younes Kaboul, Jack Rodwell and Jermain Defoe, respectively.
Steve Holland and Eddie Newton have decided to make two changes to the side that started Jose Mourinho’s final game in charge of Chelsea, with Cesc Fabregas and Pedro coming into the starting line-up to replace Ramires and the injured Eden Hazard.
Sunderland substitutes: Mannone, Yedlin, Gomez, Johnson, Graham, Borini, Fletcher.
Sunderland XI (3-4-1-2): Pantilimon; Coates, O’Shea, Kaboul; Jones, M’Vila, Rodwell, Van Aanholt; Toivonen; Watmore, Defoe.
Chelsea substitutes: Begovic, Rahman, Cahill, Traore, Mikel, Ramires, Remy.
Chelsea XI (4-2-3-1): Courtois; Ivanovic, Zouma, Terry, Azpilicueta; Fabregas, Matic; Willian, Oscar, Pedro; Costa.
There’s just over 15 minutes left to go until until kick-off, so let’s have a look at how the two teams will be lining up this afternoon…
Guus Hiddink, who previously took charge of the Blues for 23 games in the latter half of the 2008-09 season, was confirmed as Chelsea's new manager just an hour or so ago, but his appointment came too late for him to feature in the dugout this afternoon. As such, assistant manager Steve Holland and youth coach Eddie Newton have been tasked with taking hold of the reigns for today’s game, and they will be looking to start the post-Mourinho era with a desperately needed win as they aim to put as much distance as possible between themselves and the ever-approaching relegation zone.
For the second time in eight years, Jose Mourinho has been sacked as the manager of Chelsea, meaning that, once again, the West London club have been left in a pit of uncertainty midway through the season. After suffering a truly terrible first half of the campaign, the writing had been on the wall for the Portuguese manager for quite some time, but Thursday’s sacking still came as a shock to many. However, he had arguably been afforded more time than others - including many of his predecessors - would have due to his standing as the club’s most successful manager, and in recent weeks little had changed as the Blues continued to struggle near the bottom of the table with just 15 points from 16 games.
Good afternoon and welcome to our live text commentary of today’s Premier League game between Chelsea and Sunderland at Stamford Bridge.
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