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Johnson (66)
Torres (11)
Torres (45 + 3)
Mata (49)
Barclays Premier League

Stadium of Light

Sat 08 Dec 2012 15:00 (Attendance: 39,273)


The journey to the north-east to face Sunderland will feel like a short excursion compared with the games to follow. Club historian Rick Glanvill and club statistician Paul Dutton look at the way forward following the midweek win…

It is 12 years since Chelsea last lost at Sunderland's ground and Martin O'Neill, who celebrated one year in charge this week, has managed his side to one win in 10 in all competitions. The Blues arrive buoyed by a 6-1 victory, but with the disappointment of failing to defend the Champions League, and on a run of seven league games without a win - the worst sequence for 17 years.

The slaughter of Nordsjaelland on Wednesday continued a plotline their compatriots writing crime drama The Killing might have rejected as implausible a few months ago, even for Chelsea. The champions of Europe bowed out as the group stage's highest goalscorers (16), and with the best record of any side finishing third in the competition. The Blues' points/goal total was superior to five group runners-up - including Shakhtar. It would have been sufficient to top two groups last season.

Dropping into the Europa League now means that Chelsea will compete for a record eighth trophy in one season. Since the final will be staged in Amsterdam ten days before the Champions League equivalent, the Londoners could conceivably become concurrent holders of both UEFA's top trophies. (And possibly world champions.)

Sunderland have won just two of their last 22 Premier League matches.

Chelsea need the Europa League title (evolved from the UEFA Cup and Inter-Cities Fairs Cup) to complete the UEFA set alongside the Champions League/European Cup, Super Cup and Cup-Winners' Cup.

The extra round in this new competition adds two further games to Chelsea's possible games total this season. Excluding potential FA Cup replays this now stands at 69. That is some challenge: Chelsea have used the fewest players in the Premier League.

The team and fans have taken a fair buffeting so far this season, Juventus's own-goal win at Shakhtar the latest. Still, if there is some unseen hand balancing the reckoning for the joy of May, it is surely worth the trade-off. We'll always have Munich.

Chelsea remained third (on goal difference) at the weekend despite the troubling defeat at West Ham, though the gap between London's top club and the Manchester rivals extended to seven points. The Mancunians face each other on Sunday. Fourth-placed Spurs travel to Everton the same day, and West Brom face strugglers Arsenal at the Emirates.

The midweek strikes by Fernando Torres and Juan Mata mean they both have nine goals to their credit this season; only six players in England have scored more in all competitions. Gary Cahill scored his sixth of the season (pictured below) and is the most prolific defender in the country.

Chelsea v Nordsjaelland

Oscar hit five in the Champions League - one shy of Didier Drogba's tally in our successful 2011/12 campaign. Three were fired in by the Brazilian from outside the area.

Chelsea have the fourth best away record in the Premier League behind the Manchester clubs and Tottenham. That is despite losing two and drawing one of the last three games on the road.

No side has drawn more matches having led than Sunderland, who have managed that four times. The Mackems' home record is worse than any club except QPR's; the two sides share the lowest goals tally as hosts of five.

The last time Rafael Benitez visited the Stadium of Light as a manger he witnessed his Liverpool side lose 0-1 through a Darren Bent goal deflected off a beach ball thrown on to the pitch by one of the Reds' own supporters.

The team fly to Japan for the Club World Cup straight after this match. In the opening game of the tournament on Thursday Sanfrecce Hiroshima beat New Zealand's Auckland City 1-0. The J-League champions now face Al-Ahly of Egypt in the quarter-finals, but are on the other half of the draw to Chelsea.

Two types of goal-line technology will be used in football for the first time in Japan. GoalRef was deployed without incident in Hiroshima's match, while Hawk-Eye will debut in the quarter-finals.

Barclays Premier League fixtures
Arsenal v West Brom 3pm
Aston Villa v Stoke 3pm
Southampton v Reading 3pm
Sunderland v Chelsea 3pm
Swansea v Norwich 3pm
Wigan v QPR 3pm
Manchester City v Manchester United 1.30pm - Sky Sports
Everton v Tottenham 3pm
West Ham v Liverpool 4pm - Sky Sports
Fulham v Newcastle 8pm - Sky Sports
Sunderland v Reading 7.45pm

Barclays Premier League table
Top Pld Gd Pts
1 Man Utd 15 +16 36
2 Man City 15 +17 33
3 Chelsea 15 +9 26
4 Tottenham 15 +5 26
5 West Brom 15 +5 26
6 Everton 15 +6 23
15 Aston Villa 15 -11 14
16 Wigan 15 -13 14
17 Sunderland 14 -5 13
18 Southampton 15 -11 12
19 Reading 14 -8 9
20 QPR 15 -16 6


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On the back of a hefty victory Chelsea seek a first league win since Tottenham away. Clive Walker, who played for Chelsea and Sunderland, tells us what to expect.

Key battles
'One thing is for certain it will be absolutely freezing! I worked out very quickly after signing there that it's not when the wind blows, but how hard!' he says.

'The people who trained at Chelsea's old training ground Harlington talk about wind. They have no idea what it is like to train in north Sunderland by the North Sea. I can see a high gloves count.

'The Chelsea boys will be battling the elements but I think the crowd on this occasion will be a little more subdued than normal because of the run they've been on. We need to keep them that way.

'Sunderland are hovering a point above the relegation zone. Martin O'Neill's initial good start has gone and they've struggled really all season.

'That provides an opportunity for us to act on the positives from Wednesday night's game. Fernando Torres managed the most attempts on goal in his Chelsea career: nine in that game.

'I said this in the TV commentary - when we realised Juve were 1-0 up and it looked like we were going out - that match was about racking up goals and building confidence. Rafael Benitez got his first win and it was a healthy one.

'Eden Hazard was buzzing down the flanks again, using his pace. I like to think he can do exactly the same at Sunderland but he didn't have a great deal of defending to do against the Danes. That's a difference.

'When he does have to drop deep and help out, that is another time he can be at his most effective, running with speed from deep - that's when he looks at his best.

'Benitez likes the shifts that Victor Moses puts in and he seems to like Hazard and Moses to stay wide. Both players like to come inside and we might be seeing the players learning things, adapting.

'Of course we have to cope with the suspension to Mikel. You could argue that's why the manager tried out David Luiz in centre midfield for the last part of the game against Nordsjaelland. That could be an option.

'Frank Lampard is available and I'm sure Rafa would love a player of his experience and quality back in the side, but has indicated Frank will be a sub. He is not ready to start yet.

'If David Luiz stays in the back four we keep it settled, against a Sunderland attack that may well be without their key man Steven Fletcher.

'He suffered an ankle injury and is being given a late fitness test. He would be a big miss as he scores goals and there's only a handful of sides who have scored fewer than Sunderland. Connor Wickham is a powerful forward but doesn't quite carry the same threat on goal.

'They've been playing a 4-4-1-1 system and Stéphane Sessègnon (pictured below) has often looked quick and sharp behind Fletcher.


'Chelsea can exploit the fact they usually play with a high defensive line that sometimes becomes a wavy line. They have Simon Mignolet in goal who can play brilliantly but is liable to make the odd howler and I wonder how that can make defenders a little wary.

'They will want to close Chelsea's creative players down quickly, much like West Ham did. Lee Cattermole is ruled out and they will miss his presence there.

'We need to be aware of raiding full-back Danny Rose, who was probably their best player in the defeat at Norwich, and the wingers James McClean and Adam Johnson.

'I still have contacts up there of course but have not heard much from them lately, probably because of this bad run. I bet they hated seeing Chelsea bang in six goals this week - it was only a few seasons back we put seven past them at the Bridge.

'Hopefully we will take some Wednesday's spirit into the game and maintain the positivity and concentration over both halves.'

Squad fitness news
Frank Lampard returns to the squad but John Terry (knee) and Daniel Sturridge (hamstring) are still out.

Sunderland have doubts over defender John O'Shea (calf) and striker Steven Fletcher (ankle). Captain Lee Cattermole is out for two months with a knee injury.

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This fixture has been played for more than a century. The Londoners' first win at Sunderland came in February 1909, goals from Angus Douglas and Billy Bridgeman earning a 2-1 win.

The most notorious visit to Roker Park was in February 1936 when Sunderland goalkeeper Jimmy Thorpe (pictured below) died soon after a match amidst allegations of violent conduct by Chelsea players. There is a plaque commemorating the tragedy in the Stadium of Light.


The Pensioners drew 3-3, despite Billy Mitchell being sent off at 1-3 down. But the football paled into insignificance when Thorpe, just 22 and a diabetic, collapsed into a coma later the same night and never recovered.

An inquest heard a 'scrimmage' incident described, where a number of Chelsea players allegedly bundled into the goalie, who was afterwards at fault for Joe Bambrick's two late goals. However, none of Thorpe's teammates appeared concerned over his wellbeing afterwards. It was reported Thorpe required no treatment for injury during the game, and actually went dancing that evening.

The Times reported the inquest verdict as 'death by diabetes accelerated by rough usage he received in the game', an assertion Chelsea FC accepted but disagreed with.

Four months after Thorpe's death The FA introduced the law forbidding opposition players from kicking or attempting to kick a ball in the goalkeeper's possession.

Chelsea have won 14 of our last 15 meetings over the last 11 years. Sunderland's only win was in November 2010 when three goals from Nedum Onuoha, Asamoah Gyan and Danny Welbeck without reply surprisingly secured the three points at Stamford Bridge.

Chelsea are hoping for an eighth successive Premier League victory against the Black Cats at the Stadium of Light.

Sunderland last beat us in the north-east in October 2000 when they won 1-0 at the Stadium of Light. Kevin Phillips was the lone scorer with a penalty just after the hour. Graeme Le Saux and Kevin Kilbane were both shown the red card a few minutes later.

Our last 10 Premier League games against Sunderland at Roker Park and the Stadium of Light
1999/00 - Sunderland won 4-1
2000/01 - Sunderland won 1-0
2001/02 - Drew 0-0
2002/03 - Chelsea won 2-1
2005/06 - Chelsea won 2-1
2007/08 - Chelsea won 1-0
2008/09 - Chelsea won 3-2
2009/10 - Chelsea won 3-1
2010/11 - Chelsea won 4-2
2011/12 - Chelsea won 2-1



Other match last season
14 January 2012 Barclays Premier League
Chelsea………..……1 Sunderland………..….0
Lampard 12
                          Att: 41,696

Sunderland v Chelsea in all competitions
Games played 114
Chelsea wins 54
Sunderland wins 39
Draws 21

Head-to-head in the league at Roker Park and the Stadium of Light
Games played 55
Chelsea wins 18
Sunderland wins 28
Draws 9

Biggest league win at Sunderland for each team
Sunderland 4-0 Chelsea - 30/10/1909, 08/02/1913, 08/09/1934
Sunderland 2-4 Chelsea - 01/02/2011

Visit again tomorrow for part two of the Briefing.

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Our win against Nordsjaelland was our third in the last 12 matches in all competitions including five defeats.

Our run of seven Premier League games without a victory is the worst run since 1995 when Glenn Hoddle's team were unable to win in 10 matches.

Chelsea have won just four points from the last 21 available.

The Blues are five points better off after 15 games compared with the corresponding games last season.

West Ham was the first occasion this season, out of nine; we have opened the scoring in the Barclays Premier League and went on to lose the game.

Only Stoke, with seven, have kept more clean sheets than Chelsea's six.

Last six results
Nov 17 West Brom (a) L 1-2
Nov 20 Juventus (Champions League a) L 0-3
Nov 25 Manchester City (a) D 0-0
Nov 28 Fulham (h) D 0-0
Dec 1 West Ham (a) L 1-3
Dec 5 FC Nordsjaelland (Champions League h) W 6-1


Premier League scorers
Mata 5, Torres 4, Hazard 3 (1 pen), Ivanovic 3, Lampard 3 (2 pens), Cahill 2, Cole 1, Moses 1, Ramires 1, Sturridge 1, Terry 1. Total 25

League games since
An away win: 3
An away draw: 2
An away defeat: 0

Chelsea's next three games
Thu 13 Dec Ulsan Hyundai or Monterrey - Yokohama (FIFA Club World Cup semi-final) 10.30am UK time
Sun 16 Dec FIFA Club World Cup final or 3/4 play-off - Yokohama kick off TBA
Wed 19 Dec Leeds United (Capital One Cup quarter-final) away 7.45pm


Petr Cech's penalty save on Wednesday was his eighth for the Blues and has put him equal top of our all-time list with Reg Matthews and Bill G Robertson.

Frank Lampard is now equal with Bobby Tambling as our top league scorer in top-flight matches, with 129 goals.


Major trophies
6 League championships, last in 1936
2 FA Cups, last in 1973
1 FA Charity Shield in 1936

Sunderland's last major piece of silverware was the FA Cup in 1973 when Ian Porterfield scored the winner for the Second Division side against Leeds.

The last time Sunderland won a league game against a team which finished with 11 men was against Liverpool in March. Their three wins since then against QPR last season, and Wigan and Fulham this term, were all against teams that finished with 10.

The Black Cats have won six points from a possible 18 at the Stadium of Light this term and scored just five goals. They have beaten Wigan, drawn with Liverpool, Newcastle and QPR and lost to Aston Villa and West Brom.

They have won one of their last 10 Premier League home games.

They have only gained one point when going behind in a match.

Manager Martin O'Neill
Days in charge: 371
Played 47
Won 16
Drawn 16
Lost 15

Sunderland's last 10 year league history
Pts Pos Division Level
2002/03 19 20th Premier League 1
2003/04 79 3rd Championship 2
2004/05 94 1st Championship 2
2005/06 15 20th Premier League 1
2006/07 88 1st Championship 2
2007/08 39 15th Premier League 1
2008/09 36 16th Premier League 1
2009/10 44 13th Premier League 1
2010/11 47 10th Premier League 1
2011/12 45 13th Premier League 1



Last six results
Nov 3 Aston Villa (h) L 0-1
Nov 10 Everton (a) L 1-2
Nov 18 Fulham (a) W 3-1
Nov 24 West Brom (h) L 2-4
Nov 27 QPR (h) D 0-0
Dec 2 Norwich (a) L 1-2


2012/13 Premier League scorers
Fletcher 6, Gardner 2, Sessègnon 2, Cuéllar 1, Johnson 1, own goal 1. Total 13.

League games since
A home win: 4
A home draw: 0
A home defeat: 1

Steven Fletcher (Wolves, £15m), Adam Johnson (Manchester City, £10m), Louis Saha (Tottenham, free), Carlos Cuéllar (Aston Villa, free), Danny Rose (Tottenham, loan)
Outs Asamoah Gyan (Al-Ain, £6m), Kieran Richardson (Fulham, £2m), Michael Turner (Norwich, £1.5m), Craig Gordon (released), George McCartney (West Ham, free), Ahmed Elmohamady (Hull, loan), David Meyler (Hull, loan)

Mark Halsey handles a Chelsea match for the first time since our home defeat to Newcastle last May. Since 1999 we have won 22 of the games he has officiated, drawing eight and losing nine.

John Mikel Obi is suspended (first of three domestic matches).

Ramires is one yellow card away from a one-match domestic suspension. He is on four bookings.

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Sunderland v Chelsea


  • 22
    Simon Mignolet
  • 2
    Phil Bardsley Substitution
  • 24
    Carlos Cuellar
  • 16
    John O'Shea
  • 3
    Danny Rose
  • 21
    Adam Johnson
  • 8
    Craig Gardner
  • 7
    Sebastian Larsson Substitution
  • 23
    James McClean
  • 28
    Stephane Sessegnon
  • 10
    Connor Wickham


  • 14
    Jack Colback Substitution
  • 9
    Fraizer Campbell
  • 20
    Keiren Westwood
  • 12
    Matthew Kilgallon
  • 15
    David Vaughan
  • 19
    Titus Bramble
  • 25
    Louis Saha Substitution
Shots on Target
Shots off Target
Most fouls
Yellow Cards
Red Cards


  • 1
    Petr Cech
  • 2
    Branislav Ivanovic
  • 4
    David Luiz
  • 24
    Gary Cahill
  • 3
    Ashley Cole
  • 7
    Nascimento Ramires
  • 6
    Substitution Oriol Romeu
  • 10
    Juan Mata
  • 13
    Substitution Victor Moses
  • 17
    Substitution Eden Hazard
  • 9
    Fernando Torres


  • 8
    Substitution Frank Lampard
  • 11
    Substitution Emboaba Oscar
  • 21
    Marko Marin
  • 19
    Paulo Ferreira
  • 34
    Substitution Ryan Bertrand
  • 22
    Ross Turnbull
  • 28
    Cesar Azpilicueta

Sunderland vs Chelsea Highlights

Video thumbnail Play
Sunderland 1 Chelsea 3
Match Highlights from the Stadium of Light
12:16 min


The Blues secured a much-needed three points, our first league win since October, with a 3-1 win over Sunderland at the Stadium of Light, after two first-half Fernando Torres goals had put us firmly in the ascendancy.

Torres had given us the lead in the 10th minute when he expertly guided his volley beyond Simon Mignolet from an Eden Hazard cross, and the Spanish striker made it four goals in two games with virtually the last kick of the half, converting a penalty which had been won by Ramires.

The Blues appeared to be cruising to a comfortable win three minutes into the second half when Juan Mata made it 3-0 with his 10th goal of the season, but Sunderland, to their credit, refused to cave in, and Adam Johnson dragged them back into the game with a wonderful strike in the 66th minute.

Domestic form is now put on hold for the next 10 days as we jet off to Japan to take part in the FIFA World Club Cup, but Benitez, having seen his side score nine goals in two games, will feel a corner has been turned ahead of next league game, against Aston Villa at Stamford Bridge two days before Christmas.

Team news
Benitez, having overseen his first win in midweek, named an unchanged side for the Blues. With John Terry still unavailable, Gary Cahill partnered David Luiz in the centre of defence, while Oriol Romeu retained his place in midfield with John Mikel Obi serving the first of a three-match ban. Frank Lampard was named as one of the substitutes having not featured since October.

For Sunderland, Steven Fletcher again missed out through injury, although John O'Shea returned from his absence to skipper the side.

First half
With both teams equally desperate for a win, starting the game in a positive manner was imperative, and it was the Blues who should have been in front inside the opening minute.

Mata picked the ball up just inside the Sunderland half from Ramires, and the Spaniard sliced the home side open with a perfectly-executed pass into the path of Hazard; the Belgian cut across his marker, but the quick thinking of goalkeeper Mignolet allowed him to smother the ball away to safety.

It was the same combination once again moments later which threatened to yield an opening, as Mata and Hazard exchanged passes only for the Spaniard to fire across an empty goal.

Sunderland v Chelsea

Clearly buoyed by our 6-1 win over Nordsjaelland in midweek, it was a confident looking Chelsea side during the opening exchanges, particularly in the final third.

Torres was then unfortunate to see his close-range effort blocked after the ball had rebounded into his path off the back of Carlos Cuellar as early chances continued to go begging.

Ten minutes into the game, however, the goal our performance had merited up until that point arrived.

Romeu dispossessed Larsson inside our own half before feeding Moses, who in turn picked out the run of Hazard down the left-hand side. Hazard took one touch before delivering a quality cross into the box, and it was Torres who evaded his marker and steered a first-time volley into the top corner of the net.

Sunderland v Chelsea

Benitez would undoubtedly have been delighted in the way his side started the game, but nine minutes later there was cause for concern when Romeu, enjoying a decent run in the side of late, was forced out of the action following a heavy challenge by Sebastian Larsson.

Sunderland v Chelsea

It was Oscar who came on to replace the young midfielder, with the Brazilian slotting into a slightly deeper role than he has been accustomed to alongside Ramires.

As a spectacle, there was certainly no shortage of entertainment on offer, but it's fair to say referee Mark Halsey probably shouldn't expect too many Christmas cards off the home supporters in attendance following a couple of decisions they felt had gone against them.

Sunderland began to grow into the game as the half wore on, and after Cahill had headed clear a dangerous Adam Johnson cross, Petr Cech produced a smart save to deny Stephane Sessegnon.

The hosts were beginning to look for wide men Johnson and James McClean at every opportunity, but fortunately for the Blues, Cech was cutting a commanding figure, particularly when dealing with crosses.

After such a positive opening to the game, we had gone fairly quiet from an attacking point of view; Oscar volleyed wide from the edge of the box after a Mata free-kick had fallen kindly for him, while a mix-up between Mata and Hazard on the break allowed Martin O'Neill's side to clear the danger.

Craig Gardner, meanwhile, no stranger to a spectacular strike, tried his luck at the other end from long-range without seriously troubling Cech.

Right on half-time, though, it was 2-0 to the Blues. Ramires received a pass from Ashley Cole inside the penalty area, before having his back leg taken under a needless challenge from Larsson.

Halsey had no hesitation in pointing to the penalty spot, and it was Torres who took responsibility, striding forward and calmly sending Mignolet the wrong way, doubling his tally for the afternoon with his 11th goal of the campaign.

Second half
If the goal just before the break had come at a crucial time, three minutes into the second half we knocked the stuffing out of Sunderland with a third.

The ball was worked into Torres on the edge of the box who, with one swift movement, turned and crashed a powerful, curling left-footed strike against the underside of the bar, but as it rebounded back out, it was Mata who reacted quickest, pouncing on the loose ball and driving his effort beyond Mignolet into the bottom corner, his third strike in as many matches.

Sunderland v Chelsea

Mata was fortunate to escape caution shortly after when he appeared to kick out at Larsson following a touchline tussle, while Benitez, no doubt with one eye on the Club World Cup, replaced the impressive Moses with Ryan Bertrand just after the hour.

Five minutes later the home side were given hope when they reduced the deficit in stunning style. Johnson picked the ball up on the left-hand side of the penalty area, and as he shaped to cross, the winger bent a wonderful strike into the far corner before Branislav Ivanovic had time to adjust.

With fifteen minutes left on the clock Cech produced an important save to turn Johnson's free-kick behind as the ball looked destined for the top corner, and what should have been a routine second half was turning into anything but.

Sensing the need for cool heads and experience, Benitez introduced Frank Lampard to the action with 12 minutes left to play. The midfielder had been out of action since limping off during our Champions League match in Shakhtar Donetsk, and was unsurprisingly afforded a wonderful ovation from the travelling Chelsea faithful perched high up behind Cech's goal.

Lampard forced a decent save out of Mignolet with his first attempt on goal as we sought to put the game to bed, while Louis Saha replaced Larsson for the hosts.

Ramires and Mata picked up late bookings, Ramires's his fifth of the season so he will be banned for the away game at Leeds, a match for which John Mikel Obi is also suspended.

Craig Gardner crashed a free-kick against the bar in the last minute of normal time with Cech rooted to the spot, but the damage done earlier in the game saw us record a hugely significant victory.

Chelsea (4-2-3-1): Cech (c); Ivanovic, Cahill, David Luiz, Cole; Ramires, Romeu (Oscar 19); Moses (Bertrand 61), Mata, Hazard (Lampard 79); Torres.
Unused substitutes Turnbull, Fereira, Azpilicueta, Marin.
Scorers Torres 11, 45+2 (pen), Mata 48.
Booked Ivanovic 71, Ramires 84, Mata 86.

Sunderland (4-2-3-1): Mignolet; Bardsley (Colback 66), O'Shea (c), Cuellar, Rose; Larsson (Saha 81), Gardner; Johnson, Sessegnon, McClean; Wickham.
Unused substitutes Westwood, Bramble, Vaughan, Kilgallon, Campbell.
Scorer Johnson 65
Booked Gardner 42.

Referee Mark Halsey
Crowd 39,273

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