Stadium of Light
Tue 17 Dec 2013 19:45 (Attendance: 20,731)
The December double header on Wearside concludes on Tuesday evening with a semi-final place at stake. Club historian Rick Glanvill and club statistician Paul Dutton size up the challenge of getting past Sunderland…
There are two ancient heartaches to be avenged in Sunderland by Chelsea tonight. In 1985 and 1992 the Blues traveled to Wearside with hopes of a first major Wembley cup final since 1972, only to have them dashed through a mixture of adversity and incompetence.
The modern day Chelsea have not lost away in this competition for 10 years (penalty shoot-outs excluded) but Jose Mourinho has already indicated he will field a much-changed side. Publicly Sunderland consider this a great opportunity to gather a prized scalp that would boost morale in their battle to rise from the bottom of the Barclays Premier League.
Privately, Gus Poyet might feel additional games would bring a distraction from the Mackems' key priority of avoiding relegation. Older Black Cats supporters might remind him that when they beat Chelsea in 1984/85 they lost the final and, a few weeks later, their top-flight status.
Chelsea have won this competition four times but the most recent was during Mourinho's first spell: the 2-1 success over Arsenal at the Millennium Stadium in 2007 (pictured below). Only Liverpool (eight) and Aston Villa (five) have lifted the trophy on more occasions. In 1997/98, 2004/05 and 2006/07 it was the first instalment of double silverware for the Blues.
There will be no more Champions League midweeks from now until February. Four of the UEFA participants - Chelsea, Man City, Man United and Tottenham - can still pad out their January schedules with home and away semi-final ties in this competition and the final on 2 March. England's other Champions League representatives, Arsenal, were turfed out of the Capital One Cup by Chelsea in the last round.
There were seven former winners in yesterday's Champions League draw, but just the one from London, of course. Four Premier League teams have progressed for the sixth time and on each of the previous occasions that many did, at least one has reached the final.
Chelsea's reunion with our 2012 penalty shootout winner Didier Drogba and Galatasaray will be a special, emotional and eminently winnable one. Fellow group winners Man United drew Olympiacos.
In contrast, runners-up Arsenal were paired with defending champions Bayern Munich and Man City with Barcelona. Perhaps this will finally scotch the notion it makes little difference whether a side finishes first or second in their group.
Spurs' 0-5 Premier League drubbing by Liverpool on Sunday was their worst home result since Ruud Gullit's Chelsea won 6-1 at the Lane on 6 December 1997. The Lilywhites' manager Andre Villas-Boas departed the following day despite overseeing the club's best win percentage in 114 years.
Tonight the Goal Decision System already used in the Premier League will be deployed in a domestic match for the first time. The official Capital One Cup ball has been 'recalibrated' and satisfactorily tested with Hawk-Eye technology.
If the scores are level after 90 minutes, 30 minutes extra time will be played. If there is still no winner the tie will be decided on penalties.
Capital One Cup quarter-final fixtures
Leicester v Manchester City 7.45pm
Sunderland v Chelsea 7.45pm Sky Sports
Stoke v Manchester United 7.45pm Sky Sports
Tottenham v West Ham 7.45pm
The draw for the semi-finals is on Wednesday night and is live on Sky Sports.
Click on tabs above for more briefing.
- Pat Nevin and Kerry Dixon will be live in the Chelsea TV studio with 'Matchnight Live'. Tune in for exclusive build-up and live commentary.
In the league there is a disparity of 17 places, 24 points and 32 goal difference between tonight's combatants but they may take a very different approach in this competition.
Sunderland's victims in the previous round were a drastically-changed Southampton side that reflected the low level of interest at the Stadium of Light, which was but a third full on the night. The Mackems are without a win in five matches and bottom of the Premier League table.
Gustavo Poyet has regularly juggled his pack since arriving as coach but is promising no radical reorganisation for this evening's line-up - 'two, three or four changes,' he said. One is likely to be Jack Colback, who was close to a second yellow in our league meeting before being substituted. The defensive midfielder missed the weekend 0-0 with West Ham through illness. Central defender Carlos Cuellar and first-choice keeper Keiren Westwood also remain unavailable. Replacement goalie Vito Mannone has conceded six goals in two defeats against Chelsea for the Black Cats and Arsenal.
In contrast Jose Mourinho is likely to field a very different team from the one that managed a 4-3 league win 13 days ago at the same stadium. Chelsea's next match may be back at Arsenal in the league on Monday, almost a week away, but that is the first of three games squeezed into just six days over Christmas.
At Emirates in the previous round of this tournament the Portuguese gave many of his regulars the night off and put out the likes of Mark Schwarzer, Michael Essien, Kevin De Bruyne and Ryan Bertrand, as well as late substitute defender Tomas Kalas. The team was strong enough to see off the near full-strength Gunners with relative ease.
One change is forced on the tactician tonight as right-back Branislav Ivanovic is suspended. His replacement at Arsenal, Cesar Azpilicueta, opened the scoring in the Blues' 2-0 win there and has since impressed hugely at left-back. The manager confirmed Ashley Cole will start tonight.
In early December in the north-east Sunderland took the lead through Jozy Altidore's first league strike, Frank Lampard heading the equaliser before Eden Hazard stunningly took control of the game with two sublime goals - famously earning the adjective 'unplayable' from the Mackems' boss Gus Poyet. The game finished 4-3 with defender Phil Bardsley netting at both ends.
Mourinho must be concerned as much by his side's lingering habit of conceding soft goals and heading opportunities as the inefficiency in front of goal that increases pressure on the rearguard. How he would prize a clean sheet victory on Wearside this time around.
The Chelsea boss will want to win this competition a third time and in 2004/05 used it to imbue a title-winning mentality in his squad. After back-to-back Champions League and Europa League triumphs there are fewer in need of 'blooding', but winning is always a good habit.
WE HAVE HISTORY
Chelsea are aiming for a 10th successive victory against the Black Cats at the Stadium of Light.
This is only the third time in our history that Chelsea and Sunderland have been drawn together in cup competitions. Sunderland have won both previous encounters.
In the 1984/85 semi-finals of this competition - then called the Milk Cup - the first of the two legs was played at Roker Park, where seven people had been sent off that season and visiting managers complained about crowd influence on refereeing decisions.
'We know it will be hard,' said manager John Neal's assistant, Ian McNeill, 'but Chelsea are going there to get a win and to attack. It's the only way we know how to play.'
Hard-working midfielder John Bumstead started his first match for three months, the scheduled weekend match against Aston Villa having been postponed.
Having recovered from 0-3 down at Hillsborough to see off Sheffield Wednesday 2-1 in the quarter-final second replay at the Bridge, there was an air of confidence surrounding Chelsea that the days of cup finals were back at last.
On the night, though, virtually everything that could go wrong did, starting with a shoulder dislocation for dominant centre-back Joe McLaughlin after just 10 minutes. With one substitute allowed at the time the tall defender's replacement was slight 21-year-old midfielder Dale Jasper.
Unfortunately the unfamiliar role proved disastrous for the promising youngster, whose languid skills were an ill fit with the aerial challenges and hard tackling required.
He gave away two penalties - the first a highly contentious hand-ball - one of which was converted by Colin West (not the later Chelsea player) and one saved by brilliant Blues keeper Eddie Niedzwiecki. Sadly West was quickest to react to the loose ball and tapped in Sunderland's second.
The battered Blues had patched-up hamstring victim Colin Lee and Mickey Thomas, nursing injured ribs, as virtual passengers for most of the game. Never the less there was enough in a spirited performance and the busyness of home goalie Chris Turner to suggest that the deficit might be overturned in the second leg in London (pictured below).
It was not to be. David Speedie struck an early blow for the Blues after five minutes but then an old boy came back to haunt his old club when former winger Clive Walker equalised 10 minutes before half-time, setting a target of three more goals for the hosts. Instead Walker hit his second, then West hit his third of the tie, midway through the second period. Pat Nevin scored a late second for the Blues but the game ended 2-3, 2-5 on aggregate.
The win did not do Sunderland much good: they lost in the final to Norwich City - and both sides went on to be relegated that season.
Previous League Cup meetings
Semi-final, first leg 13 February 1985, Roker Park
West 27 pen, 66
Semi-final, second leg 4 March 1985, Stamford Bridge
Speedie 6 Walker 36, 70
Nevin 84 West 75
FA Cup meetings
Quarter-final, 9 March 1992, Stamford Bridge
Allen 36 Byrne 82
Quarter-final replay, 18 March 1992, Roker Park
Davenport 20 Wise 86
Sunderland v Chelsea in all competitions
Games played 117
Chelsea wins 57
Sunderland wins 39
Biggest 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
Chelsea lost an away League Cup tie in open play: 3,652
Sunderland lost a League Cup tie at the Stadium of Light: 413
Arsenal won a trophy: 3,132
Liverpool won the league: 8,627
Chelsea in the League Cup
Winners: 1964/65, 1997/98, 2004/05, 2006/07
Runners-up: 1971/72, 2007/08
Semi-finalists: 1972/73, 1984/85, 1990/91, 2001/02, 2012/13
Last 10 seasons in the League Cup
2003/04 - Quarter-final
2004/05 - Winners
2005/06 - 3rd round
2006/07 - Winners
2007/08 - Runners-up
2008/09 - 4th round
2009/10 - Quarter-final
2010/11 - 3rd round
2011/12 - Quarter-final
2012/13 - Semi-final
Chelsea's last away defeat in open play in the League Cup was in the quarter-final against Aston Villa in 2003. In the 2009 quarter-final, after drawing 3-3 at Blackburn after extra time, we went on to lose 4-3 on penalties.
Last season the Blues went out of the League Cup at the semi-final stage to Swansea 0-2 on aggregate.
Chelsea have won three of our last six penalty shoot-outs. Our last two have been against Bayern Munich in the 2012 Champions League final and this season's Super Cup.
The Blues beat Swindon away in the third round and Arsenal away in the fourth round, both by a 2-0 scoreline.
|Last six results|
|Nov 26||Basel (Champions League a)||L 0-1|
|Dec 1||Southampton (h)||W 3-1|
|Dec 4||Sunderland (a)||W 4-3|
|Dec 7||Stoke (a)||L 2-3|
|Dec 11||Steaua Bucharest (Champions League h)||W 1-0|
|Dec 14||Crystal Palace (h)||W 2-1|
Capital One Cup scorers (4)
Azpilicueta 1, Mata 1, Ramires 1, Torres 1
League Cup games since
An away win: 0
An away draw: 2
An away defeat in open play: 15
|Chelsea's next three games|
|Mon 23 Dec||Arsenal away||8.00pm|
|Thu 26 Dec||Swansea City home||3.00pm|
|Sun 29 Dec||Liverpool home||4.00pm|
Frank Lampard's next penalty converted will be his 50th for the Blues.
BLACK CATS STATS
Sunderland in the League Cup
Semi-finalists: 1962/63, 1998/99
Quarter-finalists: 1961/62, 1989/90, 2000/01, 2013/14
|This season's Capital One Cup campaign|
|Aug 27||(2) MK Dons (h)||W 4-2|
|Sep 24||(3) Peterborough (h)||W 2-0|
|Nov 6||(4) Southampton (h)||W 2-1|
Capital One Cup scorer (8)
Wickham 2, Altidore 1, Bardsley 1, Giaccherini 1, Johnson 1, Larsson 1, Roberge 1
Sunderland have reached the League Cup quarter-finals for the first time since 2000/01 when they lost 2-1 to Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park.
The Black Cats have been drawn at home for all four rounds this season. Tonight is their 12th home tie out of 16 in this competition.
Since 2003, Sunderland have won one and lost three of their four penalty shoot-outs.
Last season the Black Cats defeated Morcambe and MK Dons before being eliminated by Middlesbrough at home in the fourth round.
|Last 10 seasons in the League Cup|
|Season||Round reached||Defeated by|
Manager Gus Poyet
Days in charge: 70
|Last six results|
|Nov 10||Manchester City (h)||W 1-0|
|Nov 23||Stoke (a)||L 0-2|
|Nov 30||Aston Villa (a)||D 0-0|
|Dec 4||Chelsea (h)||L 3-4|
|Dec 7||Tottenham (h)||L 1-2|
|Dec 14||West Ham (a)||D 0-0|
League Cup games since
A home win: 0
A home draw: 7
A home defeat: 3
THE MAN IN THE MIDDLE
Anthony Taylor is the official for his second Chelsea match this term. He was the referee for our home 4-1 Premier League win against Cardiff City in October.
Branislav Ivanovic is suspended for one match for reaching five domestic yellow cards against Crystal Palace on Saturday.
Michael Essien is one domestic booking away from a suspension having received four yellow cards this season.
A goal three minutes from the end of extra time knocked the Blues out of the Capital One Cup at the quarter-final stage as Sunderland came from behind to win.
After an uneventful first half, a Frank Lampard goal shortly after the restart gave Chelsea the lead and began an improved performance. However chances were not taken and the home side, who had also carried more threat since the interval, levelled with just three minutes of normal time left to play; former Chelsea striker Fabio Borini the first to score against us in this competition this season.
Chances fell to both sides in extra-time and three minutes were once again left on the clock when Sunderland took one of theirs, substitute Ki Sung Yeung netting the decider to end our hopes of silverware in the early spring. Historically the Wearsiders have been difficult cup opposition for the Blues, and so it continued.
There were eight changes from the side that won against Crystal Palace but there was still plenty of experience on the pitch.
Mark Schwarzer was in goal and Cesar Azpilicueta returned to the right with Ashley back on the left of defence. Gary Cahill came in for John Terry so Frank Lampard captained with John Mikel Obi alongside him in midfield.
Willian, having impressed in the no.10 role at the weekend, started there again with Kevin De Bruyne, beginning his first game since the previous round against Arsenal, and Andre Schurrle the wide players. Samuel Eto'o led the attack.
Gustavo Poyet named a strong Sunderland side with just three changes from their weekend Premier League match at West Ham. Andrea Dossena came into defence with Phil Bardsley, so tormented by Eden Hazard in the league game here earlier this month, on the bench. In midfield, Craig Gardner replaced Ki Sung Yeung and Adam Johnson was preferred to Fabio Borini out wide.
Whereas our league match here was all thrills and spills and goals gifted at both ends of the pitch, the first half of this cup encounter was anything but. The unfamiliarity of the Chelsea attack in playing together had something to do with it, but the two backlines were more solid as well, although there were ragged moments from Sunderland as the game approached half-time.
Schurrle was the first to show in the game from an attacking sense, cutting in from the left and shooting straight at Vito Mannone in the Sunderland goal after Willian had switched the play. The Brazilian had a go himself soon after with the same result.
Lampard shot well off-target in the middle of some uneventful minutes before precise Chelsea short passing, with Mikel and Willian involved, opened Sunderland up. Schurrle neatly side-stepped his marker and smashed a centre across the Sunderland goalmouth. There was no contact there and when Eto'o picked the ball up on the other side, he couldn't find a colleague with his pass back into the fray.
The Cameroonian fired a shot into the area soon after but there were legs aplenty to block it. Twenty minutes had passed with neither side yet to truly look likely to score.
Sunderland had enjoyed a couple of moments in or near our penalty area that had their fans roaring but the Blue defence was standing firm. They had one shout for a handball in the area against Azpilicueta but it was rightly rejected by referee Anthony Walker.
On 24 minutes, David Luiz was booked after Giaccherini played the ball past the Chelsea man and then ran into him. With David Luiz not having moved sideways in either direction, it begged the question where was he meant to go? The free-kick came to nothing.
Dossena followed into the book just two minutes later for a trip on Willian.
The same Chelsea player cleanly struck a diagonal shot after a Wes Brown mistake had given us possession in a dangerous area for the home side. Although it passed the wrong side of the far post, it was the best attempt so far. It was also the last one of the half.
Former Man United defender Brown was again caught napping, this time by Azpilicueta who passed on to Eto'o. The striker delayed shooting and looked to be fouled as he was dispossessed on the edge of the box, but the ref played on.
It took only 39 seconds of the second period to be played for it to record what the first one didn't - a chance begging to be taken and a goal.
The ball was played quickly by De Bruyne to Azpilicueta in space out wide and this time when it was drilled into the six-yard box, both Lampard and the covering Lee Cattermole were there to make joint contact. The ref indicated he gave the goal using goal-line technology, only announced as active in the Capital One Cup yesterday. Replays showed it was over the line by a couple of feet, they also showed the Chelsea captain on the night and Cattermole had both made contact. TV coverage announced an own goal but Lampard can credited with a fitting goal given the part he has played in the story of this particular technology in football.
The goal had the desired effect on Jose Mourinho's men and we began to play well, although the next chance, not long after the goal, was presented by a bad back pass. Eto'o balanced himself but still missed the target by a few inches.
De Bruyne, who was now much involved in the game, had a stinging shot saved before Lampard smashed one that very nearly dipped enough, but not quite. It had the impressively large Chelsea support behind that goal gasping in anticipation, then disappointment.
Sunderland had their best spell of the game midway through the half. David Luiz blocked a Larsson strike after his own clearance had been charged down. Then Cattermole caught a 25-yarder sweetly but the jumping Schwarzer was up to the challenge.
Chelsea were then forced to make a change on 69 minutes when Azpilicueta appeared to hurt a knee under challenge from Altidore. He walked from the pitch to be replaced by Michael Essien.
Another African was introduced with one making way soon after as Demba Ba replaced Eto'o.
Inside the final 15 minutes, Schurrle did what he does well, and worked himself just enough space to flash a shot past his marker, and Mannone had to react quickly to palm it out. Then David Luiz at his best picked out Ba with a quickly taken free-kick from halfway, and the substitute went close with a volley. When Sunderland won a corner soon after, Schwarzer punched it away well.
There were only three minutes left on the clock when Sunderland drew level. The ball was worked forward from their own half to Altidore who could have scored, but his effort was unconvincing and Schwarzer blocked. The ball squirmed wide to former Chelsea man Fabio Borini, on as a sub. He was at a very tight angle and Chelsea had a man on the line and another on the post, but the Italian still scored.
Borini could easy have won the game before 90 minute were up, but for a brilliant sliding tackle inside the area from Cahill.
A smooth Chelsea move ended with Willian crossing and Brown conceding a corner with Ba challenging. From Lampard's delivery, David Luiz drew a sprawling save from Mannone.
Ba then couldn't make enough contact after good De Bruyne work and Willian forced another corner out of Brown. But it wasn't all Chelsea. Stand-in right-back Essien made an important intervention when Sunderland threatened our goal and midway through the first period, first Cole with his head and Borini with his boot missed a ball dropping dangerously at our far post. The tie was finely poised going into the second period.
Three minutes after the restart, De Bruyne collected the ball centrally and snaked his run into a good position but shot wide.
Essien was then booked for a foul on Giaccherini and will serve a one-match ban in the next game for five yellows this season.
The free-kick was headed away and Essien blocked in the goalmouth as Altidore turned the returned ball on target.
The game was understandably becoming more and more open and Willian's cross almost did damage at the other end, before Schwarzer saved very well from Ki's header.
It wouldn't have been a surprise whichever side grabbed a late winner. The home side did with three minutes left to play. A cross over from the right was turned wide by Borini to Ki. The substitute kept a cool head to dart inside Essien and Cahill and find the bottom corner.
Chelsea (4-2-3-1): Schwarzer; Azpilicueta (Essien 70), Cahill, D Luiz, Cole; Mikel, Lampard (c); De Bruyne, Willian, Schurrle (Hazard 83); Eto'o (Ba 73).
Unused subs Blackman, Terry, Oscar, Torres.
Scorer Lampard 46
Booked David Luiz 25, Essien 110.
Sunderland (4-1-4-1): Mannone; Celustka, O'Shea (c), Brown, Dossena; Cattermole; Johnson (Borini 74), Larsson, Gardner (Ki Sung-Yueng 62), Giaccherini (Bardsley 120); Altidore
Unused subs Dixon, Cabral, Mavrias, Roberge.
Scorers Borini 88, Ki Sung-Yueng 118.
Booked Dossena 28, Ki Sung-Yueng 119
Referee Anthony Taylor