RADIO CLIVE'S FIVE: CHELSEA V SUNDERLAND
Throughout the season former player Clive Walker provides radio and TV commentary on Chelsea's games. Here he selects five aspects from Sunday's fourth game in eight days that caught his eye…
1. It was a somewhat tired display at times but at this stage of the season with the games Chelsea have, the rotation and the size of the squad, getting the three points mattered more than the performance, especially with Tottenham drawing. Sunderland could have done better on a couple of breakaways and really punished us but we managed to get throughit.
2. The Sunderland goal was a sign of tiredness, coming as it did with 44 minutes gone. I said in the commentary that there were tired bodies and minds out there but at dead-ball situations the players have to switch on. I spoke too soon and they were punished. Sunderland had another set-piece chance at the end of 90 minutes and we saw that one out. We learned from the mistake in the first half.
3. There were no clear tactical changes to the way Sunderland played at this early stage of Paolo Di Canio's rein. They looked like they were going to pose a threat when they went forward but were without a cutting edge. Thankfully Steven Fletcher wasn't playing because he is the type who can get on the end of some of those forays forward. His record is pretty impressive. Stephane Sessegnon looks to have a bit of second-season syndrome and Adam Johnson who has bags of ability wasn't able to show it on Sunday.
4. David Luiz was excellent and disciplined and is looking one of the best central defenders in the league. He took a knock from a challenge but it was one he could run off. Whether Branislav Ivanovic meant the touch for the goal or not, it has been a while since he or David Luiz scored.John Terry got a goal a couple of weeks ago and we need defenders to chip in. It was nice to see us get a stroke of luck as well with the own goal and the deflection, and when tiredness is creeping in a bit of luck gives you a lift.
5. We saw a bit more of what Ramires is capable of and sometimes he needs that reassurance that John Mikel Obi is there behind him. That is no disrespect to Frank Lampard because Frank wants to get forward and score goals, but although Ramires hasn't scored too many this season, sometimes he is so influential to us attacking when breaks from that deep position and ghosts past players. It commits the back four and makes space for the likes of Oscar, Mata and Hazard.