Onuoha Draws First Blood
Carlo Ancelotti's Chelsea was completely outplayed, outclassed and outwitted by Steve Bruce's resurgent Black Cats as Chelsea crumbled to a shameful 3-0 loss, its first loss this season at Stamford Bridge.
Sunderland, who has impressively recovered from its 5-1 humiliation at the hands of Newcastle, displayed a solid team game to hand out a shocking defeat to the league leaders and defending champions.
The West Londoners had gone into the game with the target to extend their lead at the top of the league after most of the title challengers had faltered. But Sunderland looked upbeat from the start and took the game to the Blues' from the starting whistle.
Chelsea was without captain John Terry, who was in the sidelines due to a hamstring injury. Ferreira and Ivanovic, who were thrust defensive partnerships in the central defense struggled to control Welbeck and Gyan.
Chelsea created a few chances but were unable to utilize them and had to pay for it as Sunderland took the lead in the dying moments of the first half after Onuoha dribbled past Chelsea defense and scored in the far corner.
The Stamford Bridge outfit looked completely out-of-sync and their afternoon got worse as Asamoah Gyan converted a brilliant team effort and doubled the Black Cats' lead. Chelsea looked unsettled as they failed to control Sunderland's fast movements and passing and struggled to keep Steve Bruce's confident men off their goal.
Sunderland came close with a few chances, and except for a couple of long-range efforts, Chelsea never really looked to be in the game. Sunderland kept on pressing and Chelsea just held on. But their efforts went in vain as a poor Ashley Cole back pass was intercepted by the promising youngster Danny Welbeck and he made no mistake in scoring the third as Chelsea slumped to their biggest home defeat since 2002.
Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti admitted it was a poor performance from his richly-paid lads, while Sunderland manager Steve Bruce was a happy man. With the shock loss, Chelsea missed its chance to increase its lead. Arsenal, who won away at Everton, is two points behind Chelsea, while Manchester United is an additional point behind.
The match also exposed Chelsea's defensive weaknesses in the absence of Terry as Ivanovic and Ferreira failed to control the Sunderland attacks. Though it is not yet time to hit the panic button, the team needs to shake up and avoid falling into its usual mid-season slump of form. Moreover, it might be time that Ancelotti really thought about bringing some young and quality reinforcements into the squad, as well as bolstering the defense, which has been a weak link this season.