EPL Round 4 Match of the Week: Sunderland 1 Chelsea 2
Looking back on the most recent round of Premier League action, there were mostly lopsided victories for stronger teams against lesser opposition or scraps between mediocre clubs. The best game is one that is relatively even, competitive and thus entertaining.
I picked Chelsea vs. Sunderland for this week and here's why: both sides made important additions to their squads this summer, Sunderland driving for a Europa League place and Chelsea going for the trophy.
The two teams combined for 31 shots on goal, although Chelsea had 60 percent of possession to Sunderland's 40 percent and it was a clean game with only 10 fouls and two yellow cards between the teams.
Here's how it unfolded:
Around the 20th minute, Chelsea won a free kick just outside the Black Cats' penalty box. Juan Mata's effort ricocheted off the post, but Sturridge controlled the ball outside the area after a poor clearance by Sunderland. He lobbed the ball to a rushing John Terry, who chested the ball down and sent in a low driven cross that rebounded in his direction. Terry scored on the half-volley with ease. His first goal of the season scored as early as the fourth game is a promising sign for the Blues.
Sunderland had some good scoring chances after Terry's goal, but they could not finish in the air or on the ground. It was not until the 50th minute mark that Chelsea doubled their lead.
Daniel Sturridge, one of England's most promising young players, latched onto a through-ball from the midfield and closed in on goal, leaving the opposing centre back behind him. Mignolet waited to pounce, preventing a lob or a chip, so Sturridge broke to the right before back heeling the ball past the keeper, slowly rolling into the net. The Wearside defence almost recovered and cleared the ball, but Sturridge had already started celebrating. Pure class.
Korean striker Ji Dong-Won slotted home for the hosts at the beginning of second half stoppage time, beating Cech to the bottom left corner. However, it was too little, too late for Sunderland as Chelsea held on to go third in the table behind United and City.
Hardly hindered by the international break, United thrashed Bolton 5-0 at the Reebok and City beat Wigan 3-0 at the newly named Emirates Stadium.
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