Chelsea started 2010 in blistering fashion has they put seven past Sunderland at Stamford Bridge.
There were 2 goals apiece for Frank Lampard and Nicolas Anelka, with Florent Malouda, Michael Ballack and a flash of brilliance from Ashley Cole completed the rout.
Sunderland almost took the shine off a great result for Carlo Ancelotti, with goals from Chelsea old boy Bolo Zenden and another notch on the belt for Darren Bent. But despite the suspect defending for both Black cats’ goals, the result was well beyond doubt by the time either was scored, and will be the subject of mild annoyance for Ancelotti, rather than genuine concern.
You got the impression it was going to be a long day for the visitors from the word go, as even before Anelka had rounded Martin Fulop to open the scoring, the Blues could’ve been 2 up as the Coles, Joe and Ashley had shown more composure in front of goal. Joe was denied by Fulop’a legs after scuffing his shot when in one-on-one, whilst Ashley could only head wide from six yards.
When the goals started flowing though they were worth the little extra wait; Ballack’s flick through to Anelka had left the Sunderland defence static, hands in the air, appealing for an offside that would ever come.
Just 9 minutes later it was 2-0 when Malouda ran unchallenged form the centre circle before slotting home from 18 yards.
Only another five minutes had passed when Ashley Cole provided his moment of magic. A goal by a full back after a long ball from his centre half sounds scruffy, but this was anything but. John Terry came over all Glenn Hoddle and clipped the ball into Cole’s path. The first touch was superb, but nothing compared to the cool head he showed to step inside the woeful Cana and chip past Fulop. By now Steve Bruce must’ve sensed his side were in for a long day.
All this had come in the first 22 minutes, and only 34 had passed when Frank Lampard volleyed home Ash’s cross. The ease with which Chelsea could stroll through Sunderland was becoming alarming, and Steve Bruce was even caught checking his watch after Lamps’ finish, still 55 minutes and 3 goals to go Steve.
It wasn’t until the 52nd minute that the Blue juggernaut struck again. By this point the awful Malbranque had been replaced, but it made little difference as Ballack found himself unmarked from Joe Cole’s perfect cross. Even the erratic German couldn’t miss today.
The visitors then did their best to ruin the fun as Zenden fired home form the edge of the box. Chelsea can be forgiven as Ashley Cole and John Terry had been replaced at half time as a precaution after both had picked up knocks.
Number 6 came courtesy of the first real mistake by the Sunderland keeper, he patted a cross down to Anelka, who controlled well and slotted into an empty net, before Lampard got his 2nd in the last minute to make it Chelsea’s highest scoring Premier League outing. Bent’s injury time goal took away the joint highest winning margin but too much sleep won’t be lost over that. In truth it should’ve been more; both Joe Cole and Anelka missed great chances in the second half, and the constant threat on the visitors goal was incredible.
The win marked Chelsea‘s 350th in the Premier League, a fitting milestone for the game, as the League leaders showed their more than just a one man band whilst Didier Drogba and co are in Angola.
Chelsea: Cech, Ivanovic, A Cole (Zhirkov 46), Carvalho, Terry (Alex 46), Belletti, Lampard, J Cole, Ballack, Malouda, Anelka
Subs not used: Hilario, Ferreira, Matic, Sturridge, Borini
Sunderland: Fulop, Bardsley, McCartney, Da Silva, Malbranque (Zenden 46), Henderson, Meyler, Cana, Bent, Murphy (Campbell 72), Jones.
Subs not used: Carson, Liddle, Noble, Healy, Noble.
Man of the Match; Ashley Cole