What can I say about Saturday other than another truly Jekyll and Hyde performance from Chelsea?
Sunderland started with three up front which caused us problems from the start. Everything that Jody touched was rubbish. Our midfield was swamped and with no Gronkjaer as an outlet it was left to Jimmy to try and run on to long ball hoofs. To be fair to him he made the runs but the Sunderland defence just swept them up. Then they scored. If you want a scapegoat then Lampard was the one who was closest and might have got a tackle in. It was a great volley and Carlo almost made the save. Cue 40,000 Mackems going mental. The goal was followed by that uphill climb to half time that Chelsea so often have had to make.
Halftime De “Ineffectual” Lucas was subbed for “Bruno” Cole and straight away we started playing better. Jimmy and Bruno made good runs and dragged Sunderland’s defenders every which way, letting Franco and Lampard through to trouble Sorensen.
A great cross from “Bill” Gallas at left back and an even better nod down from Bruno and Franco couldn’t fail to put it away, 1-1.
Then almost from the kick off Jimmy makes one of those powerful blasts past a defender that have been so sorely missed this season. The shot beats Sorensen only for the ball to bounce up and hit Jimmy’s elbow before he puts it away. VERY HARSH DECISION! It was clearly ball to hand as the ball hit Sorensen, bounced back and hit the under side of Jimmy’s elbow before he tapped it in. The only way the ball wouldn’t have bounced up and hit his arm would be if he didn’t have one!
The pressure started to show as Chelsea pushed on and mounted attack after attack with Franco having a pop at Sorensen every chance he got.
It seemed like only a matter of time before we got the winner but time was ticking away.
Several dodgy decisions from Gallagher spurs a flurry of unnecessary yellow cards for both sides. Then with some lovely moves Jimmy got the ball, drew the defender, passed to Bruno who took one touch then spun on his right leg and striked the ball all in one move with his left, beating Sorensen at his near post to make it 2-1 to Chelsea.
The Blues fully deserved to be in front due to all the effort and sustained pressure.
Sunderland did not give up and with a couple of moves and one free kick almost got themselves a point.
We did deserve all three points but in a way Sunderland didn’t deserve to lose. It was one of those games where even a draw wouldn’t have given credit to both sides.
We rode our luck and put pressure on when it was required but full respect to the Mackems. One section never stopped singing and they were making a noise like they’d just got fourth place and a Champions League spot rather than having had another nail hammered into their coffin.
Sunderland: Sorensen, Gray, El Karkouri, Bjorklund, Williams, McCann, Thornton, Kilbane, Phillips, Kyle, Stewart.
Subs: Poom, Babb, McCartney, Proctor, Arca.
Chelsea: Cudicini, Gallas, Desailly, Terry, Melchiot, Morris, Lampard, De Lucas, Le Saux, Zola, Hasselbaink.
Subs: de Goey, Zenden, Oliveira, Huth, Cole.
Referee: D Gallagher (Oxfordshire).