CHELSEA (0) vs SUNDERLAND (3)
CHELSEA manager Carlo Ancelotti will hold an inquest into yesterday’s shock defeat against Sunderland – a result which has blown the Premier League title race wide open again.
Captain John Terry had hoped last weekend’s defeat at Liverpool would act as the “kick up the backside” his team needed.
A midweek victory over Fulham suggested lessons had been learned, but with Terry missing through injury and Michael Essien suspended, Sunderland smelt an opportunity and took it with impressive style and surprising ease.
Ancelotti said: “One month ago I said the difficulty would arrive. The difficulty has arrived and now we have to come back in our training sessions to stay more in focus, play better than today.
“It is difficult now, we have to look in the next days and have a meeting about this to look at what happened today.”
Having not conceded a Premier League goal at Stamford Bridge since March complacency may have played a part in yesterday’s demise, but credit should go to Sunderland, thrashed 7-2 on this ground last season and destroyed 5-1 at St James’ Park a fortnight ago.
Jordan Henderson, called up to the England squad on Saturday, was particularly impressive, along with loanees Nedum Onuoha and Danny Welbeck.
The former opened the scoring on the stroke of half-time, jinking past the challenges of John Obi Mikel, emergency centre-half Paulo Ferreira and Branislav Ivanovic, before beating Petr Cech with a composed left-footed shot.
Asamoah Gyan, with his fourth goal in three games, put the finish to a slick passing move in the 52nd minute, and Welbeck put the gloss on the score with three minutes left after Ashely Cole (left), who last night pulled out of the England squad to face France on Wednesday, left Cech stranded with a slack backpass.
Ancelotti hopes to have Terry back for next weekend’s trip to Birmingham, but revealed his skipper won’t feature for his country in midweek.
He said: “John had a pain on his nerve in his hamstring. I don’t think he will be able to play for the national team, [but] I expect him to be back on the next [Chelsea] game.”