Sunderland v Chelsea Jan 15th 2006

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Sunday, January 15, 2006

Sunderland A.F.C 1 2 Chelsea F.C

Sunderland slumped to their 14th league game without a victory despite a spirited performance against league leaders Chelsea F.C..

Records were set before this Sunday afternoon game kicked-off in the North-East; bookmaker's were offering the shortest odds for an away win in the history of the Premier League, as top faced bottom at the Stadium of Light. Sunderland, in the middle of a season breaking records for the wrong reasons, were hoping to avoid a result as bad as the 7-0 defeat local rivals Middlesbrough suffered to Arsenal the day before.

Despite pre-match predictions, the Londoners looked out of sorts for much of the first-half, and it was the home side who took a shock-lead on 11 minutes. Jon Terry failed to completely clear a Julio Arca punt into the box, and Liam Lawrence pounced with a low, powerful volley in to the bottom corner.

Chelsea were not behind for long; Sunderland defenders were caught-out on 20 minutes, when a William Gallas cross, which looked as though it was headed out of play, was headed back across the face of goal by Joe Cole. Defenders were caught flat-footed, and Argentinian Hernan Crespo was first to react with a close-range header.

In the second half Chelsea began to exert authority; they dominated possession and chances and looked most likely to take the lead. Sunderland keeper Kelvin Davis, suffering criticism from Sunderland fans as of late, made a series of superb stops to deny Chelsea the lead. It was a cruel deflection off the head of Dean Whitehead which finally gave the reigning champions the lead on 70 minutes, Dutchman Arjen Robben providing the strike. The game's main talking point occurred moments later, as Robben jumped over advertising boards in order to celebrate the goal with the traveling fans. As stewards scrambled to remove Robben from the clutches of the jubilant Chelsea followers, referee Chris Foy, working to the letter of the law, brandished a second yellow card and sent the midfield playmaker off.

10-man Chelsea held on despite a period of late Sunderland pressure. The defeat sees Sunderland remain rooted to the foot of the table on 6 points.

Match Stats
Attendance 34, 420
Goalscorers for Chelsea F.C Crespo (20), Robben (70)
Goalscorers for Sunderland F.C Lawrence (11)
Bookings (Chelsea F.C) Robben (yellow (2)) (red)
Bookings (Sunderland F.C) Stead (Yellow)

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This article features first-hand journalism by Wikinews members. See the collaboration page for more details.