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Premier League
14 December 2016
Game week
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Stadium of Light (Sunderland)


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40' Fàbregas (G) (assist by: Willian)


Minute   Description
It wasn't the prettiest of performances from Chelsea, but they showed good grit and determination to beat a Sunderland side that, on another day, would have left with at least a point. The home side defended well and showed good desire to get forward, but, in the end, they were unable to muster up enough to beat a very impressive Chelsea team.
90'+3 Chelsea have made their final substitution of the game, with Moses making way for Ivanovic, who will immediately go into the penalty area to defend the set-piece.
Excellent save by Courtois! The free-kick is whipped into the penalty area and quickly bounces out to Van Aanholt, but the Chelsea goalkeeper somehow keeps out a rocket of a strike from the defender with a world-class diving stop.
90'+2 Moses flies into the back of Van Aanholt and brings the defender crashing to the ground, resulting in a free-kick for Sunderland in a very dangerous position. Can the home side make this great opportunity count?
90'+1 Denayer goes close to finding an equaliser! A dangerous cross is whipped in from a corner and finds the Belgian in front of goal, but, despite doing well to meet the ball, he's only able to send his headed effort straight into the hands of Courtois.
90' The fourth official has indicated that there will be three minutes of added time.
89' Chelsea have made a late change, with Nathaniel Chalobah coming on to replace Willian.
88' Chance for Fabregas! Costa chips a lovely pass over the top of the Sunderland back line and into the path of Fabregas, but the Spaniard snatches at his shot slightly and ends up firing it well wide of the far post.
86' Costa does well to get the better of Kone and breaks into the Sunderland penalty area on a great run, but Pickford reads the danger brilliantly and cuts it out with a brave dive into the feet of the striker.
84' Lovely play by Chelsea! Fabregas and Costa link up well deep inside the Sunderland half of the pitch before the midfielder picks out Willian with a clever pass, but the Brazilian's low shot fails to trouble Pickford and is easily saved by the goalkeeper.
82' Sunderland have made their final substitution, with Borini making way for Wahbi Khazri.
81' Luiz clumsily fouls Borini over on the left flank and gives away a free-kick in a dangerous position. Larsson steps up and sends the set-piece short to Van Aanholt, but his cross is underhit and fails to find a red and white shirt inside the box.
80' Defoe does well to out-muscle two Chelsea players deep down the left wing before finding Van Aanholt. The Dutchman spins quickly and tees up Larsson, who then tries to pick out Defoe with a low pass into the box, but it fails to find the striker and is just about cut out by Kante.
78' Chelsea patiently knock the ball around as they try to carve out a chance on goal, but, after doing well to charge towards the penalty area, a poor pass from Matic completely misses Willian and rolls harmlessly out for a goal-kick.
76' Chelsea have made their first alteration of the night, with Nemanja Matic coming on to take the place of Pedro.
75' Willian picks up the ball in the middle of the pitch and quickly tees up Costa with a poked pass into the Sunderland penalty area, but just as it looks as if the striker is going to reach the ball, Van Aanholt dives in the way to stop him from doing so.
73' Opportunity for Defoe! Djilobodji picks up the ball over on the left flank and quickly curls a cross into the middle of the box. Defoe skips in front of Luiz and does well to beat the Brazilian to the ball, but he's unable to send his first-time volleyed strike into the back of the net.
72' Borini becomes the latest player to be booked after picking up a yellow card for a tug on the shirt of Kante in the build-up to Chelsea's last chance on goal.
71' Januzaj battles his way down the right wing before winning the home side a corner. It fails to result in a chance on goal and instead allows Chelsea to break forward quickly, but the attacking move comes to a disappointing end when Pedro fires his long-range effort well over the top of the crossbar.
70' Chance for Kante! The Frenchman dispossesses Kone with a great tackle just outside of the Sunderland penalty area before unleashing a low shot, but his effort doesn't have enough power behind it to find the back of the net.
68' Chelsea desperately try to carve out a chance on goal as they patiently move the ball around on the edge of the Sunderland penalty area. Costa is eventually able to wriggle away from his marker before teeing up Alonso, but the Spaniard's cross-cum-shot fails to trouble Pickford.
66' Love charges down the right wing before firing a lovely cross to Defoe on the edge of the Chelsea penalty area. The striker's first touch is beautiful and allows him to spin before trying to pick out Borini, but he lets himself down with a poor volleyed pass that's easily dealt with by Courtois.
64' Sunderland lose the ball on the halfway line and allow Chelsea to hit them on another swift counter-attack. Willian flies down the left wing on a great run before cutting inside and firing a low shot towards the bottom right-hand corner of the net, but it fails to hit the target and rolls a few yards wide of the goal.
62' Chelsea patiently work the ball around before Alonso takes on Love over on the left wing. The subsitute does well to close down the space available to the Spaniard and forces him into firing a cross towards the near post that's easily dealt with by Pickford.
60' Not far away from Moses! The wing-back embarks on a great run as he cuts inside and beats both Van Aanholt and Larsson before shooting, but his low effort ends up fizzing just wide of the near post after leaving Pickford rooted to the spot.
59' Jones looks to have picked up an injury after bombing forward, and he's replaced by Donald Love.
58' Opportunity for Borini! Jones breaks into the right-hand side of the Chelsea box after embarking on a rare foray forward before spinning and teeing up Borini, but the Italian's snatches at his shot and sends it well over the top of the crossbar.
57' Sunderland have made their first substitution of the evening, with Kirchhoff, who had just returned from injury, making way for Sebastian Larsson.
56' Pedro needlessly kicks the ball away after being flagged offside, resulting in him picking up a yellow card.
Another chance for Costa! Willian and Moses link up well deep down the right flank before a curling cross is flung into the middle of the box. The ball almost finds Costa but ends up flying just past his head before being cleared by Kone. Again, the striker screams for a penalty after claiming that he had been fouled, but the referee isn't at all interested.
55' Strong defending by Kone! Costa breaks through on goal once again and looks set to go one-on-one with Pickford, but Kone darts back and out-muscles the striker before he's able to get a shot away. Costa doesn't look entirely happy with the challenge, but the referee isn't at all interested in his protests.
54' Costa goes close! O'Shea is left in no man's land after being easily beaten by the striker, who then bursts forward. He weave his way into the left-hand side of the penalty area and then unleashes a rocket of a low shot, but Pickford gets down well to stop the effort.
53' Fabregas' cross from the corner is well dealt with by the Sunderland defence before Moses picks up the ball just outside of the box. He cuts past Kirchhoff and on to his left foot before shooting, but his low shot is well saved by Pickford.
52' Willian hits the crossbar! The Brazilian flies into the right-hand side of the Sunderland box and skips past Kone before firing a shot off the outstretched foot of the defender and towards goal, but it ends up ricocheting off the crossbar and out for a corner.
50' Costa holds up the ball on the edge of the Sunderland penalty area as he tries to find a way past Djilobodji, but the former Chelsea defender stands tall and denies to move out of the striker's way before poking the ball away from danger.
48' The resulting corner is easily dealt with by Courtois, who then kick-starts a quick counter-attack. Chelsea break forward swiftly before Willian tees up Moses, but the wing-back's thumping shot from the edge of the box ends up flying just a yard or so wide of the far post.
47' What a chance for Januzaj! Chelsea lose out in the middle of the pitch and allow Sunderland to break forward quickly. Defoe flies towards the penalty area on a great run before teeing up Januzaj to his right, but the midfielder's low shot is well saved by Thibaut Courtois.
46' And we're underway once again!
The two teams are making their way back out on to the pitch ahead of the start of the second half. Neither side have made any substitutions during the half-time break.
It's been a tough opening 45 minutes for Chelsea, who have bossed possession but have been made to work hard by a resolute and well-organised Sunderland back line. As a result, the visitors have found little joy in front of goal, with Costa finding it tough to get the better of Kone and Djilobodji. A slight lapse in concentration resulted in the Blues finally finding the back of the net just before half-time, and Fabregas' goal means that the home side are going to have to push further up the field after the break.
45'+3 Willian almost makes it 2-0! The Brazilian steps up and curls a great strike over the top of the Sunderland wall and towards the top left-hand corner of the net, but it misses the top of the crossbar by the narrowest of margins after beating Pickford.
45'+2 Costa charges across the edge of the Sunderland penalty area as he tries to carve out a chance on goal, but he's clumsily tripped from behind by O'Shea before he can do so and wins his side a free-kick just a yard or so outside of the box. Can Chelsea make it count?
45'+1 Another well-placed cross is thumped into the middle of the Sunderland box, this time from Azpilicueta, but Kone is there to put Costa under pressure to stop the striker from reaching the ball in a dangerous position in front of goal.
45' The fourth official has indicated that there will be just one minute of added time.
44' Fabregas picks up the ball in a pocket of space in the middle of the pitch and quickly chips a lovely pass into the heart of the Sunderland box. Costa makes a good run towards goal and does well to latch on to the ball, but, under pressure from Djilobodji, he ends up sending his headed effort wide of the goal.
43' Defoe lunges into Fabregas from behind and becomes the first player to receive a yellow card. Chelsea send the resulting free-kick short before working it over to Willian, but the Brazilian is closed down quickly and is unable to find a way past the sea of Sunderland players in front of him.
42' Chelsea immediately push forward from the restart as they try to quickly double their lead, but Sunderland are just about able to keep them at bay. A lofted pass is then thumped up to Defoe, but the striker ends up accidentally handling the ball as he tries to control it.
40' Willian did well to link up with Fabregas after initially looking as if he was going to shoot. The Brazilian had been quiet up until then but did what was required of him when presented with the chance to do so.
GOAL! Chelsea have broken the deadlock! Sunderland are caught light at the back and are quickly hit by the Chelsea front line. Pedro weaves his way past two tackles and tees up Fabregas, who then plays a swift one-two with Willian before side-footing a lovely strike past Pickford and into the bottom right-hand corner of the net.
39' A silly foul from Kirchhoff sends Willian crashing to the ground and results in a free-kick for Chelsea in a very dangerous position 30 yards out. Luiz spends half a minute or so eyeing up the target before eventually shooting, but his effort ends up sailing straight into the hands of Pickford in the middle of the goal.
37' Moses twists and turns deep down the right wing and skips past Van Aanholt before trying to whip a cross towards Costa, but, under pressure, the wing-back is unable to pick out the striker and ends up firing the ball several yards over the top of the crossbar.
35' What a save by Pickford! Costa holds up the ball on the edge of the penalty area and spins before teeing up Pedro, who is in acres of space inside the penalty area. He has no defenders around him and quickly tries to slot a shot into the bottom left-hand corner of the net, but Pickford saves the effort with an excellent diving stop before the linesman's flag is eventually raised for offside.
33' Moses tries to fire a low cross into the penalty area but has to settle for a corner after being closed down by Van Aanholt. Fabregas steps up and sends the set-piece towards Pedro, but the Spaniard loses out to Kirchhoff before Jordan Pickford fully clears the danger.
31' Costa, who has had to endure a difficult opening half an hour, desperately tries to muscle his way into the Sunderland penalty area from the right wing, but Djilobodji sticks close to the striker and does well to force him into knocking the ball out for a goal-kick.
29' Lovely cross by Alonso! Luiz picks out Alonso with another great lofted pass over to the left flank, where he's in acres of space. The wing-back's first touch is fantastic and allows him to fizz a bouncing pass into the box, but, unfortunately for him, there's nowhere there to meet it.
27' A slight error from Jones almost allows Costa to break into the penalty area and head towards goal, but Januzaj is back there to help out the defender and does well to dispossess the Chelsea striker before he can unleash a shot.
26' Almost a great move by Chelsea! Pedro picks out Alonso well before the latter swings in a great cross from the left flank, but Costa's first-time volley from the penalty spot is wildly hit and ends up flying nearer to the corner flag than the goal.
25' Chance for Januzaj! O'Shea does well to dispossess Costa on the halfway line before kick-starting a great counter-attack. Denayer bursts forward and then picks out Januzaj on the edge of the Chelsea box, but the Belgian is unable to find the top left-hand corner of the net with his curling strike.
23' Chelsea try to hit Sunderland on a swift counter-attack, but it's brought to an end when Defoe fouls Fabregas midway inside the home side's half of the pitch. The Spanish midfielder steps up and whips a cross over to the far post, but, once again, Luiz loses out due to good defending from the hosts.
22' The corner is a dangerous one and almost finds Kone in front of goal, but Courtois is just about able to cut out the danger despite initially spilling the ball under pressure from three Sunderland players.
21' Jason Denayer dispossesses Willian with a strong but fair tackle before kick-starting a quick Sunderland counter-attack. The home side work the ball around well before Fabio Borini tries to pick out Jones inside the box, but Luiz is just about able to poke the ball out for a corner on the right wing.
20' Fabregas swings the resulting set-piece into the heart of the penalty area as he attempts to pick out Luiz again, but this time it's Pickford who thwarts the midfielder with a comfortable catch under very little pressure.
19' Costa is pushed to the ground by John O'Shea and Chelsea are awarded a free-kick midway inside the Sunderland half of the pitch. Fabregas steps up and tries to pick out Luiz with a chip into the penalty area, but Jones beats the Brazilian to the ball and nods it out for a corner.
18' Sunderland try to break away on a quick counter-attack but are unable to do so due to a foul on Defoe by Cahill. The home side win themselves a free-kick and sent it towards Januzaj, but the pass from Kirchhoff is poor and comfortably cut out by the head of Alonso.
17' Patrick van Aanholt rushes down the left flank as he tries to latch on to a lofted pass forward, but he's quickly put under pressure by both Azpilicueta and Victor Moses and ends up losing out to the Spaniard near to the corner flag.
15' Kante cuts inside from the right wing after linking up with Cesc Fabregas and darts towards the edge of the penalty area. He does well to pick out Costa and then tries to pull off a quick one-two with the striker, but the Sunderland back line are wise to the danger and are easily able to deal with it.
13' Pedro picks up the ball in a pocket of space deep down the left wing and quickly curls a low cross into the box, but it fails to find Costa in front of goal and is instead easily dealt with by Lamine Kone on the penalty spot.
12' A sloppy pass from Jan Kirchhoff, who was under very little pressure, gifts possession back to Chelsea. The visitors take advantage of the mistake by pushing forward with purpose, but a poor pass from David Luiz completely misses Alonso and sails out for a goal-kick.
11' Sunderland push forward on a rare foray into the Chelsea half of the pitch before Januzaj wins the home side a throw-in under pressure from Gary Cahill. It's sent short to the Belgian, who then tries to tee up Jones, but the defender's first touch is poor and the ball ends up rolling harmlessly out of play for a Chelsea throw-in.
9' Cesar Azpilicueta pushes into the Sunderland half of the pitch and does well to pick out Diego Costa on the edge of the hosts' box, but his first touch is slightly heavy and allows Djilobodji to boot the ball up to the halfway line.
8' The corner initially fails to trouble the home side before the ball deflects towards N'Golo Kante on the edge of the penalty area, but Defoe does well to dart in front of the Frenchman before forcing him into fouling him.
7' Willian and Papy Djilobodji battle for the ball deep down the right wing before the defender pokes the ball out for a Chelsea throw-in. It's taken quickly and worked over to Pedro over on the opposite flank, where, under pressure, Januzaj clumsily concedes a corner.
5' Jermain Defoe holds up the ball well in the middle of the pitch and spins before picking out Billy Jones over on the right wing. He darts down the flank on a marauding run before slicing a cross-cum-shot into the penalty area, but it's poorly hit and sails wide of the far post.
3' Chelsea start well before Marcos Alonso curls in a cross that Adnan Januzaj deflects out for a corner. It's whipped in towards the near post and almost finds David Luiz, but Sunderland clear the danger before Alonso's follow-up effort from 25 yards out flies comfortably over the top of the crossbar.
1' And we're off! Sunderland get us underway, attacking from left to right.
The two sides are making their way out onto the pitch, with just a few minutes to go until kick-off.
Meanwhile, Chelsea boss Antonio Conte has made two alterations to the team that featured in their last outing, with Nemanja Matic and Eden Hazard - who picked up a slight knock on the weekend - making way for Cesc Fabregas and Willian, respectively.
David Moyes has decided to make four changes to the Sunderland side that started the defeat against Swansea, with John O’Shea, Jan Kirchhoff, Fabio Borini and Adnan Januzaj coming into the starting line-up to replace Sebastian Larsson, Didier Ndong, Steven Pienaar and Victor Anichebe as they switch to three at the back.
Chelsea substitutes: Begovic, Zouma, Ivanovic, Chalobah, Loftus-Cheek, Matic, Batshuayi.
Chelsea XI (3-4-3): Courtois; Azpilicueta, Cahill, Luiz; Moses, Kante, Fabregas, Alonso; Willian, Costa, Pedro.
Sunderland substitutes: Mannone, Love, Honeyman, Asoro, Larsson, Maja, Khazri.
Sunderland XI (3-4-3): Pickford; Kone, Djilobodji, O’Shea; Jones, Denayer, Kirchhoff, Van Aanholt; Borini, Defoe, Januzaj.
There’s just over 15 minutes left to go until kick-off, so let’s have a look at how the two teams will be lining up this evening…
Sunderland were victorious in the last meeting between the two sides back in May, but that is one of only two wins they’ve managed to pick up against Chelsea in the previous 11 league clashes. With the visitors in such good form, the omens are certainly good for the Blues as they aim to continue their best start to a campaign since 2005.
A miserable start to the season for Sunderland was finally brought to an end with a win against Bournemouth at the start of November, and since then the Black Cats have slowly but surely started to show more signs of life. They went on to beat both Hull City and Leicester City over the next three weeks, but they suffered a frustrating setback on the weekend when they lost 3-0 away to fellow strugglers Swansea City.
Diego Costa, currently the league’s top goalscorer alongside Alexis Sanchez, found the back of the net once again in the victory against the Baggies to extend his goalscoring record to 12. The Spain international has been an integral part of Chelsea’s team so far this season, and he will be looking to add to his tally tonight as his side aim to put more distance between themselves and Arsenal.
Chelsea are currently the team to beat in the Premier League, and they head into this evening’s clash three points clear at the top of the table and with a great chance of extending their lead thanks to Arsenal’s loss against Everton last night. The Blues have won their last nine consecutive league games, with West Bromwich Albion the latest to suffer a defeat against Antonio Conte’s in-form side.
Good evening and welcome to our live text commentary of today’s Premier League game between Sunderland and Chelsea at the Stadium of Light.


B. Jones
P. van Aanholt
Marcos Alonso
J. Denayer
P. Djilobodji
N. Kanté
F. Borini
J. Pickford
T. Courtois
V. Moses
J. O'Shea
J. Defoe
Diego Costa
L. Koné
G. Cahill
J. Kirchhoff
David Luiz
A. Januzaj

Additional info

N. Swarbrick
J. Collin
Fourth official
M. Atkinson


Match Stats

Sunderland Chelsea
34 Attacks (Dangerous) 61
5 Corners 5
14 Fouls 10
13 Free Kicks 16
14 Goal Kicks 4
1 Offsides 3
1 Shots (blocked) 0
3 Shots (off target) 9
3 Shots (on target) 6
0 Shots (woodwork) 1
12 Throw Ins 24

Regular Season

# Team MP D P

Stadium of Light

Stadium of Light