Manchester United score two late goals as rivals City are frustrated by Birmingham.
|Sunderland’s Jordan Henderson evades Chelsea’s Mikel in a poor defensive display by the EPL leaders [GALLO/GETTY]|
Chelsea suffered their first home loss in the English Premier League as goals by Nedum Onuoha, Asamoah Gyan and Danny Welbeck gave Sunderland a shock 3-0 victory over the league leaders on Sunday.
The Blues had not conceded a goal at Stamford Bridge all season before their match against the Black Cats, but were left exposed at the back, missing first-choice centre halves Alex and John Terry.
Onuoha scored a memorable goal just before half time when he weaved past three defenders and fired wide of goalkeeper Petr Cech. Sunderland then doubled their lead after 52 minutes when a brilliant move involving Welbeck and Jordan Henderson found record signing Gyan who gave Cech no chance.
Welbeck added the third in the 87th minute after a rare mistake by Ashley Cole who over hit a backpass to Cech, completing one of the most unexpected scorelines of the season.
Chelsea barely threatened Sunderland goalkeeper Craig Gordon in a lame attacking display and now lead the league by just two points from Arsenal, who won 2-1 at Everton earlier.
Closing the gap
It was Chelsea’s third defeat of the season, and second in three matches following a 2-0 loss at Liverpool last Sunday. They sit two points clear at the top of the table on 28 points, with rivals United, who drew 2-2 at Aston Villa on Saturday, third with 25 points.
“Sunderland played with a fantastic spirit and they played better,” Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti told reporters.
“We were not able to play our football for 90 minutes, just for 15 minutes in the first half. It was a strange performance. I thought we were in a good moment, but now we have to come back in the next game.”
After a promising start by Chelsea, who went close through Yuri Zhirkov’s low shot and a fizzing free kick by Didier Drogba that flew just over, Sunderland dominated with surprising ease.
Petr Cech turned Welbeck’s header round the post in the 36th before Kieran Richardson smashed a shot across the face of goal.
Welbeck was then denied by the feet of Cech after being put through by Gyan and the Czech Republic goalkeeper made a fine double save, from Gyan and Richardson, moments before Onuoha opened the scoring.
Saturday November 13
Aston Villa 2-2 Man Utd
Sunday November 14
Everton 1-2 Arsenal
Ivanovic’s poor clearing header fell to the former Manchester City defender 40 yards out and he embarked on a superb solo run, waltzing round two would-be tacklers before slipping a left-foot shot past Cech for his first Sunderland goal.
Gyan took advantage of poor defending in the 52nd to extend the Black Cats’ lead.
A flowing move involving Boudewijn Zenden, Welbeck and Jordan Henderson ended with the latter slipping Gyan in behind Ferreira. The Ghana striker held his nerve as he curled his finish round Cech from the left channel for 2-0.
Sunderland wrapped up the match when Cole’s pass back to Cech from near the left corner flag was intercepted by Welbeck, who guided a low finish past the stranded goalkeeper.
Earlier goals from Bacary Sagna and Cesc Fabregas gave Arsenal a 2-1 win at Everton to move them up to second place.
Fullback Sagna, with only his second goal for Arsenal in more than 140 matches, opened the scoring when he fired past Tim Howard at the near post after 36 minutes. Fabregas added the second goal three minutes into the second half.
Arsenal, who thrashed Everton 6-1 at Goodison Park on the opening day of last season, dominated for much of the game but had to hang on at the end after Tim Cahill scored for Everton in the dying minutes.