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Match Report: Chelsea 1 – Sunderland 0

We battled to a narrow 1-0 win over a feisty Sunderland with Frank Lampard scoring the only goal.

Andre Villas-Boas made one change from the side that beat Portsmouth as Florent Malouda dropped to the bench with Oriol Romeu making his seventh Premier League start.

Sunderland were quicker off the mark than us as Stephane Sessegnon beat Ashley Cole zipping the ball across goal, but Jose Bosingwa was able to clear the ball before James McClean could find the net.

We had the lead with just over 10 minutes played. Bosingwa’s right-wing cross was met with a fantastic scissor-kick at the far-post by Fernando Torres which cannoned back off the cross bar into the feet of Frank Lampard and past Simon Mignolet.

Following the goal, Sunderland struggled to leave their own half whilst we retained much possession of the ball in the midfield.A Mata long range free-kick on the half-hour mark got Mignolet diving across the face of goal but it looked to have been going wide anyway.

Sunderland managed to get themselves into the contest a little more, but their best chance was spurned as Bendtner got on the end of Sessegnon pass before shooting just past the far post.

With six minutes to go until half-time Torres went close once again this time from outside the area striking low towards the left-post, but it whistled past the woodwork.

The first half petered out as an injury to Matthew Kilgallon stopped play for several minutes, whilst he was replaced by Michael Turner.

The second-half started similar to the first as Sessegnon tried his luck with a half-volley, however it was fairly comfortable for Cech, and soon after, Torres went close again himself, firing into the side-netting from a tight-angle.

With the first 45 minutes having little in the way of drama, the match appeared to be coming to life after the break with several incidents in a matter of minutes.

First, Mignolet almost gifted Chelsea a second as the goalkeeper dropped Cole’s low cross into the path of Ramires, but he failed to anticipate the mistake and the ball bounced off his leg and away.

Then, both sides had a penalty shout each, and both could easily have been given, as Torres went down after being caught by John O’Shea as he broke into the area, then straight down at the other end Bendtner found himself lying on the floor after Ashley Cole barged into him from behind to cut out Sessegnon’s cross.

The best chance for Sunderland was just after the hour as Seb Larsson ran down the right-wing before sliding a ball towards the back-post for McClean, but the 22-year-old was caught by surprise and put his effort wide from five yards out.

Torres soon had another penalty claim as he squeezed between Larsson and Phil Bardsley before going down but much to the despair of Stamford Bridge Phil Dowd pointed for a Sunderland free-kick and then booked Torres for diving.

For Chelsea fans there was a standing ovation as in the last 20 minutes Michael Essien came on for Frank Lampard making his first appearance since being injured in May.

Nerves jangled around the Bridge when Craig Gardner might have secured a point in the dying moments as Sessegnon found him across the goal but he shot wide from close-range as did Bendtner when one-on-one with Cech.

Our next Premier League fixture takes us away to Norwich on the 21st January

Gill Reeves – CSG disabled rep.

Stats from the BBC website:

Chelsea

• 01 Cech
• 03 Cole
• 04 David Luiz – yellow card
• 17 Bosingwa
• 26 Terry
• 06 Romeu
• 07 Ramires
• 08 Lampard (Essien 73)
• 16 Meireles – yellow card
• 09 Torres – yellow card
• 10 Mata (Malouda 85)

Substitutes

• 22 Turnbull,
• 27 Hutchinson,
• 34 Bertrand,
• 05 Essien,
• 15 Malouda,
• 18 Lukaku,
• 23 Sturridge

Sunderland

• 22 Mignolet
• 02 Bardsley
• 11 Richardson (Wickham 80)
• 12 Kilgallon (Turner 45+1)
• 16 O’Shea
• 06 Cattermole – yellow card
• 07 Larsson
• 15 Vaughan (Gardner 69)
• 23 McClean
• 28 Sessegnon
• 52 Bendtner

Substitutes

• 20 Westwood,
• 04 Turner,
• 08 Gardner,
• 18 Meyler,
• 27 Elmohamady,
• 10 Wickham,
• 17 Ji Dong-Won

Ref: Dowd

Att: 41,696

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