Premier League

Chelsea 3-1 Sunderland

By Phil McNultyChief football writer at Stamford Bridge
The win for Chelsea ended a run of successive Premier League defeats

Chelsea may have started the post-Jose Mourinho era with a comfortable victory against Sunderland - but the shadow of the former manager hung heavily over Stamford Bridge.

The Blues' fans delivered almost unanimous backing for Mourinho, with banners all around Stamford Bridge declaring support, while Diego Costa and Cesc Fabregas were jeered before and during the game by supporters who clearly believe they have been central to the sacked manager's downfall.

Branislav Ivanovic's towering fifth-minute header put Chelsea on the way and victory was effectively confirmed against the struggling Black Cats when Pedro pounced on a loose ball before half-time.

Guus Hiddink, confirmed as Chelsea boss until the end of the season hours before the game, watched from the stands alongside former Chelsea striker Didier Drogba and club owner Roman Abramovich as Oscar added a third from the spot after Costel Pantilimon fouled Willian.

Fabio Borini pulled one back for Sunderland when he bundled in from close range, but this day was so much about Mourinho.

Relive the action from Stamford Bridge

Results and reaction from Saturday's other Premier League matches.

Chelsea fans displayed banners showing their support for Jose Mourinho at Stamford Bridge during the game against Sunderland

Mourinho wins backing from The Bridge

It was clear before kick-off that Chelsea's fans were pointing the finger of blame firmly in the direction of under-performing players for Mourinho's dismissal on Thursday.

Banners were unfurled emblazoned with the words "You Let Jose Down. You Let Us Down" and "The Three Rats - Hazard, Cesc and Costa".

Chelsea's players were also on the receiving end of x-rated chants collectively when each goal Chelsea scored was instantly greeted with chants for Mourinho.

The Portuguese may have gone - but he has not been forgotten.

As well as banners thanking Jose Mourinho, Chelsea fans also chanted his name throughout the game

Chelsea revived

Chelsea were on the floor before this game as they stood only one point off the relegation places in 16th position. And while a very poor Sunderland helped them to their feet, there certainly seemed to be a great freedom to the champions' play.

Oscar, cheered by Chelsea's fans, was his usual self but there was a zip about their early play that suggested a pressure valve had been released by the managerial change.

Chelsea's fans directed a colourful chant in the players' direction asking where they, and the performance they had produced against Sunderland, had been this season.

Guus Hiddink, who has replaced Jose Mourinho until the end of the season, watched the game alongside former Chelsea striker Didier Drogba and club owner Roman Abramovich

Any hope for Sunderland?

Sunderland manager Sam Allardyce is an expert at keeping teams in the Premier League but he has his work cut out at The Stadium Of Light.

The Black Cats have no pace at the back if he persists with Sebastian Coates, Younes Kaboul and John O'Shea, while Jack Rodwell's promise has been stripped away by injuries and Jermain Defoe's best goalscoring days are way behind him.

Allardyce will need some fast work in the markets in January because he currently represents Sunderland's best, perhaps only, hope of staying up.

Man of the match - Oscar

Oscar was one of Chelsea's key players, scoring one goal and having five shots on target in total

What they said

Chelsea are still fragile - Holland

Chelsea first team coach Steve Holland: "I am happy with the result but it is raw. I feel the way I feel.

"The first half they played well in general. The early goal gave the players a boost of confidence, but the team is still fragile to an extent. They are used to setbacks in recent weeks so we wobbled a bit in the second half. In the end I thought they saw the game out fairly comfortably."

Sunderland boss Sam Allardyce: "We looked frightened of going out to play. We didn't get to grips in midfield and we didn't go up against them. We picked a team to put them under pressure but we didn't really do that.

Sunderland looked scared - Allardyce

"When we gave them the first goal early it lifted the whole stadium. Right from the start we made life very difficult for ourselves. I was happy to get in at half-time just 2-0 down. The worrying thing for me is that again the personnel haven't carried out instructions and again I have had to change things.

"It's not what you want to do but you have to react and for a time we were a little better, but then we did the most stupid thing of all which was to give them a penalty."

The stats you need to know

  • Branislav Ivanovic scored his first Premier League goal for Chelsea since February 2015.
  • Chelsea scored more goals in this game (3) than they did in their final five Premier League games under Jose Mourinho (2).
  • Sunderland have picked up just five points in their last 11 Premier League away games (W1 D2 L8).
  • The Black Cats have conceded the most goals (33) and have allowed their opponents the most shots on target (106) in the Premier League this season.

What next?

Chelsea host Watford on Boxing Day while Sunderland travel to Manchester City on the same day.

Jose Mourinho
Jose Mourinho, sacked on Thursday, watched the Championship game between Brighton and Middlesbrough on Saturday
Chelsea players rushed to celebrate with Pedro after he scored the Blues' second goal



Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 13Courtois
  • 2Ivanovic
  • 5Zouma
  • 26Terry
  • 28Azpilicueta
  • 4FàbregasSubstituted forMikelat 71'minutes
  • 21MaticBooked at 88mins
  • 22Willian
  • 8OscarSubstituted forSantos do Nascimentoat 82'minutes
  • 17Pedro
  • 19Diego CostaSubstituted forRemyat 76'minutes


  • 1Begovic
  • 6Baba
  • 7Santos do Nascimento
  • 12Mikel
  • 14Traore
  • 18Remy
  • 24Cahill


Formation 5-3-2

  • 1PantilimonBooked at 48mins
  • 2Jones
  • 22CoatesSubstituted forJohnsonat 23'minutes
  • 16O'SheaBooked at 89mins
  • 15Kaboul
  • 3van Aanholt
  • 20ToivonenSubstituted forBoriniat 45'minutes
  • 21M'Vila
  • 8RodwellBooked at 62mins
  • 41WatmoreSubstituted forGrahamat 79'minutes
  • 18Defoe


  • 9Borini
  • 11Johnson
  • 14Gomez Garcia-Penche
  • 19Graham
  • 24Yedlin
  • 25Mannone
  • 26Fletcher
Roger East

Match Stats

Home TeamChelseaAway TeamSunderland
Shots on Target

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Chelsea 3, Sunderland 1.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Chelsea 3, Sunderland 1.

  3. Post update

    Foul by César Azpilicueta (Chelsea).

  4. Post update

    Danny Graham (Sunderland) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  5. Post update

    John Obi Mikel (Chelsea) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  6. Post update

    Foul by Jack Rodwell (Sunderland).

  7. Post update

    Attempt saved. Willian (Chelsea) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top left corner.

  8. Booking

    John O'Shea (Sunderland) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  9. Post update

    Ramires (Chelsea) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  10. Post update

    Foul by John O'Shea (Sunderland).

  11. Booking

    Nemanja Matic (Chelsea) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  12. Post update

    Foul by Nemanja Matic (Chelsea).

  13. Post update

    Fabio Borini (Sunderland) wins a free kick on the left wing.

  14. Post update

    Attempt saved. Jermain Defoe (Sunderland) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Billy Jones.

  15. Post update

    Offside, Sunderland. Fabio Borini tries a through ball, but Jermain Defoe is caught offside.

  16. Post update

    Attempt missed. Pedro (Chelsea) right footed shot from the centre of the box is too high. Assisted by Willian.

  17. Post update

    Foul by Branislav Ivanovic (Chelsea).

  18. Post update

    Fabio Borini (Sunderland) wins a free kick on the left wing.

  19. Substitution

    Substitution, Chelsea. Ramires replaces Oscar.

  20. Post update

    Corner, Sunderland. Conceded by Branislav Ivanovic.