Sunderland, in need of a win in their bid to move out of the relegation zone and above Newcastle United into 17th place, were straight onto the front foot, with Sam Allardyce’s men pressing from the off in front of a rampant Stadium of Light crowd. But five days on from officially ending Tottenham Hotspur’s Premier League title bid, Chelsea threatened to do similarly at the bottom end of the table, as Diego Costa silenced the home support with his 12th league goal of the campaign.
The forward was presented with the chance to break the deadlock after Gary Cahill’s pass inadvertently broke into his path, Costa needing no second invitation to open up his body and calmly stroke past the advancing Vito Mannone. It was at risk of going sour for the Black Cats but the outlet of Jermain Defoe up front gave them something to cling on to, whilst Lee Cattermole’s bite in midfield saw the hosts recover their fair share of second balls.
And they got their just rewards prior to the break when Wahbi Khazri struck a goal-of-the-season contender to restore parity. Allardyce has often lamented his side’s inability to keep a clean sheet this season though and their defensive woes got the better of them once again as the tide turned just seconds before half-time, with the scores level all too fleetingly.
Far too many Sunderland players were caught upfield and Chelsea broke with devastating effect in a move which saw Cesar Azpilicueta head into the path of Nemanja Matic, with the midfielder scoring a rare goal to make it 2-1 – only his second of the season in the Premier League.

It was a sucker punch for the hosts, who were in need of rallying by Allardyce at the break. The stadium erupted when Patrick van Aanholt’s fine cut-back cross was met by Fabio Borini, with the former Chelsea forward striking past the despairing Courtois from the edge of the area. It unsettled the Blues and just a minute later, Jermain Defoe, impressive with his movement all game, popped up inside the box to net his 15th Premier League goal of the campaign and put Sunderland on course for a huge victory in their bid for survival. Chelsea tried and failed to get back into the game but Allardyce’s hard-working charges were just too hard to get the better of and their woes were compounded when John Terry was given a second yellow card in stoppage time to cap off a miserable afternoon. With Newcastle failing to beat foot-of-the-table Aston Villa, Sunderland clung on for a huge three points to move out of the bottom three and boost their hopes of securing Premier League survival with just two games left to play. If you see a comment not adhering to rules 1 & 2 please email [email protected] and this comment will be reviewed by a member of the Squawka editorial team. This comment section is here to let football fans talk about football, not to allow people to sell or push products.

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Costa threatened to take the game out of reach and should have done better on two occasions, failing to beat Mannone from central positions before Sunderland made him pay.
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