Category Archives: Shock Results

Shock Results: Cardiff City 3-2 Manchester City (August 2013)

Goalscorers: Edin Dzeko 51, Aron Gunnarsson 59, Fraizer Campbell 78, 86, Alvaro Negredo 90

Teams:

Cardiff City: David Marshall, Ben Turner, Steven Caulker, Andrew Taylor, Matthew Connolly, Kim Bo-Kyung (Jordon Mutch 90), Gary Medel, Aron Gunnarsson, Peter Whittingham, Fraizer Campbell (Andreas Cornelius 90), Craig Bellamy (Don Cowie 83)

Manchester City: Joe Hart, Joleon Lescott, Javi Garcia, Gael Clichy, Pablo Zabaleta, Fernandinho (James Milner 77), Yaya Toure, David Silva, Jesus Navas (Samir Nasri 55), Sergio Aguero, Edin Dzeko (Alvaro Negredo 69)

Referee: Lee Probert, Attendance: 27,068

This was Cardiff City’s first home game in the Premier League and it couldn’t have been much harder than against a highly-fancied Manchester City side. Manuel Pellegrini was the new manager of the Citizens’ and he started brilliantly with a convincing 4-0 win over Newcastle United. This though was a lesson for the Chilean that English football was not going to be a walk in the park.

Cardiff might have lost 2-0 on the opening weekend away to West Ham United but they were determined to put in a performance than would send the fans home happy. They did more than that. The hosts started full of energy and running and controlled the first 30 minutes. However, they struggled to trouble England number one goalkeeper Joe Hart. Peter Whittingham’s free-kick which flew wide was the closest they came to opening the scoring.

The visitors’ started to test the home defence and nearly went into the interval leading. Only last-gasp defending from Ben Turner stopped Yaya Toure from scoring. They did strike though in the early moments of the second half. 30 yards out, Edin Dzeko tried his luck and the Bosnian’s shot drove past a helpless David Marshall.

Pellegrini’s side had wrestled control but they only held onto their lead for just eight minutes. Cardiff dug deep and got a bit of fortune with their equaliser. Hart saved well from Fraizer Campbell but the rebound fell nicely to Icelandic international Aron Gunnarsson who scored the club’s first-ever Premier League goal.

The home supporters went mad for this moment but even better would follow. With 12 minutes left to play, the upset was on. Whittingham delivered a dangerous corner into the heart of the Manchester City penalty area. Hart failed to show his commanding presence and Campbell was in the right place to score from close-range. It might have come off his shoulder but he didn’t care and nor did the fans inside the Cardiff City Stadium.

Pellegrini was missing skipper Vincent Kompany from this game because of injury. Spaniard Javi Garcia had been deployed as a makeshift central defender and it is fair to say he struggled to cope in the new position. Ex-Manchester United youngster Campbell put in the best performance of his Premier League career. He added his second three minutes from time, heading home following a corner with the visiting defence once more flat-footed. Cardiff’s first win in the top-flight of English football since 1962 was secured.

Substitute Alvaro Negredo did pull a goal back in the dying moments but no-one could deny Cardiff victory. In the final reckoning, Manchester City became champions and Cardiff were relegated but on this day, this was another example that no Premier League match has ever been decided on paper.

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Shock Results: Arsenal 1-2 Watford (January 2017)

Goalscorers: Younes Kaboul 10, Troy Deeney 13, Alex Iwobi 58

Teams:

Arsenal: Petr Cech, Nacho Monreal, Laurent Koscielny, Shkodran Mustafi, Gabriel, Francis Coquelin (Lucas Perez 67), Aaron Ramsey (Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain 20), Alex Iwobi, Mesut Ozil, Olivier Giroud (Theo Walcott 45), Alexis Sanchez

Watford: Heurelho Gomes, Daryl Janmaat, Craig Cathcart, Miguel Britos, Younes Kaboul, Sebastian Prodl, Tom Cleverley, Valon Behrami (Abdoulaye Doucoure 63), Etienne Capoue, Troy Deeney (Stefano Okaka 85), M’Baye Niang (Isaac Success 70)

Referee: Andre Marriner, Attendance: 60,035

At the end of January 2017, Arsenal were still holding onto faint title hopes when Watford came calling to the Emirates Stadium. Nine days earlier, the Gunners’ had beaten Burnley in dramatic circumstances due to a late penalty from the inspirational Alexis Sanchez. They were second in the table and looked to be the only side who might give Chelsea a few headaches in the closing months.

By contrast, Watford’s form was wretched ahead of this London derby. Walter Mazzarri’s side had just been dumped out of the FA Cup by League One outfit Millwall and were on a seven-game winless streak in the Premier League that stretched back to a 3-2 win over Everton in mid-December. As far as home bankers went before kick-off, you would have got long odds on a Hornets’ win in this midweek match.

However, they made a stunning start, catching Arsenal completely cold. The home side put in a shambolic first half display and were brutally punished for their slack opening. Only 10 minutes had elapsed when they went a goal behind. Former Tottenham Hotspur defender Younes Kaboul tried his luck from distance. The centre-back’s strike took a deflection off Aaron Ramsey and the ball flew past a stranded Petr Cech.

Three minutes later and Watford incredibly doubled their lead. Frenchman Etienne Capoue ghosted through an Arsenal backline that seemed happily content to allow him to try his luck. Cech denied him but the ball fell perfectly to the Watford skipper Troy Deeney. He couldn’t miss from just a few yards out and the scoreline was 2-0 to the visitors. It could have got worse. Only Cech’s acrobatics stopped Sebastian Prodl from making it 3-0. Arsenal failed to have a single shot on target in the first half. Manager Arsene Wenger, who was serving a touchline ban and watching in the stands, seemed absolutely powerless.

As expected, Arsenal improved in the second half. They had to and hard work from Sanchez in the 57th minute allowed Nigerian Alex Iwobi to halve the deficit. Arsenal went onto half four more shots on target but none of them burst Heurelho Gomes’ net. The closest they came was through substitute Lucas Perez, who struck the woodwork in the closing moments. It was a frustrating evening for the home faithful.

Watford’s first win in the top-flight at Arsenal’s home since 1988 was a special night in a tricky season which would end with another change in management come the season’s conclusion. This result saw Arsenal drop nine points off the pace and began a calamitous run of form that not only buried any outside title hopes but would ultimately cost them a place in the top-four finishing positions for the first time in Wenger’s reign. Wenger told the BBC afterwards: “It was obvious we lost duels and were not sharp enough. It looked more mentally that we were not ready for the challenges.”

This however was a night that belonged to Watford for their ruthless finishing in one of the biggest shocks of the 2016-2017 season.

Shock Results: Derby County 1-0 Newcastle United (September 2007)

Goalscorer: Kenny Miller 39

Teams:

Derby County: Stephen Bywater, Dean Leacock, Andy Griffin, Claude Davis, Tyrone Mears, Stephen Pearson, Matt Oakley, Eddie Lewis (Jay McEveley 87), Gary Teale, Kenny Miller (Benny Feilhaber 80), Steve Howard

Newcastle United: Steve Harper, David Rozenhal, Steven Taylor (Habib Beye 75), Claudio Cacapa, Geremi (Abdoulaye Faye 60), Charles N’Zogbia, Nicky Butt, Alan Smith, James Milner, Shola Ameobi, Michael Owen (Obafemi Martins 55)

Referee: Peter Walton, Attendance: 33,016

Derby County’s promotion to the Premier League for the 2007-2008 season was slightly unexpected and early results suggested this. The Rams’ had already lost 4-0 at Tottenham Hotspur, been beaten 6-0 by Liverpool FC and were due to face a rampant Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium days later. They were already propping up the division but were looking to get their first win of the season against inconsistent Newcastle United.

Newcastle began the evening as favourites to head back to Tyneside with all three points as Sam Allardyce began to settle down into his new management role. His side never really got going though and Derby started well. Roared on by a vocal crowd inside Pride Park, they put together some swift passing moves to start with but were let down by a casual approach inside the visitors’ penalty area. This was totally understandable considering they’d only scored three goals from their first five matches.

Newcastle produced the best moment of the opening 20 minutes. James Milner broke clear after a Derby corner broke down. He found Michael Owen, who rounded goalkeeper Stephen Bywater but made the angle too difficult to try his luck. The England forward held his nerve and crossed the ball instead to defender David Rozenhal, whose effort whistled wide of the post. Owen wouldn’t complete the first half. He went off with a tight groin muscle and as soon as he departed, the Magpies attacking threat diminished.

In truth, the game was largely forgettable. There was plenty of grit and spirit from both sides but the final ball and finish was very poor. However, Derby took their chance six minutes before half-time. Bywater’s clearance was allowed to bounce by Newcastle defenders. Kenny Miller seized his opportunity and struck a dipping effort that flew past Steve Harper and into the net.

Derby could have extended their lead after the interval. Steve Howard had two headed chances but couldn’t find the target with either effort. However, Newcastle’s threat was sporadic and the home side held on for a fantastic and worthy victory. Afterwards, manager Billy Davies said: “I’m delighted with the players and they can take a lot of confidence from this victory.”

Derby failed to win another match in the Premier League all season. Davies was sacked at the end of November and Paul Jewell had no chance whatsoever to rescue the sinking ship. The Rams’ leaked 89 goals; they scored only 20 and amassed a grand total of just 11 points. They remain the worst-ever team to have played in the Premier League.

Newcastle finished just seven points clear of the drop zone in 12th spot but did finish the campaign with fans’ favourite Kevin Keegan back in charge after Allardyce was dismissed in January 2008. This will always remain one of Newcastle’s most embarrassing results. They were the only side in the 2007-2008 Premier League season to be beaten by Derby County.

Shock Results: Arsenal 0-3 Coventry City (August 1993)

Goalscorers: Mick Quinn 34 PEN, 62, 65

Teams:

Arsenal: David Seaman, Lee Dixon, Andy Linighan, Tony Adams, Nigel Winterburn, Paul Davis, John Jensen, Paul Merson (Eddie McGoldrick 67), Anders Limpar (Martin Keown 73), Ian Wright, Kevin Campbell

Coventry City: Jonathan Gould, Phil Babb, Peter Atherton, Tony Sheridan, Stewart Robson (Steve Morgan 10), David Rennie, Sean Flynn, Roy Wegerle, John Williams, Mick Quinn, Peter Ndlovu

Referee: Alan Wilkie, Attendance: 33,016

Optimism was high at Arsenal ahead of the start of the 1993-1994 season. The Gunners’ might have finished a distant 10th in the first Premier League campaign but were the reigning holders of both the FA Cup and League Cup. Manager George Graham had won the league championship twice before so expectations of a title tilt were well-considered.

Although beaten via a penalty shootout in the curtain-raising Charity Shield against Manchester United, Arsenal had performed very well. They were expected to brush aside a Coventry City side that had been beaten in both head-to-head encounters the previous season without scoring. Coventry were among the favourites with the bookies’ to be relegated but they also loved to prove the punters wrong and they did so spectacularly on the opening day at Highbury.

Arsenal started brightly but if there was one criticism of Graham’s management, it was he had a perfect Plan A, but no back-up solution if his side got into trouble. Within 10 minutes, they had slipped back into their comfort zone. David Seaman was the playmaker with long punts up the park towards Ian Wright and Kevin Campbell. However, David Rennie and Phil Babb had a comfortable afternoon, dealing with anything the Gunners’ frontline had to offer.

In Mick Quinn, Coventry had an unpredictable presence upfront but someone who knew where the back of the net was. He put the Sky Blues’ infront on 34 minutes from the penalty spot and from that moment on, Bobby Gould’s side were always in control. Only the injected pace of Anders Limpar gave them the odd concern. When he was replaced by defender Martin Keown in the 73rd minute, you knew that Graham simply had no clue with what to do.

Arsenal had been linked seriously with the England international Andy Sinton who was destined to leave Queens Park Rangers. On this evidence, Sinton made the right call to join Sheffield Wednesday instead because this brand of football would have simply bypassed him. Quinn, nicknamed “Sumo,” doubled his tally on 62 minutes, firing a shot into the top corner after the tricky Roy Wegerle had bamboozled Tony Adams with his skill and flair. Three minutes later, almost a carbon-copy move occurred with Wegerle the provider and Quinn producing the perfect finish. The ball went through Seaman’s defences. Graham said afterwards: “Football is about more than ability. It is about application and it’s about winners. Coventry seemed to have more desire than us.”

Arsenal bounced back from this opening day setback to finish fourth and beat Italian giants Parma to win the European Cup Winners’ Cup in Gothenburg. Gould resigned from his Coventry position two months later but ex-Liverpool FC defender Phil Neal comfortably steered them to a top-half finish. This was a day where underestimating the opposition was the fable. Arsenal did and paid a heavy price.

Shock Results: Manchester United 1-3 Fulham (October 2003)

Goalscorers: Lee Clark 3, Diego Forlan 45, Steed Malbranque 66, Junichi Inamoto 79

Teams:

Manchester United: Tim Howard, Gary Neville, Mikael Silvestre (Quinton Fortune 45), Rio Ferdinand, John O’Shea, Eric Djemba-Djemba (David Bellion 80), Nicky Butt, Cristiano Ronaldo (Paul Scholes 69), Ryan Giggs, Ruud van Nistelrooy, Diego Forlan

Fulham: Edwin van der Sar, Moritz Volz, Jerome Bonnnissel (Martin Djetou 74), Zat Knight, Alain Goma, Lee Clark, Mark Pembridge (Junichi Inamoto 32), Sylvain Legwinski, Steed Malbranque, Louis Saha, Luis Boa Morte (Barry Hayles 86)

Referee: Mike Riley, Attendance: 67,727

Manchester United would have gone top of the Premier League table in October 2003 but they were given a rude awakening by Fulham at Old Trafford. They were on a high following a midweek UEFA Champions League success against Rangers but Chris Coleman’s team had other ideas.

Fulham took control very early on and got the lead through a defensive mistake. Mikael Silvestre conceded possession and the lively Steed Malbranque steered a low cross into the box. The experienced Lee Clark was at the right place at the right time to convert at the near post.

It was no fluke. The Cottagers’ showed no fear for the occasion and they could have extended their lead before half-time. American stopper Tim Howard had to deny the in-form Louis Saha, who would become a Manchester United player three months later. Then, Mark Pembridge, a deadline day signing from Everton smashed an effort against the crossbar.

There was little Sir Alex Ferguson could do to influence matters. He was confined to the directors’ box. An earlier misconduct incident in the season at Newcastle United meant he was serving a touchline ban. His side did find their feet and slightly undeservedly, equalised right on the stroke of half-time. Diego Forlan’s fine finish across the bows of Edwin van der Sar levelled the scores. It was the much-maligned Uruguayan’s first goal of the season.

If Ferguson was dishing out the “hairdryer” treatment during the 15-minute pause, the players were not listening. Fulham kept plugging away and they never lost belief in their abilities to pull off a shock result. Midway through the second half, they got their lead back. An opportunist strike from Malbranque saw Fulham on their way to a first victory at Old Trafford in over 30 years. The Frenchman punished a slack header from Rio Ferdinand.

United were reeling and although they responded with a John O’Shea header that whistled wide of Van der Sar’s goal, it was Fulham who deservedly struck again in the 79th minute. Popular midfielder Junichi Inamoto produced a spectacular finish from six-yards out to send Fulham fans into delirium.

This moved them upto fifth in the table and they had a fine season, despite losing Saha to Manchester United in the January transfer window. A ninth-place finish was an excellent reward in Coleman’s first full season in club management. Manchester United did spend Christmas on top of the table but ended a disappointing third and 12 points behind unbeaten Arsenal.

Shock Results: Middlesbrough 4-1 Leeds United (August 1992)

Goalscorers: Paul Wilkinson 7, 8, Tommy Wright 47, John Hendrie 59, Eric Cantona 68

Teams:

Middlesbrough: Ian Ironside, Chris Morris, Alan Kernaghan, Jimmy Phillips, Derek Whyte, Tommy Wright, Andy Peake, John Hendrie, Paul Wilkinson (Robbie Mustoe (45), Willie Falconer, Bernie Slaven (Jamie Pollock 77)

Leeds United: John Lukic, Jon Newsome (Gordon Strachan 45), Chris Fairclough, Tony Dorigo, Chris Whyte, David Batty (Steve Hodge) 76, Gary Speed, Gary McAllister, Lee Chapman, Eric Cantona, Rod Wallace

Referee: David Allison, Attendance: 18,649

Leeds United were the defending English top-flight champions and they were expected to turn up and produce another skilful and effective display against a newly-promoted team in Middlesbrough. Boro had finished runners-up to Ipswich Town in Division Two the previous term and were expected to struggle. However, they were coming off the back of a Bernie Slaven double that had beaten Manchester City in the midweek round of fixtures.

Leeds had a physical side not afraid of a battle but with the guile of Gary McAllister, finishing qualities of Lee Chapman and French flair in Eric Cantona, they also had the skill to unlock opposition defences. Instead, it was their backline that was made to look very ordinary, especially in the first 10 minutes.

New Middlesbrough signing Tommy Wright found some space out wide in the seventh minute. He delivered an inch-perfect cross and Paul Wilkinson slotted home from six-yards out, neatly getting ahead of his marker Chris Fairclough to open the scoring. That was his second of the season and his third would arrive just 60 seconds later.

Wright again was given bundles of space on the left-wing. Again, his cross was a dream and Wilkinson was once again on the end of it to produce a diving header that left John Lukic helpless. Lennie Lawrence’s side now had a two-goal lead to defend.

Leeds did create chances with Cantona giving the Boro defenders some headaches but even his shooting boots seemed to have been misplaced. Despite losing two-goal hero Wilkinson to an ankle ligament injury before half-time, confidence was at an all-time high within the Middlesbrough dressing room and they increased their lead just moments into the second half.

Jimmy Phillips’ corner was met by the impressive Wright, who deserved a goal for his huge contribution throughout. Lukic left completely flummoxed by the scoreline and the defensive display he was witnessing right infront of him. Was this just a very bad day for the reigning champions?

It got worse. John Hendrie made it 4-0 in the 59th minute. He went on a dribble and as the defenders backed off, encouraging him to shoot, that’s exactly what he did. Again, the finish was clinical and decisive. Cantona did pull a goal back with just over 20 minutes remaining but this was a reality check for Leeds and their manager, Howard Wilkinson. They would go through the entire season without winning a game away from Elland Road.

Afterwards, Lawrence admitted: “That was the most professional performance; I have ever been associated with.”

Relegation did follow at the end of the season but this still remains one of Middlesbrough’s finest 90 minutes in their Premier League life.

Shock Results: Liverpool FC 0-1 Ipswich Town (January 1995)

Goalscorer: Adam Tanner 30

Teams:

Liverpool FC: David James, Rob Jones, Neil Ruddock, Phil Babb, John Scales, Stig-Inge Bjornebye (Mark Walters 56), Steve McManaman, Michael Thomas, Jamie Redknapp, Ian Rush, Robbie Fowler

Ipswich Town: Craig Forrest, John Wark, Frank Yallop, Gavin Johnson, David Linighan, Geraint Williams, Adam Tanner, Steve Sedgley, Adrian Paz, Stuart Slater, Claus Thomsen

Referee: Rodger Gifford, Attendance: 32,733

Few gave Ipswich Town much chance of defeating an ever-improving Liverpool FC side in the early weeks of 1995. In the table, there was a gulfing class between the two teams.  Roy Evans’ side were in the top three in the table whilst Ipswich sat second-bottom and already looked doomed. With top scorer Chris Kiwomya on his way to Arsenal, Ipswich’s plight looked even more desperate.

Liverpool though had failed to beat fellow strugglers Crystal Palace and West Ham United at home earlier in the campaign which did give the Tractor Boys’ supporters a glimmer of hope as they turned up at Anfield. What they wouldn’t have been thrilled about was that the Reds’ were on a run of five matches without conceding a goal.

As expected, the home side started strongly with Steve McManaman’s weaving runs causing problems for the backline and full-back Rob Jones testing Craig Forrest with a couple of early efforts. So, the home support was left stunned by an opening goal from Ipswich in the 30th minute.

A nice passing move involving Geraint Williams and Steve Sedgley started the move. The skipper found Adam Tanner, who killed the ball with a deft first touch and as three defenders approached him, he produced a beautiful curling effort that left David James without a chance. Tanner had been brought into the side over the Christmas period by the new manager George Burley and struck in just his third appearance for the club.

Liverpool FC had to improve in the second half and it was Jones once again who forced Forrest into serious work. He burst into the box but unfortunately, his shot was hit straight at the Canadian international who beat it away to safety.

Ian Rush and Robbie Fowler had a very quiet afternoon as they were well-marshalled by Frank Yallop and the ex-Liverpool FC defender John Wark. McManaman did get into some dangerous positions but even his final ball wasn’t quite up to its usual standards.

Ipswich didn’t have a lot to celebrate during the season. They would finish bottom of the table and consequently were relegated but this was a special result and one of the shocks of the 1994-1995 season. Liverpool’s first defeat since November’s Merseyside derby at Goodison Park all-but-ended any potential surge into the championship picture.

Shock Results: Norwich City 2-0 Manchester United (April 2005)

Goalscorers: Dean Ashton 55, Leon McKenzie 66

Teams:

Norwich City: Robert Green, Thomas Helveg, Craig Fleming, Jason Shackell, Adam Drury, Graham Stuart (David Bentley 45), Youssef Safri, Damien Francis, Darren Huckerby (Andreas Jonson 86), Dean Ashton (Matias Svensson 84), Leon McKenzie

Manchester United: Tim Howard, Gary Neville, Rio Ferdinand, Mikael Silvestre, Gabriel Heinze, Kleberson (Ruud van Nistelrooy 63), Phil Neville, Paul Scholes, Quinton Fortune (Wayne Rooney 45), Alan Smith, Louis Saha (Cristiano Ronaldo 22)

Referee: Howard Webb, Attendance: 25,522

Norwich City went into this match bottom of the Premier League table and seven points adrift of safety. Nigel Worthington’s side hadn’t won in the league since beating West Bromwich Albion 3-2 in early February. It is fair to say that they weren’t given much hope against a Manchester United side that still had a very slender chance of catching runaway league leaders Chelsea.

Those hopes were extinguished in East Anglia on a breezy Saturday evening. Norwich simply needed the points and put in the kind of performance that almost produced a stunning revival in their quest to stay among the elite.

Already aware that Chelsea had dropped points at home to Birmingham City earlier in the day, the Red Devils’ had an opportunity to crank up some late pressure on Jose Mourinho’s side. Their response here was lacklustre to say the least. Sir Alex Ferguson was so furious; he refused to speak to any media outlets after the game, including the club’s own television station. It was the first time since launching in 1998 that MUTV didn’t get a full-time reaction from the boss.

His decision to leave Wayne Rooney, Cristiano Ronaldo and Ruud van Nistelrooy on the bench was an indication that he wasn’t happy before the match. United had only mustered one goal in their previous three outings. They also failed to register in their UEFA Champions League exit at the hands of AC Milan. Ronaldo was on though within 20 minutes as Louis Saha limped out of the contest with a calf injury and Rooney was thrown on at half-time to give Alan Smith some much-needed support in attack.

However, the England striker’s first contribution was not a great one. He fouled Darren Huckerby in the 55th minute and conceded a free-kick. From the resultant delivery, Dean Ashton climbed above everyone else to guide a header past Tim Howard. The Canaries’ had brought on David Bentley at half-time and he had more of a significant impact than Rooney, even if the striker had the visitors’ best effort, forcing Robert Green into a great save shortly after United went behind.

Van Nistelrooy arrived to sharpen things up but even he looked out-of-sorts and on 66 minutes, the game was put beyond Ferguson’s side. Rooney was outmuscled out of possession by the excellent Youssef Safri. He found Ashton who produced the perfect delivery for his strike partner Leon McKenzie to volley home from close range.

Norwich managed to win four of their next six matches but a 6-0 defeat at Fulham on the final day sent the Canaries’ down back to the Championship. Manchester United’s season tailed off dramatically after this display. They were beaten by Everton and Chelsea in the run-in and dropped to third. They then lost the FA Cup final on penalties to Arsenal to complete a trophy less season.

This result didn’t have much consequence ultimately but it was a sweet day for all connected with Norwich City.

Shock Results: Chelsea 0-3 Sunderland (November 2010)

Goalscorers: Nedum Onuoha 45, Asamoah Gyan 52, Danny Welbeck 87

Teams:

Chelsea: Petr Cech, Branislav Ivanovic, Ashley Cole, Jose Boswinga, Paulo Ferreira, Ramires (Josh McEachran 69), John Obi Mikel, Florent Malouda (Salomon Kalou 58), Yuri Zhirkov (Gael Kakuta 75), Didier Drogba, Nicolas Anelka

Sunderland: Craig Gordon, Phil Bardsley, Michael Turner, Kieran Richardson, Nedum Onuoha, Titus Bramble, Lee Cattermole (Cristian Riveros 90), Jordan Henderson, Bolo Zenden, Danny Welbeck (Ahmed Elmohamady 90), Asamoah Gyan (Steed Malbranque 83)

Referee: Chris Foy, Attendance: 41,072

Beginning the game two points clear of Arsenal who had won an earlier kick-off at Goodison Park, Chelsea were expected to increase their lead again against a Sunderland side that just two weeks earlier, had caved in 5-1 in the Tyne & Wear Derby against Newcastle United.

The build-up to the match though was dominated by the mysterious decision by the champions to sack their assistant manager Ray Wilkins. The post-match headlines wrote themselves. The league leaders were outplayed by a brilliant Black Cats’ display. This result remains one of Steve Bruce’s greatest successes in football management.

Chelsea might have been missing John Terry to a back injury and Frank Lampard too but their makeshift central-defence partnership of Paulo Ferreira and Branislav Ivanovic couldn’t cope with the power of Asamoah Gyan and movement of on-loan striker Danny Welbeck.

Just before half-time, Sunderland took a deserved lead with an unbelievable solo goal from an unlikely source. Ivanovic, already lucky to stay on after fouling Welbeck when he was in on goal cleared the ball out to Nedum Onuoha. There didn’t look to be too much on, so the defender went on a mazy run, holding off the attentions of three defenders, before angling his shot past Petr Cech to the crowd’s astonishment. It was the first goal Chelsea had conceded at Stamford Bridge in this Premier League season.

1-0 became 2-0 shortly after the restart. Another free-flowing move involving Welbeck and Jordan Henderson ended with summer signing Gyan being played in to prod home a second goal. The home crowd were shell-shocked and this kind of performance was a sign of things to come for Carlo Ancelotti’s side.

In the closing stages, Ashley Cole’s wayward backpass was intercepted by the excellent Welbeck and he finished the match off in the grand manner. It was Sunderland’s first win in a decade over Chelsea and took Bruce’s team into the top six. This defeat started a dreadful run of one win in nine matches that finished off Chelsea’s title defence and ultimately cost Ancelotti his job at the season’s conclusion.

Sunderland faded to 10th but their travelling supporters will never forget this day where they outclassed the reigning champions on their own patch.