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