The sound bites prior to this game was enormous. Will the Black Cats purr on Chelsea’s fine streak? Will the Blues take advantage of slip-ups? The teams were ready for battle and the venue was the Stadium of Light. Despite Chelsea edging the tie and extending their consecutive winning streak to 10, credit most go to Sunderland for their involvement in restricting the scoreline and providing a test for us. Here are three talking points in the game:
CHELSEA SHOW MATURITY IN TOUGH CIRCUMSTANCES:
By and large, this was the sort of fixture Chelsea would have drawn in previous seasons after the tough treatments they had endured at the North East. The Black Cats harried, hurried, exhibited tough-tackling, shoving and man-marking tactics to knock us off our stride. They possibly did all they could do to make the game a physically and mentally tight contest. On another day, the treatment faced by the Chelsea players would have either provoked revenge or a bad tempered game. The players kept their cool, played and focused on their game. Ultimately, their maturity in handling diversity in the right way with three valuable points to our good is to be hailed. Solid performance and credit to Conte and the players.
CHELSEA TAKE THEIR CHANCE:
The dividing line between winners and losers is the ability to create and take their chances. Winners do so while losers don’t. The same applied to Sunderland and Chelsea. The Black Cats extraordinary tactics of keeping us at bay with a defensive approach was fatal to their fortunes. With just a neat one-two pass exchange between Willian and Fabregas, and a cool finish from the latter was all that was needed to win the game. This is also worthy to point out that Sunderland didn’t mange an effort on goal in the first 45 minutes which is testament to their season so far. For Chelsea, all eyes are fixed on the prize as our quest for title glory continues.
THAT THIBAUT COURTOIS SAVE AT THE DEATH:
How many times do we get to see a goalkeeper have much influence on a game? That’s exactly what the Chelsea No1 did against Sunderland. Just with a clean dive, he saved his team two valuable points as he palmed away Patrick van Aanholt drive just at the death of the game. What a world-class save and if Chelsea go on to win the league, then this will surely be one of the moments that contributed to their success.
Let’s keep the Blue flag flying high. Cheers!