Five Reasons to Expect a Thriller from Sunderland vs Chelsea

In the midst of the relegation battle, Chelsea's visit on Saturday promises to be a memorable one -

by Michael_Peters Thursday, 05 May 2016 08:08 PM Comments
In the midst of the relegation battle, Chelsea's visit on Saturday promises to be a memorable one - hopefully for the right reasons! We look back at five other visits of the Blues that have lived long in the memory.

March 1992: Sunderland 2-1 Chelsea
One of the most famous nights in Roker's history. John Byrne had nicked a draw for Sunderland at the Bridge, and we brought Chelsea back to Roker for a replay. Peter Davenport put us in front early on, and Tony Norman performed heroically to keep Chelsea at bay until Dennis Wise finally broke through to equalise, breaking Wearside hearts. Sunderland were down for the count, and the Blues looked set to go on to win it in extra time - until Gordon Armstrong headed home from a corner, sparking one of the loudest roars Roker has ever heard. It was matched seconds before the end, when John Kay showed Vinnie Jones what a real hard man can do.

December 1999: Sunderland 4-1 Chelsea
After a 4-0 defeat in London on the opening day, Chelsea were keen to inflict similar damage on Peter Reid's side on home turf. They weren't counting on one of the finest performances ever seen on the Stadium of Light pitch. Chelsea fancied themselves title contenders, but it only took 45 seconds for Niall Quinn to slot home the opener. Phillips added a second with a world-class chip, and the strike partners grabbed another goal each before half-time. It could have been more but for some fantastic saves by Ed de Goey, and even a late consolation by future Sunderland boss Gus Poyet couldn't do anything to dampen spirits that day.

May 2009: Sunderland 2-3 Chelsea
Sunderland came into this game with a small but very real possibility of relegation, if both Hull and Newcastle won their games. A loud roar in the middle of the first half was not for a Sunderland goal, but for Aston Villa, who had taken the lead against the Mags. The game was played out in a bizarre atmosphere, with home fans' attention often on games elsewhere rather than the action in front of them, but Anelka's curling opener was still cancelled out by Kieran Richardson after a Petr Cech mistake. Kalou and Cole put Chelsea back in front before an Andy Reid consolation, but none on Wearside cared after the news filtered through that Aston Villa had won, and Newcastle were relegated.

December 2013: Sunderland 3-4 Chelsea
A thrilling end-to-end game marked by an unthinkable occurrence: Jozy Altidore scored a goal. It was a good finish, too, the American bustling John Terry out of the way to finish from ten yards. Frank Lampard equalised three minutes later with a close-range header, and the Blues went in front through a fine finish from Eden Hazard, but Sunderland were back level when O'Shea poked home inside the six yard box. Hazard, who dominated the game, put Chelsea 3-2 up with another fine finish, but there would still be time for a bit of comedy. Phil Bardsley blasted the ball into his own net to increase Chelsea's advantage, and made up for it two minutes later by scoring at the right end, but despite a frantic finish, there would be no equaliser.

December 2013: Sunderland 2-1 Chelsea
Thirteen days later, Chelsea were back in the north-east for a League Cup quarter-final. Jose Mourinho's side took control of the match but scored in fortunate circumstances, Lampard's effort turned in by Lee Cattermole for an own goal, and the first goal in England to be awarded by goal-line technology. Despite their dominance, Chelsea couldn't kill off the game, and Fabio Borini punished them two minutes from time, squeezing the ball into the net from a tight angle with Mark Schwarzer stranded. Sunderland took control of the extra time period, and although the veteran Australian keeper saved fantastically from Ki's header, he couldn't prevent the South Korean's driven effort sending us into the semi-finals.