Sunderland became the first team this season to stop Chelsea scoring as they earned a deserved 0-0 draw. Gus Poyet’s team frustrated and tested the Premier League leaders with a display of discipline and organisation.
Chelsea could not find a way through the Black Cats defense, the closest they came a first-half drive from Willian which struck the post. Santiago Vergini clipped the bar for the home side, who missed chances late on to take the three points. The result was a shock for those who expected Jose Mourinho’s Blues to continue their seemingly relentless surge towards the Premier League title.
Chelsea – whose 5-0 Champions League hammering of Schalke on Tuesday was described by their manager as “perfection” – have made the second best start in Premier League history, while Diego Costa’s total of 11 league goals is just one fewer than the entire Sunderland squad.
But Mourinho’s men – who are now unbeaten in 20 matches across all competitions – have not found it easy against Sunderland in recent times.
The Black Cats are the last team to beat Chelsea in a league game – Sunderland’s 2-1 win at Stamford Bridge in April began a run of 13 points from a possible 15 which completed their great escape and kept them in the Premier League. They also beat Chelsea in the Capital One Cup last term.
Fast forward to this season and no club has been involved in more Premier League stalemates than Sunderland – Poyet’s side drawing eight of their 13 games so far – so perhaps, on that basis, the result should not come as too much of a surprise. It was a deserved result too for the home side, who showed a great deal of patience and skill to first frustrate Chelsea and then, as the match wore on, to cause their illustrious opponents problems. In the end, they might feel they deserved more than just a point.