Updated: Jul 12
We don't expect much from our visits to Stamford Bridge apart from a pie, a good hiding and a sizeable dent in our finances, and statistically it's not looking too promising for us. Chelsea haven't conceded a goal in their last nine league games at home and they've also beaten us in our last eleven encounters. So, what have we got to lose? Bent and Mensah are definitely out but Turner played very well against Spurs and if Titus puts in his usual shift, we've got a chance of avoiding the embarrassment of our last two visits. Chelsea's front-line of Anelka, Malouda and Drogba doesn't bear thinking about really but thankfully they won't have Essien and probably Lampard. We've done well in our last two games and have had a bit of luck for a change and I think we can emerge from this afternoon's encounter without disgrace at any rate. It looks like we may start 4-4-2 and I've a feeling we can get a goal, which will be an achievement in itself, but I can't see us getting a point. Match prediction: 1-2.
Wow, who'd have thunk it? Certainly not me. This was the most joyous game I've attended for many years and those around me were similarly amazed and delighted.
Apart from a fifteen minute spell in the first half when Chelsea put together some decent attacks, we dominated this match and were well worth our 3-0 victory. The whole team were great but perhaps Henderson caught the eye most as he bossed the midfield. I just hope he's not doing the same for some other fat cat club in a couple of months' time. Having watched Ricky Villa's Wembley goal on the big screen at White Hart Lane the other day Onuaha's brilliant solo effort just before the break brought back memories of it as he received the ball on the edge of the box and went by two or three defenders before slotting it home. It was the perfect time to score. At the break I chatted to a German guy who wanted me to explain what the chant, “Red and white army!” meant and then I stuck up for Zenden during a discussion with the guy at the next urinal.
As the second-half began it wasn't a case of us hanging on, as we took up where we'd left off. Seven minutes in we were 2-0 up and it came following a great break down the left as Henderson put it through for Gyan to run onto and knock past the advancing Cech. Our lot went berserk and as Gyan and his team-mates danced on the touch-line, I was dancing along too – it wasn't a pretty sight but I was way beyond caring. From then on in I couldn't see us losing it as Chelsea didn't look capable of making a comeback like Man United did yesterday. If anything we looked more likely to get another and a gentleman behind me summed up my thoughts by announcing, “We're takin' the piss, man!” Our third duly arrived three minutes before full time. We were pressurizing down the right and Cole made the basic error of not putting enough power into his back-pass which was intercepted by Welbeck and knocked into the back of the net. Welbeck played a blinder and I thought he was good on Tuesday too.
Chelsea had a bad day and their shooting was poor as were a lot of their passes, which too frequently went out for throw-ins to us, but that's not to take a thing away from our own efforts. I was at the game with a couple of my students from Ukraine and one of them asked me why we didn't play like that at Spurs the other night. I didn't know the answer to that but what's to stop us trying to play the same in future? With the exception of Everton, we've now played all of the sides who finished in the top ten last season and we've more than held our own. We're in the top six and things are looking and feeling very good indeed. We've all been through many bad moments as Sunderland fans but this was an occasion to treasure always. Rejoice!