After drawing with Manchester City on Wednesday, it was hard to imagine things getting any better for Sunderland this week as they headed to London to play Chelsea. As it turns out, though, things got a whole lot better as they shockingly beat Chelsea 2-1 at Stamford Bridge. A Fabio Borini penalty gave them the vital goal which secured them a crucial win in their attempts to survive in the Premier League.
The loss ended Jose Mourinho‘s impressive home record as Chelsea manager. Mourinho had never lost a home game in either of his stints as Chelsea boss until today. The loss of that record in inconsequential, really, as the huge dent it puts in Chelsea’s title bid is the real damage that was done. In reality, Chelsea, just like Manchester City, only have themselves to blame for a poor result this week.
Sunderland can play well, and they deserve credit for doing so, but they can only do so much. If Chelsea play at their maximum, then they beat Sunderland and their title bid continues at the same pace. But if you are not at your peak, and the perceived weaker opposition is, then it levels the playing field somewhat. You run the risk of dropping points, and that is exactly what happened to Chelsea.
Now, they must beat Liverpool in their next game at Anfield — there is no way around that. Even then, Chelsea would still be left hoping for Liverpool to drop points in another game too, just as City are right now — it’s their own fault, both of them. You cannot, at such a crucial time, be dropping points at home to teams at the bottom of the league.
Even though it is the Premier League and it does throw up shock results, you cannot allow it to be you who is the victim of that. How come Liverpool are not the team going through these surprise losses? Why aren’t they dropping points to relegation teams? Although, Liverpool do travel away to play Norwich City on Sunday, another relegation threatened team. It couldn’t, could it? Again?
It’s unlikely. Although, as everybody knows, anything can happen in the Premier League and it would be uncharacteristic if the twists and turns were to end now. Certainly City, and now Chelsea, will be praying that is the case.