The Blues managed to take all three points in a 3-1 victory at Stamford Bridge.
With Jose Mourinho gone, it looks like the players decided to start performing.
All season, the Blues have looked lacklustre and a shadow of their former selves. But, lo and behold, with the Special One out of the exit door, a spark has gone off in the players and they came out today at Stamford Bridge and put on a show.
Ivanovic gave the home side an early lead and they were 2-0 up within 13 minutes, as Pedro put the ball in the back of the net. After half-time, Oscar made it three and despite a reply from Sunderland three minutes later (Borini bagging the goal) it would be Chelsea who came away with all three points.
So, after that result, we take a look at five things we learned from the game:
1. Oscar is still sensational
Although he hasn’t seemed it so far this season, his showing against Sunderland proved that Oscar is still a top player.
He dominated things in a CAM role for Chelsea and Sunderland couldn’t handle him. When the Blues were awarded a penalty, he even stepped up and bagged himself a well-deserved goal.
He continued to test Pantilimon throughout the game with several shots, he pushed Chelsea forward with a number of dribbles, he made key tackles and passes and overall, just shone in the centre of the park. A fantastic display all round from the Brazilian.
If only he had played like this under Mourinho…
2. Is Drogba coming home?
Not so much to do with the actual game but more to do with what was happening off the pitch.
Before the game began, a certain Didier Drogba was spotted sitting in between temporary manager Guus Hiddink and owner Roman Abarmovich. It sparked intense speculation that he could be about to return to Stamford Bridge…but in what role?
Or he could just have been enjoying the game…there’s that too.
3. Pantilimon out and Pickford in?
Pantilimon had a rather average showing against Chelsea and although he did manage to pull off four saves, he did in the end let in three goals and with the club struggling to keep goals out again, could it be time for a change of keeper?
Sunderland fans need not worry about finding a new number 1 in January – they may already have the answer.
Jordan Pickford has been sensational on loan at Preston in the Championship and there is reportedly a ten-day period when the Black Cats can call him back at the beginning of January. Based on his performances for the Lilywhites, it could be an option that they take advantage of.
Maybe Pantilimon should be cut some slack but maybe it’s worth trying Pickford in the Premier League – so far he has looked like a future talent.
4. M’Vila is one of Sunderland’s best
Yann M’Vila is beginning to establish himself as one of Sunderland’s best players.
It was another top showing from him in the centre of the Black Cat’s midfield, despite the Frenchman being on the losing side.
He was arguably better than Fabregas for the home side (although it isn’t too hard to be better than him based on his showings so far this year – he’s had a torrid time) and he was certainly one of Sunderland’s best.
If he keeps it up, Sunderland may have to start worrying about other teams potentially coming and taking him from them.
5. It’s not looking good for Sunderland
It’s still early days yet but it isn’t looking great for Sunderland. There is already a small gap forming between them and safety (five points) and with a tricky next five games, it looks like it might only get worse for them unless they change something and pull off a few surprises.
They play Man City, Liverpool, Aston Villa, Swansea and Tottenham in their next five games. The game against Villa will be a key relegation clash and if they can come out on top in that one, then they could be okay.
They also play City, a game which their fans won’t be looking too forward to, as Sunderland have become something of a bogey team for them. However, Pellegrini’s side will be desperate for the points to try and get to the top of the league.
Liverpool will not be an easy game either and neither will Swansea, who could have a new man in charge by then.
Finally, there is the game against Tottenham and although it isn’t impossible to beat Spurs, again it won’t be an easy task. However, in the world of football anything can happen and they could come away with a few wins. Or a few losses. Only time will tell!