Sunderland 1-3 Chelsea: Christmas comes early!

Tonight Chelsea put on a show of dominance of possession football that the Premier League will stand up and take notice. Besides Darren Bent...

Tonight Chelsea put on a show of dominance of possession football that the Premier League will stand up and take notice. Besides Darren Bent seizing on another deflection that comes straight to his feet to slot home, tonight was all about Chelsea and our new "Christmas Tree" formation. Carlo Ancelotti made 4 changes to the side that took to the field to face Hull on Saturday with Ivanovic coming in for Carvalho, Deco and Ballack in for Malouda and Mikel and Kalou in for Anelka.

Carlo deployed a new Christmas Tree formation which saw us line up in a 4-3-2-1 formation with three in midfield of Lampard, Essien and Ballack, with Deco and Kalou playing just in behind Drogba as the lone striker and my god did it work.
Deco had a field day and is most people's man of the match. He was outstanding but to be honest so was every single other Chelsea player apart from Cech who had nothing and I mean nothing to do.

Bosingwa and Cole were excellent at getting forward down the flanks. Terry and Ivanovic saw to it that Bent and Jones up front hardly got a sniff at all. Lampard and Ballack were getting on the ball so much more and Essien was moping up and coming to get the ball off the back four to feed the likes of Lampard and Ballack.
Deco was an inspiration tonight and hardly put a foot wrong all game, Kalou was busy as always and they supported Drogba who was unlucky not to score from a header over the bar from Six Yards from a Ballack flick on and then heading over once more as Cole fired in a cross from the left and under pressure, Didier headed into the ground and over the bar.

But this was pure class tonight, make no mistake. Our control of the ball and passing was superb. We look a different class from Sunderland and thats no disrespect to them at all. Even Sunderland manager Steve Bruce said after the game:

"Sometimes you just have to admit that you have been beaten by a very, very good team. There's no disgrace in that.

"We tried our utmost, they gave everything they could give and in the end, we just couldn't cope with Chelsea.

"That is what we aspire to. That's why they win Premier League titles and challenge for the Champions League - a class act. They were frightening weren't they?"

If you get a chance on Chelsea TV or Football First on Sky to watch the game in full then I suggest you do. Its an exhibition of passing and keeping possession of the ball. But, the only downside to our play in the first half was it took until the 37th minute for Ballack to have our first real shot on target when a half cleared corner fell to him 10 yards out and on the volley he fired towards goal only for it to be cleared off the line by Cattermoles knee!

But as I said we went behind to a freak deflected goal once more. Bent fired the ball into Jones on the edge of the box who spun and shot towards goal. Terry blocked his shot and the ball deflected wide to the Chelsea right for Bent to run onto, having just come off the touchline and he took a touch and drilled it into the bottom corner and made it 1-0.

Being very honest this was their only chance in the game and he took it well. But, we continued to dominate the game but come half time we went in 1-0. So out we came for the second half, no changes and we started pretty much from where we left off. Corner after corner came in from either side and it was in the 51st minute when a slightly miss-hit corner from Lampard found Ivanovic's run to the near post, he ducked low and flicked the ball on throught the mass of bodies in and around the box, Ballack 6 yards out at the back post spun on a sixpence and guided the ball home left footed into the bottom corner underneath Lee Cattermole and to be honest he could of stopped it.

Once the goal went in you felt as though there would only be one winner and we took the lead in the 61st minute when the ball was played into Drogba's feet right corner of the penalty box and he spun around one defender and carried the ball into the box with some nifty footwork, he then drew the challenge from the defender as he flicked the ball past him, defender sticks his leg out Drogba goes over (genuine) and its a stick-on penalty which ever reliable Lampard steps up and slams it into the bottom right corner, Fulop in the Sunderland goal dives the right way but its past him before he can get near it and Chelsea are 2-1 up!.

On 70 mins or so the icing on the cake as far as Chelsea are concerened. Again some great inter-play between our midfield and Bosingwa on the right comes to Deco just outside right hand side of their box, he takes a touch away from goal and sets himself, he is now right corner of the box and he strikes the ball back across goal, Drogba gets out of the way and its past him like a flash, onto the far post and off the post into the opposite corner. Great strike, keeper no chance and we are 3-1 and the game is over.

Sturridge, Malouda and Shevchenko come on over the next 15 mins for Deco, Drogba and Kalou and a couple of half chances for Sturridge, one wide and one saved by Fulop see the game out and its a great 3 points for Chelsea.

This really was Deco's best game in a Chelsea shirt, like the rest of the players he was hungry for the ball to move it quickly and play in another blue shirt and lets hope there is plenty more of the same from him as the season progresses. Carlo Ancelotti said about him:

"He doesn't want to change and we don't want to change.

"He is working very well now, he is very motivated to stay and play. This is a very important season for him before the World Cup and he played very well.

"You have to maintain control of the game and we have done that in those three matches. Even when we were behind, we were in control."

This was a great result for Chelsea and a fantastic performance. Let's take the confidence from this game onto the weekend and hope for more of the same at the Cottage!

KTBFFH & Carefree everyone!

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