Sunderland 3 Chelsea 4 match report: Eden Hazard impresses in seven goal thriller

Victory keeps Jose Mourinho's side four points behind Arsenal

stadium of light

Here is the rub for Jose Mourinho. A quite breathtaking display from a player who did not return in time for training when he popped over to France last month, or the kind of defending you would never picture from one of his teams, and certainly not one with genuine aspirations to win the Premier League title.

The Chelsea manager has that to ponder after another night that reminded everyone it is not his Chelsea; a mismatch of flair and failings that will drive the mechanical mind of Mourinho to distraction.

First, to Hazard, who was quite breathtaking in his role on the left-hand side of the visitors’ front three, tucked behind the once again woeful Fernando Torres. That this game should never have reached its final, mad six minute of extra time with one goal separating the seven scored by both teams lay at the Spaniard’s feet and those of the defenders who proved so susceptible at the three set-pieces from which the home side scored.

Hazard created the first for Frank Lampard, scored the following two that moved Chelsea into a 3-2 lead and was a problem Gus Poyet’s side was incapable of solving.

When Phil Bardsley put into his own goal with six minutes remaining, there appeared a modicum of calm for the visitors, one deserved for Hazard at least, but then the same Sunderland player scored for his own side, from a corner, and there was a desperate finish that had Mourinho bouncing around his technical area in disbelief. By then there was precious little control and only some desperate late defending secured a victory that is, as yet, impossible to quantify in terms of its significance.

Sunderland had scored first, after just 14 minutes. Jozy Altidore took a touch with his back to goal, turned John Terry and fired a shot beyond Petr Cech.

Jozy Altidore, left, finished well to give Sunderland an unlikely lead Jozy Altidore, left, finished well to give Sunderland an unlikely lead  

From that point Chelsea took control. Less than three minutes had passed after the goal when a corner ended up on the right side of the Sunderland penalty area, with Hazard. From there he took control of both the ball, and the game, jinking back onto his right foot to cross into the heart of the six yard area before Craig Gardner, his marker, could react. The home defence was similarly caught asleep and Lampard rose unmarked to head in his third Premier League goal in his last three games.

John O'Shea could hardly miss to pull Sunderland level at 2-2 John O'Shea could hardly miss to pull Sunderland level at 2-2  

Chelsea moved effortlessly up a gear. Torres shot over the crossbar from 12 yards after Altidore had failed to clear a Juan Mata free-kick. It did not matter, by the 36th minute Chelsea had their lead and Mourinho flicked out an arm in celebration.

This time Hazard did it all on his own, collecting the ball on the touchline, he moved effortlessly before rifling his low drive into the bottom corner of Vito Mannone’s goal.

Hazard receives a yellow card for his topless celebration Hazard receives a yellow card for his topless celebration  

Sunderland somehow dragged themselves back into the game. A scuffed right wing corner from Emanuele Giaccherini seemed to be touched by Bardsley and then missed by Wes Brown as it went past three defenders in blue shirts. Gary Cahill, who was supposed to be marking John O’Shea lost concentration and he struck a low shot past Cech.

In the 57th minute there was another warning for the home side. They were simply ill equipped to deal with Hazard. Five minutes later he played a one-two with Lampard, took a return pass, and showed Torres how to finish, smashing a right foot shot past Mannone.

Phil Bardsley looks down after scoring past his own goalkeeper Phil Bardsley looks down after scoring past his own goalkeeper  

Substitute Demba Ba’s low cross, in the 84th minute, was struck into his own goal by Bardsley. Incredibly the defender lost his marker, Ba, from a home corner less than two minutes later to hit Sunderland’s third.

Man of the match Hazard.

Match rating 7/10.

Referee P Dowd (Staffs).

Attendance 40,652.

Suggested Topics
Life and Style
Steve Shaw shows Kate how to get wet behind the ears and how to align her neck
healthSteven Shaw - the 'Buddha of Breaststroke' - applies Alexander Technique to the watery sport
Arts and Entertainment
The sight of a bucking bronco in the shape of a pink penis was too much for Hollywood actor and gay rights supporter Martin Sheen, prompting him to boycott a scene in the TV series Grace and Frankie
tv
Sport
footballShirt then goes on sale on Gumtree
Voices
Terry Sue-Patt as Benny in the BBC children’s soap ‘Grange Hill’
voicesGrace Dent on Grange Hill and Terry Sue-Patt
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Performers drink tea at the Glastonbury festival in 2010
music
Arts and Entertainment
Twin Peaks stars Joan Chen, Michael Ontkean, Kyle Maclachlan and Piper Laurie
tvName confirmed for third series
Sport
Cameron Jerome
footballCanaries beat Boro to gain promotion to the Premier League
Arts and Entertainment
art
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine