Full-time: Sunderland 0-1 Chelsea

Cesc Fabregas
  • Chelsea open up a six-point gap atop of the Premier League after sealing their 10th successive top-flight victory in a bottom vs top clash at the Stadium of Light
  • Antonio Conte's side, missing Eden Hazard due to a knock sustained in Sunday's win over West Brom, dominate the first half and lead at half-time after Cesc Fabregas curls a low shot into the bottom corner after exchanging passes with Willian
  • Sunderland show plenty of endeavour but lack the quality necessary to find an equaliser to lift them back off the foot of the table
  • The Black Cats, four points adrift of safety, almost equalise in stoppage time only for Thibaut Courtois to deny Patrick van Aanholt with a fantastic save
  • Also: Middlesbrough 0-3 Liverpool, Crystal Palace 1-2 Manchester United

That is all for this particular blog, but be sure to stay with IBTimes UK for reaction from all of tonight's big Premier League matches.

We will be back on Saturday to bring you live coverage of that London derby between Crystal Palace and Chelsea in addition to a teatime clash between West Brom and Manchester United.

Until then, goodnight.


That fantastic last-gasp stop from Courtois helps to seal Chelsea's 10th consecutive top-flight victory. Conte's in-form side now boast a six-point lead over nearest challengers Liverpool, who cruised to a comfortable 3-0 win at Middlesbrough tonight, and Arsenal. Next up is a Saturday lunchtime visit to London rivals Crystal Palace.

Thibaut Courtois
Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

As for struggling Sunderland, they remain rooted to the foot of the table and four points adrift of safety. With preciously little money to spend in January, it is clear that Moyes has his work cut out to keep them from dropping back to the Championship for the first time since 2007.

The Black Cats host Watford next before travelling to Old Trafford on Boxing Day.



Sunderland 0-1 Chelsea


What a crucial save!

Larsson's free-kick is flicked on towards Defoe, who chests the ball down nicely for Van Aanholt.

The Dutch full-back then takes a touch to shake off Chalobah and uncorks a strike that is beaten away superbly by Courtois.


Moses unceremoniously upends Van Aanholt to give Sunderland another chance to put the ball into the box. He is booked and then quickly replaced by the out of favour Branislav Ivanovic.


Azpilicueta does well to turn a deep Love cross behind and Courtois holds a goal-bound Denayer header.

Three minutes of added time for Sunderland to find an equaliser.


Costa lofts a lovely pass into the path of Fabregas, who shows his tiredness by scuffing a poor shot wide.

Nathaniel Chalobah jogs on in place of Willian as the clock ticks down towards the end of 90 minutes.


Willian shoots straight down Pickford's throat after being picked out by a sharp low pass into feet from Fabregas.

The highly-rated Sunderland goalkeeper then demonstrates impeccable timing to thwart the run of Costa with a strong right hand after the latter fights off the attentions of Kone.

Jordan Pickford


Luiz gives away a free-kick in a decent position wide on the Sunderland left after going through the back of Borini, whose first outing since August ends after 82 minutes as he makes way for Wahbi Khazri.

Instead of trying to test Chelsea's defence with a deep cross, the Black Cats opt to work it short and the chance is utterly wasted. Moyes will be furious.

David Moyes
Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images


Defoe shows great persistence to keep Sunderland in possession but Larsson's low cross is easily cut out by Kante. Chelsea look to launch a swift counter but a long ball towards Costa bounces off his back and into the path of the defender.

Moyes looks to be preparing his third and final change.


Love tries to swing in a cross from the right but it is far too close to Courtois and the towering goalkeeper collects without any issue.

Chelsea head down the other end and look to put the game to bed, only for a spot of miscommunication between Matic and Willian to bring their latest attack to a screeching halt.


After a poor finish from Fabregas, Conte opts to make his first substitution of the evening.

Matic comes on in place of Pedro to shore up that Chelsea midfield for the final 15 minutes or so.

Antonio Conte


Pedro blazes over for Chelsea and Borini is booked for tugging back Kante.

Luiz, still sporting a heavily strapped left knee following that terrible challenge by Aguero, looks sluggish as Defoe nips in front of him to direct a Van Aanholt cross wide. He could easily have given away a penalty there.


Kante bursts through Kone and lets fly with a low effort that is saved by Pickford.

Sunderland counter and win a corner through Januzaj, but fail to test Courtois.


Costa works the ball out wide to Alonso and peels off the back off O'Shea. However, Pickford crucially intervenes before he can steer home the return pass.


Will the majority go home disappointed?



Willian collects a trademark long pass from eccentric compatriot Luiz, cuts inside Djilobodji and drills a low shot wide of the far post.


Moses drops his shoulder and cuts inside Van Aanholt. He then beats Larsson for pace before dragging an effort just wide of Pickford's left-hand post.


Sunderland are forced to make a second switch in quick succession. Jones picks up a knock and is replaced by the brilliantly named Donald Love.


Moyes withdraws Kirchhoff and sends on Larsson with his first change of the game.

Defoe berates Borini after the Italian, teed up nicely by Jones, shoots well over the top.


Kone again gets the better of Costa, just doing enough to ensure that he cannot make contact with a right-wing cross from Moses. That was a little bit more contentious.

Pedro picks up a yellow card for kicking the ball away.


An eventful couple of minutes for Costa. The powerful striker sees a low shot parried by Pickford before he is prevented from notching his 13th goal of the season after being outmuscled by Kone.

The Ivorian defender did appear to lean into Costa there, but it was never a penalty.



Willian shows great speed from a static position and his shot is deflected onto the woodwork by a Djilobodji deflection.

Chelsea keep the attack alive and Moses tricks Kirchhoff on the edge of the box before producing a rather tame low drive that is easy for Pickford to gather.


Having had their tails up, Sunderland are fired a warning shot as Victor Moses picks up possession and rifles an impressive effort narrowly wide. Pickford was left scrambling on that occasion.

After Chelsea's next attacking move breaks down, Swarbrick pulls play back to read Jones the riot act following a late challenge on Pedro. No yellow card, though.