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Barclays Premier League

Stadium of Light (ATT 39,273) 8th December 2012 - Kick off 15:00 Ref: M Halsey

S'land Sunderland vs Chelsea Chelsea

S'land 1

A Johnson (66)

ft

Chelsea 3

F Torres (11, pen 45+3)
J Mata (49)

Fernando Torres nets brace as Chelsea see off Sunderland in Premier League

Last Updated: 08/12/12 10:06pm

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Fernando Torres scored twice as Chelsea warmed up for the Club World Cup with a 3-1 victory over Sunderland at the Stadium of Light.

Rafa Benitez had insisted ahead of kick-off that he had not given up hope of winning the Premier League title and his players responded with a stylish performance as the Blues closed the gap on second-placed Manchester City to four points.

Torres was the star of the show with two goals in the first half, while Juan Mata added a third early in the second half and Adam Johnson's fantastic strike proved to be little more than a consolation for a Sunderland side now in the relegation zone.

Best of the Match

  • Man of the match: Fernando Torres. An excellent early goal lifted Torres' confidence and he calmly added a second from the penalty spot, before playing a crucial role in setting up the third as he shot against the crossbar.
  • Goal of the match: Chelsea broke the deadlock thanks to a flowing move as Eden Hazard latched on to a Victor Moses pass and delivered a clever cross for Torres to turn home in style.
  • Save of the match: Petr Cech pulled off a few excellent saves, including a tremendous late effort when he dived away to turn Connor Wickham's low shot round the post.
  • Moment of the match: Torres letting David Luiz know that he wanted to take the penalty summed up his confidence, and he made no mistake as Chelsea took a commanding two-goal lead on the stroke of half-time.
  • Talking point: Is Fernando Torres on his way back to top form? Can Martin O'Neill lead Sunderland away from relegation trouble?

Chelsea were quickly into their stride and Eden Hazard had a confident penalty appeal waved away before Torres expertly turned home the Belgian's cross with a well-controlled first-time volley after a flowing move in the 11th minute.

Oriol Romeu soon had to go off through injury and Sunderland started to gain a foothold in the match, with Stephane Sessegnon's ferocious long-range effort stinging the palms of Petr Cech and Craig Gardner also lashing an effort wide.

With Gardner and Johnson starting to make an impression, the Blues were forced on to the back foot at times and, although they tried to hit their hosts on the counter, O'Neill's men were beginning to dominate.

However, disaster struck deep into injury time when Sweden international Sebastian Larsson needlessly brought down Ramires in the area and Torres stepped up to stroke home the penalty.

Any hopes of a fightback were dashed within four minutes of the restart when Phil Bardsley miscontrolled a cross and the ball ran to Torres, who was denied a hat-trick by the crossbar.

Sadly for Sunderland, the rebound dropped invitingly for Mata to make it 3-0 and wrap up the victory with 41 minutes still to play.

It could have been four three minutes later when Mata rolled the ball into the path of Moses, who drilled a right-foot effort wide of the far post.

Sunderland responded and England international Johnson embarrassed keeper Cech with a 66th-minute shot he really should have repelled.

Cech had to produce a number of other saves as the Black Cats tried to get back into the game, while Gardner hit the bar at the death.

However, as a crowd of 39,273 left the Stadium of Light, it was those heading south who were wearing the smiles, leaving those closer to home to contemplate a run which now extends to just two Premier League victories in 23 attempts.


SunderlandTeam StatisticsChelsea
1Goals3
01st Half Goals2
5Shots on Target5
4Shots off Target6
3Blocked Shots3
11Corners1
11Fouls16
0Offsides2
1Yellow Cards3
0Red Cards0
79.3Passing Success80.4
20Tackles26
85Tackles Success80.8
45.2Possession54.8
55.7Territorial Advantage44.3
348Total Passes454
32Total Crosses9
163Lost Balls160
41Recoveries63
38.51st Half Poss.61.5
47.82nd Half Poss.52.2

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Matches

Table

Barclays Premier League

Barclays Premier League
Pos Team P Pts
1 Chelsea 16 39
2 Manchester City 17 39
3 Manchester United 17 32
4 West Ham United 17 31
5 Southampton 17 29
6 Arsenal 17 27
7 Tottenham Hotspur 17 27
8 Swansea City 17 25
9 Newcastle United 17 23
10 Liverpool 17 22
11 Everton 17 21
12 Aston Villa 17 20
13 Stoke City 16 19
14 Sunderland 17 19
15 West Bromwich Albion 17 17
16 Queens Park Rangers 17 17
17 Crystal Palace 17 15
18 Burnley 17 15
19 Hull City 17 13
20 Leicester City 17 10

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