Let us remember, briefly, at happened on a shockingly wet day in London when, before Chelsea vs Sunderland, Monsieur Salut ducked the rain by taking a black taxi driven by a man claiming to the capital’s oldest cabbie. As bad as the weather was, the day was to get a lot worse. To the extent of 7-2.
Then fast forward 10 months to the same fixture of the next season. Chalk and cheese. We played our hearts out and walked on air all the way home (though in my case I was already there, watching on TV, having missed out on a ticket).
Which will we see tomorrow night?
Now for the recap:
‘Appreciate,’ gloated the lippy teenager in blue as she walked past the Sunderland end on the way back to her front-row seat after a wander into the concourse nearly stopped her seeing the fourth goal.
And yes, Chelsea were very, very good. But how good did they actually need to be to sweep aside the feeblest back four and midfield display I have seen in a long time? Which half-decent Premier side would not have found us a doddle today?
No return to the glories of 2001, when Don Hutchison and Kevin Phillips led the way in a super-effective performance that saw us win 4-2.
By the time Chelsea went one up, before eight minutes had been clocked up, they could have scored twice. Our defending was woeful even by comparison with all the other woeful defensive displays on the road this season.
And from The Observer, then a regular enough slot and for once contributed by Monsieur Salut instead of Sixer:
In case Steve Bruce didn’t catch it, the chant from the away end at 6-1 was ‘we want our money back’. I’ve known embarrassment as a Sunderland supporter, but barring the consolation goals this was utter humiliation. If Bruce doesn’t learn from it, we are back in a relegation scrap. Our midfield and back four were feeble. Chelsea did everything they wanted on every inch of the pitch. The only reason we got two and they didn’t get nine was that Chelsea probably got bored.
Fulop 5; Bardsley 5, Cana 5, Da Silva 5, McCartney 5; Malbranque 6 (Zenden ht 6), Henderson 5, Meyler 5, Murphy 4 (Campbell 72 5); Bent 5, Jones 4
Right. How many of you skipped the bad news in search of the good? Quite understood. Here is what I wrote after that breathtaking 3-0 win at Stamford Bridge in November of the same year:
Let Salut! Sunderland proudly salute as fine an away performance as most of those associated with the club will have witnessed.
In short, Sunderland were magnificent. And let no one say we beat Chelsea 3-0, after 17 attempts on their goal, because the champions were below par, below strength or unlucky.
Gordon, Onuaha, Bardsley, Turner, Bramble, Richardson, Cattermole, Henderson, Zenden, Welbeck, Gyan. Manager: Steve Bruce. In that order or any other you choose. Sheer magic.
An inspired first-half performance, in which Zirkov’s excellent run but poor finish and a deflected Drogba free kick were the only threats to Gordon’s goal, brought utterly just rewards with a late goal – and some goal it was – from Nedum Onuoha.
The on-loan fullback skipped past three Chelsea players to beat Cech in style. Sky TV commentary suggested he scuffed his shot slightly, but scuffed shots do not come much more refined than Onuoha’s cool finish.
What is more, the goal came after Gyan and Welbeck, constant threats to the suspect Chelsea defence, had missed great opportunities to open our scoring. Cech made one superb save from a powerful Welbeck header, and another one from a Richardson shot immediately before the goal. But the other near things were clear cases of chances missed.
I said at half time that whatever happens in the second half – which Chelsea incredibly started with 11 men, Ivanovic having survived a clear red card call after cynically holding back Welbeck who otherwise had a clear run on goal – this was a first-half display for any Sunderland fan to be proud of.
And amid more great football from Sunderland early in the second half Gyan doubled the lead, a brilliant build-up with Jordan Henderson making the final pass.
Then I said “Keep going Lads” – and they did. A gift from Ashley Cole enabled Welbeck to grab a totally deserved goal for himself.
Sunderland supporters live for days such as this.
And this is from my piece at ESPN after this week’s 2-2- draw at Man City:
Poyet’s own self-respect has to make him want to summon superhuman powers of motivation. Until relegation is mathematically conclusive, he needs to drag every scrap of effort and passion from his team.
He can start by digging out a video recording of a recent Chelsea vs Sunderland Premier game. Not the 7-2 home win in January 2010 that might well have been 12-2, but the same fixture of the following season just 10 months later. Without top scorer Darren Bent, given no hope by pundits, Sunderland waltzed to a 3-0 victory, easily the best result of Steve Bruce’s short managerial reign.
And when Poyet has finished drumming into his squad how that game was won, he can produce more recent footage of the 2-1 League Cup win in December, on Sunderland’s road to Wembley.
Ha’way the Lads. Give us a Nov 2010 performance, not a Jan 2010 one. An April 2014 Etihad display, not the White Hart Lane one …
The Chelsea “Who are You?” at https://safc.blog/2014/04/chelsea-vs-safc-who-are-you-falldown-torres-liverpools-media-love-in-and-gus/
Salut! Sunderland: Any thoughts on links between our clubs? Porterfield, Poyet of course, Flo?
Flasher Walker in the League Cup Semi Final 2nd leg, 1985, but he has completed his rehabilitation, and has served his debt to society. If I remember correctly, he was played onside by the police horse on the pitch for the third goal.