Chelsea's title hopes hit by Sunderland defeat

Sat Apr 19, 2014 4:04pm EDT
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By Josh Reich

LONDON (Reuters) - Chelsea's title ambitions suffered a major blow with a shock 2-1 home defeat by bottom side Sunderland on Saturday, handing the initiative to Premier League leaders Liverpool who visit lowly Norwich City on Sunday.

It was manager Jose Mourinho's first league defeat at Stamford Bridge in 78 matches, with the winner coming from a cooly converted penalty by former Chelsea player Fabio Borini, who is on loan at Sunderland from the Merseyside club.

The Italian forward tucked home the spot kick in the 82nd minute after Chelsea defender Cesar Azpilicueta brought down Jozy Altidore. Sunderland's Connor Wickham had equalised in the 18th minute to cancel out Samuel Eto'o's early opener.

The defeat left Chelsea in second spot on 75 points from 35 games with three matches left, two points behind Liverpool who have played 34 before their visit to Carrow Road.

Third-placed Manchester City have 71 points from 33 games before they host struggling West Browmich Albion on Monday.

Sunderland, who drew at Manchester City in midweek, stay bottom with 29 points, one behind Fulham and Cardiff City with a game in hand, and three off Norwich who are just above the relegation zone in 17th.


"Congratulations to my players, because they gave what they have and what they don't have," Mourinho, whose unbeaten home record stretched over his two spells at Chelsea, told Sky Sports in a post-match interview that he cut short.   Continued...

Chelsea's John Terry (L) challenges Sunderland's Jozy Altidore during their English Premier League soccer match at Stamford Bridge in London, April 19, 2014. REUTERS/Philip Brown