Chelsea didn't do much during the first 45 minutes today, but opened the scoring almost as soon as the second half got underway. Frank Lampard (or possibly Lee Cattermole) bundled home an excellent cross from a right back*, and all of a sudden things looked sunny at the Stadium of Light.
*This really happened, I swear
The goal immediately brought the game to life, and Chelsea created several excellent chances in relatively short order. Unfortunately, the Blues continued their recent trend of not taking their chances. Fabio Borini made them pay in the late stages of the game, and the game went to extra time.
Extra time was pretty open, with both Chelsea and Sunderland having good chances to score. Sunderland managed to finish one with just minutes left to go, and the Blues crashed out of the League Cup. Here are a few thoughts on the game, along with the standard community rating form:
- For all the talk of the importance of this competition, the fact that we didn't see any of Juan Mata, Eden Hazard, Oscar, Petr Cech, Branislav Ivanovic, Ramires, or John Terry in the starting lineup is telling. Jose Mourinho is clearly putting the Premier League in front of a smaller cup in terms of importance, something that's nice to see following the actions of the last guy.
- The first half was coma-inducing. It's been a while since I've seen 45 minutes of Chelsea football that was so uninspired going forward. That said, Sunderland didn't really create anything either, and that counts for something.
- The second half featured some very good football from Chelsea. They absolutely should have put the tie to bed.
- Extra time was awful.
- If one of Kevin De Bruyne or Juan Mata is on the pitch, there is just no reason for anyone else to be taking free kicks.
- Speaking of De Bruyne, it was nice of Borini to assure he got an extra 30 minutes on the pitch.
- The Michael Essien yellow card was his fifth of the season, meaning he'll now be suspended for the Arsenal game on Monday.
- The amount of corners and goal kicks incorrectly given was just inexcusable. It's probably a good thing Hawkeye technology was being used, because I'd guess they'd have blown that decision as well.
- Cesar Azpilicueta's injury is worrisome, hopefully he was just pulled for precautionary reasons. Keep your fingers crossed...
- Congratulations to Gus Poyet. Good luck in the semis.
- Jack Wilshere charged by the FA, could miss Chelsea game
- Gael Kakuta would like to leave Chelsea
- Italian sources claim Fredy Guarin to Chelsea deal is done
- Chelsea have bid for Inter midfielder Fredy Guarin, hoping to complete signing soon
- Sunderland vs. Chelsea, League Cup: Squad News, TV & Streaming Information, Preview