Chelsea were knocked out of the Capital One Cup by the Black Cats of Sunderland. Jose Mourinho’s side had only themselves to blame after failing to take advantage of their possession.
Just as in many other disappointing matches for the Blues this season, the London club controlled the run of play for the majority of the game. And just like so many other times, the Chelsea were unable to put the ball in the net. The only goal the side had to show for their efforts came from the foot of an opposing player.
After a torrid first half, Chelsea found themselves fortunate when Lee Cattermole toe-poked a ball in the six-yard box into his own net. Goal-line technology was needed to confirm the goal when Cattermole and Lampard both slid into a brilliant cross from Azpilecueta.
Once in the lead, Mourinho’s squad should have been looking to close out an inferior opponent. However, the manager was once again let down by his attacking core. After Eto’o and Willian failed to make impressions, they were replaced by Ba and Hazard. Unfortunately for Mourinho, his attempts to change the game were ineffective.
Every time Chelsea looked as though they were beginning to build something, the play would fizzle out. As it grew later and later in the match, the Blues looked as if they wouldn’t score even if they had all day. Sunderland were allowed to stay in the game until a late strike from Fabio Borini forced the match into additional time.
Sunderland looked a different side after returning for extra-time. They barraged the Chelsea defense, forcing goalkeeper Schwarzer to make a handful of brilliant saves. However, he was helpless to keep out Sunderland midfielder Ki’s decisive goal, which came with only two minutes remaining in added time.
Sunderland, now through to the semi-finals of the competition, still remain at the very bottom of the Premier League. Manager Gus Poyet is confident that this victory will help his side grow in confidence as they attempt to mount a second-half season push to avoid relegation.
For Chelsea and Jose Mourinho, the loss comes with the additional damage of playing an extra thirty minutes of football. The club have an important match this weekend against league-leaders Arsenal and will need every ounce of energy to overcome the Gunners.
Mourinho’s frustrations look far from over as he continues to look for a game-winning scorer within his ranks. With January only a sniff away, the club could be ready to drop a large sum to try and transfer in an answer to their problems.