Belfast Telegraph

Audacious Sturridge gives Blues win

Daniel Sturridge produced an outrageous finish to kill off Sunderland as Chelsea cruised to a 2-1 victory on Wearside.

The striker deftly back-heeled a 51st-minute shot past advancing goalkeeper Simon Mignolet to double the lead skipper John Terry had given the visitors before the break.

Black Cats debutant Nicklas Bendtner had gone close with a 12th-minute header, but it was substitute Ji Dong-won who claimed a stoppage-time consolation strike with his first goal for the club.

While Bendtner made his first appearance for the Black Cats, Nicolas Anelka and Sturridge lined up in attack for the visitors, for whom Raul Meireles made his debut.

Juan Mata and full-back Ashley Cole exploited space down the left with Meireles and Frank Lampard prompting from the middle.

The opening goal arrived with 18 minutes gone, although Lee Cattermole was unhappy with Anelka's reaction to his challenge 20 yards out. Mata curled the free-kick over the wall and saw it come back off the post with keeper Mignolet beaten. The ball eventually found Terry beyond the far post and after his shot was blocked Phil Bardsley could only help his follow-up into the roof of the net.

Anelka and Ramires both went close as Mignolet and Wes Brown blocked the Frenchman.

Stephane Sessegnon forced Petr Cech to beat away a well-struck shot at his near post and Sebastian Larsson mistimed a header from Kieran Richardson's injury-time cross.

Meireles' ball over the top allowed Sturridge to run away from Brown and as Mignolet came to meet him, he audaciously back-heeled his shot past him and into the bottom corner.

With 25 minutes to play Branislav Ivanovic made a mess of clearing Jack Colback's left-wing cross and the ball fell to Bendtner, but Terry blocked. Ji side-footed home at the death to give the home side some reward for their efforts.


From Belfast Telegraph