Chelsea make winning start to life after José against Sunderland

New man Hiddink watches from the stands as Stamford Bridge sings Mourinho’s name

Oscar scored Chelsea’s third in their 3-1 win over Sunderland at Stamford Bridge. Photograph: Reuters

Oscar scored Chelsea’s third in their 3-1 win over Sunderland at Stamford Bridge. Photograph: Reuters

 

Chelsea 3 Sunderland 1

Jose Mourinho may have gone but he was far from forgotten as Chelsea marked the end of an era with a 3-1 win over Sunderland.

Guus Hiddink was in the stands having been confirmed as new interim boss but it was Mourinho, axed 48 hours earlier, who still managed to cast his shadow over Stamford Bridge as goals from Branislav Ivanovic, Pedro and Oscar secured a routine victory for the fallen champions.

Mourinho had chosen the morning of the match to reveal he is already looking for his next job, and the home crowd sung the former manager’s name before kick-off, as well as after all three goals.

Instead it was certain players who bore the brunt of the fans’ anger. One held a banner accusing ‘The Three Rats’; Cesc Fabregas, Diego Costa and Eden Hazard, for getting Mourinho sacked while another read ‘you let Jose down’.

Skipper John Terry had claimed player power had not played a part in Thursday’s decision, but Fabregas’ and Costa’s names were booed when they were read out prior to kick-off — Hazard only escaping the ire as he was absent through injury.

Both players also received hostile reactions when they were substituted during the second half.

Meanwhile Hiddink watched on alongside owner Roman Abramovich and former striker Didier Drogba, after his return to the club he led to FA Cup success in 2009 was rubber-stamped shortly before the game.

If Chelsea are to finally kick-start their nightmare season then they could probably not asked for more accommodating opposition than Sunderland, who were so abject they even looked surprised themselves when they pulled a goal back through sub Fabio Borini.

Mourinho’s name was still ringing round the ground when Chelsea opened the scoring through another player under the spotlight for some poor performances this season — Ivanovic was left totally unmarked when he rose to meet Willian’s fifth-minute corner and nodded the ball high into the net.

Seven minutes later Pedro made it two thanks to some more calamitous defending, this time Sebastien Coates failing to deal with Ivanovic’s cross and allowing the Spaniard to sweep the ball home.

Oscar should have made it three when he strolled through the Sunderland defence as if they were not there, only to hammer his shot straight at Costel Pantilimon, before Costa stabbed over from close range and headed another chance wide.

But three minutes after the break Chelsea had their third, Willian chasing Pedro’s ball into the box before being tripped by Pantilimon, with Oscar slotting in the penalty.

Any thoughts that Chelsea’s defensive failings have disappeared overnight were dispelled six minutes later, however.

Younes Kaboul had far too much time and space to head Adam Johnson’s free-kick toward goals and when Thibaut Courtois parried the ball out, it hit Borini who bundled over the line.

Hiddink would have been given further food for thought had Jermain Defoe hit the target rather than the side-netting, and then seen a late effort kept out by a fine reflex save from Courtois.

After a win which was comfortable rather than comprehensive, the hard work of salvaging Chelsea’s season starts now for Hiddink.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
GO BACK
Error Image
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.
Screen Name Selection

Hello

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.