An inspiring Sunderland beat Chelsea and climbed out of the relegation zone in the Barclays Premier League penultimate weekend.
Diego Costa riggled through the Sunderland back line and curled his effort into the far corner.
Wahbi Khazri’s right footed volley was a contender for goal of the season.
Nemanja Matic scored moments before the break leaving Sunderland fearing the worst.
Fabio Borini leveled proceedings and Defoe grabbed the Black Cats all three points within the space of two minutes.
John Terry was sent off in the final few minutes after receiving a second yellow card for a nasty challenge on Khazri.
The Current Table
The Barclays premier league table now makes good reading for all Sunderland fans after securing all three points. Newcastle were held to a goalless draw away to Aston Villa and Norwich were beaten in the early kick off at home to Manchester United. A Sunderland win at home to Everton on Wednesday would ensure their safety.
Efficiency is the word to use when looking for a way to sum up Sunderlands performance. The Black cats converted three of their four shots on target and made good use of the little amount of possession they could have, which is expected against a top side like Chelsea.
Man of the match: Vito Mannone
Yesterdays unsung hero was goalkeeper Vito Mannone. The Italian – who has came under some scrutiny in recent weeks – put the doubters to rest, when he made several game winning saves, the stand out being when Costa looked certain to score only when being denied by Mannone who made himself as big as possible.
There were a few potential man of the match candidates in match winner Defoe, Jan Kirchoff, Borini and Khazri. I conducted a Twitter poll to see who people thought deserved man of the match.
A sell out crowd helped the home side towards the three points yesterday. It was revealed that the noise when Defoe scored Sunderland’s third goal, was the loudest the Stadium of Light has ever seen, and there’s been some special occasions and goals since its opening in 1997.
People will continue to sing Defoe’s praises and rightly so as without him it’s not worth thinking about as to where we would be right now. But the one thing I’ve began to notice since the win against Norwich City, is that this team have a real unity. Yes Jermain Defoe scores goals which is exactly what we expect of him, but each player does their individual jobs to enable the likes of Defoe to have an opportunity to score those goals and most importantly we play like an actual team.
Another pleasing factor was the impact of Wahbi Khazri. I was critical of him prior to the game in my preview, saying he has been ineffective in recent weeks and Sam Allardyce should consider dropping him, but he proved me wrong, and I love being proved wrong when it comes to Sunderland. He scored an excellent goal but not only that, he worked back for the team to do the ugly side of things.
Praise has to be heaped onto Allardyce who changed the formation from 4-3-3 when we were 2-1 down, into a flat 4-4-2 with Borini going upfront to pair with Defoe, Duncan Watmore going onto the right wing, Sebastian Larsson coming on and the experienced John Oshea who came on for Lamine Kone,who seemed to pick up a knock. The changes worked instantly when Borini and Defoe scored two in two minutes.
The job isn’t quite done yet though, it’s important for the team to remain focused on the game in hand against Everton on Wednesday, knowing a win secures safety.
The fans also have another job to do on Wednesday and that’s to get behind the team in the same fashion they did yesterday.
Ha’way the lads!!