The Journal (Luke Edwards)
Sunderland made Chelsea look anything but champions.
Sunderland do not look anything like a bottom-of-the-table Premiership side. They went in front with the run of play, could have regained the lead after Chelsea equalised and then, having stood firm against a second-half onslaught, conceded a second goal because of a vicious deflection.
Sunderland’s football was neat and tidy, as they worked hard to push Chelsea back and then threatened to catch them on the break.
Chelsea had a blistering opening to the second half, only to find Kelvin Davis in wonderful form.
Sunderland deserved better luck, but they stopped relying on the rub of the green a long time ago.
The Times (George Caulkin)
Julio Arca pumped a long pass forward, John Terry made an ineffectual clearance and Liam Lawrence struck an early shot.
Mourinho was unconcerned about Robben’s departure; “I don’t like seeing a yellow card when a player celebrates with the fans,” he said, “but if that’s the rule we have to adapt to it.”
McCarthy’s side had begun ferociously and their attitude did not dim; this was an optimistic afternoon and a spirited performance.
What Sunderland lacked in quality, they made up in sweat and perseverance.
Daily Telegraph (Rob Stewart)
Sunderland had the temerity to take a first-half lead…(Sunderland are) a team whose efforts belied their lowly status.
McCarthy’s team were more than a match for their lofty visitors until Mourinho’s charges were shaken out of their slumber.
Stead set the tone for an exciting game when he tested Petr Cech with a low, angled shot in the third minute. Lawrence raised hopes that Sunderland could give the bookmakers a day to forget; for someone once known as the David Beckham of Field Mill during his Mansfield days, it seemed appropriate.
Normally an equaliser has been enough to kill off Sunderland, but not this time. With Lawrence regularly getting the better of left-back Asier del Horno, they even looked capable of regaining the lead.
Sunderland ran out of steam in the latter stages and never looked likely to make use of their numerical advantage.
Telegraph MoTM: Kelvin Davis.
The Premiership leaders came from behind to see off a spirited Black Cats side.
McCarthy was able to take plenty of positives out of a battling display.
Chelsea held on comfortably for the final 20 minutes, despite arguably Sunderland’s best display of the season.
Liam Lawrence had cracked an early opener for the high-tempo hosts, though, as the bottom side often made the leaders look ordinary.
Davis was virtually the sole obstacle to Chelsea’s second-half pressure.
The Black Cats are now 55 points adrift of the champions; but, on this display at least, they look on the same planet – particularly in the first half.
Sunderland’s committed reply included a header from Anthony Le Tallec straight at Petr Cech.
Sun MoTM: Kelvin Davies
Daily Mirror (Simon Bird)
Robben was given ample time by the home defence to tee up a shot 18 yards out, before lashing goalwards.
Sunderland gave one of their better performances of the season, but boss Mick McCarthy was left kicking water bottles in frustration with no return for a brave effort.
Sunderland were the better side in the first half, with Chelsea looking sloppy, lethargic and falling a goal behind after 12 minutes.
Mirror MoTM: Kelvin Davis
The Guardian (Kevin McGarra)
Chelsea were pushed to their limits by Sunderland.
This was an unjust loss for Sunderland, despite their inevitably inferior technique.
This was an afternoon where the videotapes will prove that Sunderland are not as bad as the derisory league total of six points suggests.
Del Horno was utterly unreliable at left-back. His deficiencies had their inspiring effect on Liam Lawrence.
Le Tallec’s header was sent too close to Petr Cech. Mick McCarthy’s side were never so incisive again.