Don Double Stuns Chelsea (Sky Sports)
|FA Carling Premiership|
Steve Brenner reporting
Hutchison: Double for Don
Don Hutchison inspired Sunderland to their first league win at Stamford Bridge for 44 years with two goals and an assist as Chelsea were swept aside in a pulsating clash.
Sunderland, who last won a league game at Chelsea in 1957, were 2-1 behind at the interval but goals from Hutchinson,Gavin McCann and Kevin Phillips ensured Peter Reid's charge for a top three finish is well on course.
Chelsea will be very disappointed at the manner of their defeat after dominating the first half but they faded badly in the second to really dent their late push for a Champions' League spot.
Despite falling behind twice, Sunderland, who were without Niall Quinn, refused to lay down and die and produced a stunning second-half display, thoroughly deserving to take all three points back to the Stadium of Light.
The opening minutes were very lively with the Black Cats, who have failed to win any of their last six games, playing some bright, fluid football but the home side soon came into the game and had the ball in the net after 10 minutes.
Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink tore down the right and squared for Jesper Gronkjaer to slot the ball home from six yards, only for the vibrant Danish international to be adjudged offside.
Undetered, Sunderland came forward and Hutchison should have put Peter Reid's men ahead two minutes later.The ex-Liverpool and West Ham midfielder fired inches wide from eight yards after getting the better of Frank Leboeuf.
And the Scottish international would rue his miss as five minutes later Chelsea took the lead. A well worked corner led to Hasselbaink feeding Gudjohnsen and his brilliant cross from the edge of the six-yard area was headed in at point blank range by Marcel Desailly.
To their credit the visitors refused to wilt under the pressure and drew level after 28 minutes through Scottish international Hutchison. Julio Arca sent in an intelligent free-kick and Hutchison got infront of Leboeuf, steering the ball home to draw the Wearsiders level.
A minute after Hasselbaink fired high and wide following great play from Gudjohnsen and Gronkjaer, Claudio Ranieri's men took the lead. Slavisa Jokanavic split the Sunderland defence in two with a brilliant throughball and Gudjohnsen wriggled away from ex-Chelsea defender Emerson Thome to fire the ball in off the underside of the bar.
The home side should have gone into the interval 3-1 up but goalscorer Gudjohnsen's control badly let him down when he only had the keeper to beat a minute later.
However with Chelsea looking good to leapfrog Sunderland in the table, the visitors stunned all at a packed Stamford Bridge with a 52 minute equaliser. Arca slipped the ball to Kevin Phillips and his inch-perfect cross was somehow headed in at the far post by Hutchison to send the travelling contingent wild.
And it was to get even better for Peter Reid after 60 minutes when Gavin McCann fired Sunderland into the lead with an expertly taken goal. The impressive Hutchison - surely the first name on Craig Brown's team sheet for the crucial game with Belgium - was again involved as he lifted the ball over the Chelsea backline to McCann who held off both Desailly and Le Saux to smash the ball past Carlo Cudicini into the bottom corner.
Chelsea never really recovered from McCann's strike and fell further behind after an awful defensive blunder by Cudicini. The Italian failed to control John Terry's backpass and as the workmanlike McCann challenged for the ball, it looped up and fell invitingly for Phillips who stabbed the ball home from two yards for his 15th strike of the season.
Peter Reid will be delighted with his sides' performance as they storm into fourth place keeping their dreams of Champions League football alive while Chelsea will be bitterly disappointed with losing ground in the race for European qualification.
MAN OF THE MATCH: Don Hutchison (Sunderland) Two well taken goals and an assist powered Sunderland to a fine win.
Chelsea: Cudicini, Leboeuf,
Desailly, Ferrer (Terry 70), Le Saux, Wise, Jokanovic, Stanic (Poyet 57),
Gronkjaer (Zola 70), Gudjohnsen, Hasselbaink.
Subs Not Used: de Goey, Dalla Bona.
Sunderland: Sorensen, Carteron, Gray, Thome, Arca (Williams 72), McCann, Kilbane, Craddock, Schwarz, Hutchison, Phillips (Dichio 88).
Subs Not Used: Macho, Varga, Butler.
Ref: P Durkin (Dorset).