Kevin Phillips
Phillips pen 64
FA Carling Premiership

Eric Beauchamp reporting

Sunderland claimed a hard-fought victory against Chelsea thanks to a goal from Englands forgotten striker Kevin Phillips in a match that ended 10-a-side.

Phillips, who was left out of both of Englands recent World Cup qualifiers despite being in the squad, made no mistake from the spot after strike-partner Niall Quinn had won a penalty.

Kick-off was delayed by 45 minutes due to floodlight problems at the Stadium of Light, but once underway it was Sunderland that looked most likely to score.

Peter Reids side thought they had taken the lead after only six minutes when Quinn and Phillips combined to put Julio Arca into space on the left.

The midfielder cut inside Chelseas Albert Ferrer to fire in a shot which, just like Ray Parlours effort for England against Finland, hit the bar and bounced down on the line.

Arca insisted the ball had gone in, and later replays showed it was a goal, but play was waved on as Frank Leboeuf hacked the ball clear.

Chelsea hardly troubled Sunderland goalkeeper Thomas Sorensen in the first 45 minutes though Gianfranco Zola wasted a good opportunity by shooting harmlessly over from 20 yards.

At the other end Chelsea keeper Ed de Goey saved his side twice within seconds when he first cut out Kevin Kilbane's cross as Quinn raced in at the far post and then produced a superb reaction save to keep out the Irishman's point-blank header.

Frank Leboeuf was stretchered off on 30 minutes after landing awkwardly on his left arm after challenging the ever-awkward Quinn for a high ball. The French international was replaced by former Barcelona defender Winston Bogarde whose presence seemed to sure up Chelseas defence.

But on 64 minutes it was Sunderland who took the lead after they were awarded a controversial penalty. Mario Melchiot was adjudged to have fouled Quinn in the six-yard box and Phillips stepped up to score his sixth goal of the season.

There was no complaint from Quinn as he failed to direct Chris Makin's cross home, and to the astonishment of everybody referee Jeff Winter pointed to the spot.

There was more controversy four minutes later when Kilbane and Chelseas Graeme Le Saux were sent-off for a scuffle after the Irishman retaliated to Le Sauxs attempted use of the elbow.

With time running out Chelsea pushed forward and came close to equalising on several occasions when Tore Andre Flo came close to connecting with Zolas cross from the right on 72 minutes, and then Ferrers goalbound volley was blocked on the line.

But Sunderlands defence stood firm until the final whistle for a fifth successive home win over Chelsea.

Sunderland: Sorensen, Makin, Gray, Craddock, Thome, Kilbane, Rae (Thirlwell 78), Williams, Arca, Quinn (Dichio 80), Phillips.
Subs Not Used: Macho, Oster, Reddy.
Sent Off: Kilbane (66).
Goals: Phillips 63 pen.

Chelsea: de Goey, Ferrer, Le Saux, Desailly, Leboeuf (Bogarde 31), Wise, Melchiot, Dalla Bona, Gudjohnsen (Babayaro 73), Zola, Hasselbaink (Flo 45).
Subs Not Used: Cudicini, Morris.
Sent Off: Le Saux (67).
Booked: Le Saux.

Att: 45,078
Ref: J Winter (Stockton-on-Tees).



Peter Reid Sunderland manager Peter Reid was delighted with his sides performance and praised his players for the way they prevented Chelsea from playing their preferred passing game.

Reid said: I have been dying for a performance like that and we played some great stuff and stopped Chelsea playing. It was a good day for us.

Sunderlands 1-0 victory came thanks to Kevin Phillipss winner from the penalty spot, but the home side could have won by two goals after having Julio Arcas first-half strike ruled out after the ball bounced on the line.

Reid added: I thought the ball went in even though it happened ever so quickly. It looked in from where I was watching, but it didnt matter because we deserved the win.

We played some good stuff and on the whole we deserved the three points. Alex Rae was superb in his first game of the season and I think he had an outstanding game.

If you have a big fellow up front like Niall it makes it very difficult for the oppositions defenders. Quinn was awesome but all our players deserve credit.

Phillips penalty on 65 minutes condemned Chelsea manager Claudio Ranieri to his first Premier League defeat.

He said: It was a very good game. It was competitive and good to watch. We kept coming back at them but we never managed an equaliser despite never giving up.

We were prepared for the game and we knew it would be aggressive and unfortunately we were unsuccessful. I am proud of my players because they fought until the last minute.

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