Sunderland Tear Through Chelsea, Leave Bridge With 0-3 Win

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Chelsea Vs. Sunderland: 'Own Assist' From Ashley Cole Gifts Sunderland Three Goal Lead

Ashley Cole may have just brought the term "own assist" into our lexicon. At least, if I have anything to do with it, the term will catch on. It's the best way to describe how Ashley Cole has given Sunderland their third goal.

A long ball played diagonally behind Cole was contested by the Chelsea back and Kieron Richardson. After holding off the Sunderland midfielder, Cole played a horrendous ball into his own area, attempting a pass to Petr Cech. The ball went to Danny Welbeck near the spot, who finished into the goal vacated when Cech drifted to help his defender.

The goal put Sunderland up 0-3 just before full time, undoubtedly sending the Black Cats to a memorable win. They'll sit sixth in league thanks to the three points and the +3 to this difference, but the real effect of this match could be a new addition to our lingua football.

C'mon, all. We need this. "Own assist" is the perfect way to describe what Cole gave us. We can define it as a ball played to an opposition player that immediately leads to an uncontested goal allowed.

Let's immortalize Ashley Cole. Again.


Chelsea Vs. Sunderland: Asamoah Gyan Has Black Cats Up Two, Blues In Need Of Changes

This goal would have never happened if Michael Essien were available. Frank Lampard might have helped. John Terry and Alex wouldn't have done worse.

None of those players are in today's Chelsea team, partially explaining why Sunderland was just able to cut the Blues open and take a 0-2 lead at the Bridge. Other possible explanation: Carlo Ancelotti is missing something, and his current midfield stinks.

First, the goal, a brilliant piece of movement from Sunderland, reminiscent of the passing they displayed on their first goal against Stoke a week ago. The ball was played from the left flank to Danny Welbeck, who took one touch to the middle before finding Jordan Henderson charging forward at 26 yards out. One touch from the young midfielder found Asamoah Gyan on the diagonal, the Ghanaian's touch setting himself up inside the box. The finish into the right side of Petr Cech's net gave Sunderland their two goal lead.

It was the second time today Chelsea's defense has been ripped open, but of more particular note is the midfield. The Blues have had problems replacing Essien and Lampard, but with displays like that from their opposition, Ancelotti needs to change his tactics. While you don't necessarily want to bring in a new system because of a couple of absences, this set-up is not working.

If Chelsea's midfield is going to be this bad, they need more bodies - likely, they need another holder to break-up play when their opposition moves toward their line.

Until they get Essien back (two more matches), Chelsea needs to adjust. You can't play in this league with a midfield relying on both Yuri Zhirkov and Ramires.


Chelsea Vs. Sunderland: Nedum Onouha's Maradona-esque Effort Put Black Cats Up At Half

With a dip to the left, he was past Mikel John Obi and at the edge of Chelsea's area. Once touch to the right, and he was beyond José Bosingwa and into the penalty box. A move back to the left and he'd avoided Branislav Ivanovic. Then the finish: 15 yards, along the ground, into the lower right hand corner.

After trapping a ball headed out of the Chelsea area, Sunderland right back Nedum Onouha spent four seconds summoning the spirit of Diego Maradona, weaving through the Blues defense to give Sunderland the lead. The score came after a period of ascendancy from the Black Cats but still gave crowd and viewers pause. It was the first time this year Chelsea had allowed a goal at Stamford Bridge.

With the tally, Sunderland takes a 0-1 lead into intermission, with Chelsea continuing to struggle without their full midfield. Frank Lampard is an injury absence while Michael Essien is suspended. As a result, Florent Malouda has spent more time with the ball at his feet, but it's just not working. While the first half hour gave hints that Chelsea would eventually wear Sunderland down, the visitors controlled the last part of the half, with Chelsea failing to strike any fear into their upstart guests.

If anything, it's Sunderland that's worried their opponent, even before the Onouha goal. Danny Welbeck tested Per Cech twice in the latter part of the half, while Branislav Ivanovic is lucky to be in the match after taking down Welbeck to prevent what seemed a clear scoring chance. The Serbian defender only saw yellow for the foul 40 yards from goal.

There's a long 45 minutes to go, but if this result holds, Sunderland will jump into seventh place. Chelsea, meanwhile, will see their lead stay at two, cut in half from mid-week thanks to Arsenals win at Everton.


Everton Vs. Arsenal: Gunners Move Past Manchester United With Win At Everton

Arsenal is back in second place, now sitting on 26 points after their 1-2 win at Everton.

A first half goal by Bacary Sagna started the scoring, beating Tim Howard near post from eight yards out, sending Arsenal into half up 0-1. Three minutes into the second period, Cesc Fàbregas put Arsenal up two, half-volleying a Marouane Chamakh pass into the left of Howard's goal. Drastic changes by David Moyes led to a late Tim Cahill goal, but the Gunners were able to hold through four minutes of stoppage time, earning the 1-2 result.

The win was Arsenal's eighth in 13 matches and moves them past Manchester United, into second place in league. United's draw at Villa leaves them on 25 points. Arsenal has last three times this year (while United's yet to lose), but the Red Devil's six draws have allowed Arsenal to pass in the standings.

With league-leading Chelsea playing the day's second match, Arsenal is two points back.


Everton Vs. Arsenal: Late Tim Cahill Goal Pulls One Back For Toffees

It took 20 minutes for Everton to adjust to their new approach, but combined with Arsenal switching into a prevent mode, the Toffee tactics have produced their first goal. At the end of play from a corner kick, Tim Cahill has scored from seven yards out, leaving the score 1-2 in second half stoppage time.

The play started with a corner, from the left of Lukasz Fabianski's goal, played short. After two or three touches a ball was sent to the far post, where Louis Saha climbed over Alex Song's back to head it down for Cahill. Cahill got above a high bounce to put the ball down and into the Arsenal net, giving Everton hope for the match's final minutes.

While Everton's change in tactic certainly helped - allowing the Toffees to threaten on the handful of corners they've had in the last five minutes - Arsenal has let up. The pressure with which they were winning the ball has waned, and lazy passing has gifted the Toffees more possession then they're earning.

The Gunners shifted into a prevent defense around the 82nd minute. Now they get to sweat the match's final moments.


Everton Vs. Arsenal: David Moyes Changes Team, Forgets About Winning The Ball

With 20 minutes left in Everton's match with Arsenal, David Moyes is taking drastic measures to get back into the match. Down 0-2, the Everton manager has brought on Yakubu and Jermaine Beckford for Mikel Arteta and Phil Neville. After dropping Seamus Coleman into the back from right wing, the Everton boss is left with a 4-3-3 that features Steven Pienaar and Tim Cahill in the middle.

It's an aggressive team, an attacking one, and one that predictably can not win the ball from Arsenal. In the first five minutes after Moyes switched formation, Arsenal held 85 percent of the possession. When they have had the ball, pressure from the Arsenal midfield has created turnovers.

So Moyes' tactics don't seem to be working, nor should they have been expected to work, but what's a manager to do? Everton hasn't had many chances in this match, and needing two goals in 20 minutes, the Scot was faced with an implicit choice. Do you stay with something that clearly isn't working? Or, do you take the chance on a system that will probably fail but at least represents a roll of the dice?

Everton is not going to have much of the ball as they close this match, but if they can get a few moments of possession, send their attackers forward, and get Coleman and Leighton Baines to launch crosses into the box, they can at least try something new. Perhaps a foul near the area, Baines above a ball, a direct kick goal?

What they were doing before was not working. They had to try something.


Everton Vs. Arsenal: Cesc Fabregas Stakes Gunners To 0-2 Lead

Three minutes into the second half at Goodison, Arsenal captain Cesc Fàbregas's half-volley from 16 yards out has given the Gunners a 0-2 lead.

Moments after being brought on for Jack Wilshire, midfielder Denilson took a ball turned over by Mikel Arteta and moved toward the edge of Everton's area. The Brazilian then played a ball to the right of the area for Marouane Chamakh, who flipped a ball back to the middle of the area of Fàbregas. The Spaniard quickly got off a right footed shot, half-volleying Chamakh's chip into the left of Tim Howard's goal.

Just minutes later, Fàbregas picked up a harsh yellow card after he had his right foot stepped on by Sylvain Distin, who was following-through on a left footed clearance. WIth both men having gone to ground, Howard Webb judged Fàbregas as having caused a collision, though replays showed otherwise.

In other news, Everton also made a half-time chance, bringing on Jack Rodwell for John Heitenga. Heitenga had picked up a yellow card in the first half.


Everton Vs. Arsenal: Bacary Sagna Gives Gunners First Half Lead

Arsenal had most of the half's better play, and 35 minutes into the first period at Everton, the Gunners were given their reward. Beating Tim Howard high to the near post, Bacary Sagna recorded his second career league goal, giving the Gunners a lead 10 minutes before half.

The play started with a long shot from Samir Nasri, who Everton failed to close down as he cut across the top of their penalty area. At the arc, Nasri let a left-footed shot go toward Howard's right post, forcing a diving stop from the `keeper. Andrei Arshavin got on the rebound and, near the byline, laid a pass off to an on-coming Sagna. The right back's second touch went upper 90, giving Arsenal a 0-1 lead.

Though Tim Howard has not had a busy half, Arsenal has dominated play. More than their usual possession dominant, edge-lacking game, the Gunners are actually showing ambition in the final third and have already drawn cards from central defender Phil Jagielka and John Heitenga, playing in midfield.

Now just minutes before halftime, Arsenal continue to pack Everton deep, with star midfielder Mikel Arteta often seen at the same level as Heitenga, even though Everton's seen a lot of the ball. Howard has gone untested since the goal, but with play looking similar to the game the was played before the goal, Arsenal could be good for another.


English Premier League Sunday: Arsenal At Everton Before Chelsea Hosts Sunderland

For all their recent struggles at The Emirates, Arsenal has a chance to move back into second place on Sunday. And, they're away from home, visiting Goodison Park, where they opened the last Premier League season with a 1-6 win over Everton.

Everton is through their trademark early season doldrums and will put up more of a fight, especially given a victory could vault the Toffees back into a European spot. It would take a multi-goal win to do so (as well as a Chelsea win over Sunderland), and with a Europa League chase seeming inevitable, Everton will be more concerned with Marouane Fellaini's absence then the match's long-term implications. The rugged Belgian midfielder is suspended for Sunday's match, having picked up a red card mid-week.

That's the day's early kick-off, one of two matches on the day. The other sees league-leading Chelsea with a chance to go six points clear of Manchester United when they host Sunderland.

Though Chelsea will be heavy favorites over the Black Cats, a thinning midfield will be a concern for the Blues. Michael Essien saw red mid-week and will be suspended. Frank Lampard suffered a set-back on Thursday and is out for another three weeks. While Carlo Ancelotti could use Ramires and Yuri Zhirkov in midfield, that's the combination that contributed to Chelsea's loss at Anfield.

The day's action starts at 9:00 a.m. Eastern, when Arsenal and Everton kick-off at Goodison.

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