Chelsea defeated Sunderland 1-0 at Stamford Bridge on Saturday, but the game was certainly more eventful than that score suggests. Both teams missed a number of chances, referee Phil Dowd had a shocker, Fernando Torres was brilliant and Michael Essien made his return to Premiership football with a substitute appearance.
Frank Lampard scored the first and only goal in the 13th minute, but he didn't know anything about it. Torres provided the 'assist' with an absolutely brilliant volley that rattled off the crossbar. After deflecting off the woodwork, the ball hit Lampard and went into the back of the net, giving Chelsea a lead that they wouldn't relinquish.
Torres had a couple of very legitimate penalty shouts in the second half, but was given neither of them. In fact, he was booked for simulation on one occasion where he had very clearly been fouled. Sunderland had plenty of chances to capitalize on this good fortune and score at the other end, but they squandered all of their chances, with both Nicklas Bendtner and Craig Gardner missing golden opportunities.
Chelsea won't feel great about their play and Sunderland won't feel great about their finishing, but a win for the Blues was probably a fair result, even if it should have gone quite a bit differently.