Chelsea shellacked Sunderland 7-2 on Saturday to consolidate their position at the summit of the Premier League. Nicolas Anelka and Frank Lampard scored a brace apiece, whilst Florent Malouda, Ashley Cole and Michael Ballack also scored one each.
For Sunderland, former Blue Boudewijn Zenden and their top scorer Darren Bent found the net.
As expected, Belletti started in midfield, but there was no place for Daniel Sturridge in the starting lineup as Joe Cole and Malouda supported Anelka in attack.
Ashley Cole should have scored an early header, but Nicolas Anelka did open the scoring a few minutes after, rounding Fulop and tapping in after a beautifully disguised Michael Ballack pass. The second goal was Malouda’s, a powerful right footed finish after a run from the half way line took him to the edge of the box.
Ashley Cole did get on the scoresheet with a goal better than all of his previous combined. He perfectly controlled a Terry long ball, before evading the desperate challenge of Lorik Cana and then dinking over the goalkeeper. He then created the fourth, his low cross slid home by Frank Lampard.
The fifth came minutes into the second half, when Michael Ballack found space in the area to head home Joe Cole’s inviting cross. Half time sub Zenden pulled one back with an accurate finish from the edge of the box though, to ruin Petr Cech’s clean sheet.
Anelka’s second was Chelsea’s sixth, the Frenchman easily finishing after Fulop’s punch fell invitingly at his feet. Joe Cole could only hit the post after a great set up from Belletti, but before long it was seven, Frank Lampard heading in his second. The provider was the on fire Anelka, crossing from the right.
Darren Bent scrambled in a late Sunderland goal to make it 7-2, but it will only momentarily distract Carlo Ancelotti from what was a magnificent Chelsea performance, despite the absence of our key African stars.