Video: Sunderland 3-2 Chelsea – Defoe the star as Sunderland on brink of safety

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Sunderland moved to within touching distance of Premier League safety after a stunning 3-2 over Chelsea at the Stadium of Light on Saturday afternoon.

Chelsea took an early lead before Khazri scored a stunner to level it up. Chelsea then restored their lead, but two goals in two minutes midway through the second half was enough to give the hosts a massive three points.

Sunderland named an unchanged side for the sixth successive match. They had lost just one of their previous five games together, but had also only won one.

Guus Hiddink made two changes for Chelsea, with Thibaut Courtois returning to goal after his suspension and Leicester City hero Eden Hazard replacing Pedro out wide.

The game started at a fast pace as Sunderland looked to get their fans onside. There was immediate drama when Gary Cahill brought down a charging Jermaine Defoe when through on goal, but with Terry covering Mike Jones opted for a yellow card.

Despite the high-energy start, Sunderland faded quickly; by the 14th minute they were behind thanks to a Diego Costa goal.

Chelsea benefitted from a slice of luck as the ball deflected away from Cahill and into Costa’s path, but the finish from the 27-year-old was top class from a tight angle.

In the aftermath of the goal, Sunderland had a couple of half-chances. Defoe headed a Cattermole cross against the post – though the linesman’s flag went up – DeAndre Yedlin couldn’t quite get enough power on a back-post header after an inch-perfect cross from Defoe, and Yann M’Vila blasted a shot into the stands.

Sunderland eventually managed to haul themselves level thanks to a wonder-goal from Wahbi Khazri. Chelsea struggled to clear some danger, with Cahill’s header falling to the goalscorer about 22-yards from goal. The Tunisian international hit an unstoppable first-time volley into the corner of the net, leaving Courtois with no chance.

Nemanja Matic restored Chelsea’s lead on the stroke of half-time. It was poor defending from the hosts, as he sprinted on to a Cesar Azpilicueta header and had plenty of time to slot between Vito Mannone’s legs.

With a little under 25 minutes remaining, Sunderland equalised for a second time. Patrick van Aanholt picked out Fabio Borini on the edge of the area, and Courtois couldn’t get enough of a hand on the Italian’s fierce drive to stop it from hitting the back of the net.

The drama wasn’t over – moments later Sunderland scored again. Deandre Yedlin’s cross was deflected into the path of Defoe, and the former England international took one touch before firing beautifully past the Chelsea keeper. There was just two minutes and 20 seconds between the two goals, and the Stadium of Light was bouncing.

Chelsea pushed for an equaliser but couldn’t find it, with John Terry getting a late red card for two bookings.

The result sees Sunderland move out of the bottom three. They will be safe if they win their game in hand. Chelsea stay down in ninth.

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Next up for Sunderland is their must-win game in hand at home to Everton on Wednesday. They finish their season away at Watford on the final day.

Chelsea travel to Anfield on Wednesday for their own game in hand, before ending the campaign at home to newly crowned champions Leicester City.

More Stories Diego Costa Nemanja Matic Wahbi Khazri