By RYAN TOLMICH
Sunderland were dead and buried.
Sitting 20th in the English Premier League with a trip to Stamford Bridge at hand, the Black Cats were up against a wall.
However, a late Fabio Borini penalty kick goal earned Sunderland a 2-1 win and all three points over title hopefuls Chelsea. With the win, Sunderland may have not only saved their Premier League lives, but also severely damaged Chelsea’s title claim.
It was the first home loss of Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea career, a record spanning 78 matches.
Samuel Eto’o’s 12th minute opener was canceled out by Connor Wickham just six minutes later, setting the stage for a desperate Chelsea side. Late in the second half, U.S. Men’s National Team forward Jozy Altidore was brought down in the box by Chelsea defender Cesar Azpilicueta, paving the way for Borini to win the game for Sunderland.
With the loss, Chelsea now find themselves two points behind Liverpool, who have a chance to extend their lead in the EPL to five points when they face Norwich City on Sunday.
Here are some more news items from around Europe:
ATLETICO MADRID MAINTAINS LA LIGA LEAD
Atletico Madrid proved once again on Friday evening that they can win through adversity.
Atleti did what champions do by earning a 2-0 win over relegation-threatened Elche behind second half goals from from Miranda and Diego Costa, pushing the gap to six points between them and their city rivals, Real Madrid.
With Real Madrid and Barcelona lurking, Atleti couldn’t afford to waste chances. Yet, a David Villa missed penalty in the 50th minute could have been the turning point in the quest to bring home Atleti’s first La Liga title since 1995-96.
First half chances were limited for the hosts, but a Miranda header in the 72nd minute gave Atletico all they would need. A 90th minute Costa penalty sealed the deal, pushing Atletico one game closer to the title.
BAYERN WIN LATE OVER EINTRACHT BRAUNSCHWEIG
With a Champions League semifinal looming, Bayern Munich took care of business against bottom-dwelling Braunschweig, winning 2-0 behind late goals from Claudio Pizarro and Mario Mandzukic.
It took until the 75th minute for Bayern to finally get the much needed goal, and it was the Peruvian Pizarro who opened the scoring for the German powerhouses. Mandzukic added another 11 minutes later, bringing his goalscoring total to 18 goals in 29 games.
Bayern’s focus will now turn Wednesday’s clash with Real Madrid, as the club hopes to advance to their third straight Champions League final.
Eden Hazard remains a doubt for Chelsea’s UEFA Champions League clash on Tuesday with Atletico Madrid. (REPORT)
Manchester City midfielder Yaya Toure believes African players deserve more recognition. (REPORT)
Valencia have offered defender Adil Rami, currently on-loan to AC Milan, to Manchester United for a fee of £10 million. (REPORT)
What do you think of these results? Impressed with Sunderland’s fight? Do you think they can complete the great escape? Do you think Atleti can maintain their title push?
Share your thoughts below.