Saturday Ticker: Sunderland end Chelsea home unbeaten run; Atletico maintain lead; and more

FabioBoriniSunderland2-Chelsea2014EPL (Getty)

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.

QUICK KICKS

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)

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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.

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23 Responses to Saturday Ticker: Sunderland end Chelsea home unbeaten run; Atletico maintain lead; and more

  1. Reg Chapman says:

    Did Jozy decide the premier league winner today? possibly….

  2. FRANK says:

    LOOK JOZYE HUGGING ALL OF TEAM MMEMBERS HE IS PART OF TEAM AND WON GAME JUERGEN WILL TAKE HIM TO WORLD CUP SQUAD NOW

  3. argh says:

    wish Jozy took the penalty. The least the club could do as he won the PK

  4. Kctc says:

    He drew the penalty

  5. Bac says:

    If you read all the comments from today’s running commentary, one has to wonder….
    If Jozy had been awarded the EXACT same penalty a year ago, how many of you would be saying..

    “Wow Jozy has really matured as a striker, the defender commits early and goes to ground and Jozy earns his team a crucial penalty late in the game that may save their season” ???

  6. Joe says:

    Well isn’t that nice? Good news for Jozy.

  7. Spencer says:

    Could end up being one of the most important plays of the year for Sunderland. I know it doesn’t count as a stat but his drawing the penalty is much bigger than the person who took the shot. In the end he still needs to find another team.

    • Maykol says:

      And if altidore took the pk and someone else drew the penalty, everyone would be saying that vice versa

      • Spencer says:

        Most may say that, I tend to give more credit to the person who draws a penalty especially if it isn’t from a handball than I do to the person who takes.

  8. reignman says:

    That interview with Yaya made me cringe. He basically said he is underrated which is nonsense, everyone considers him to be top 5 at his position, some rate him as the best (i dont). Then he goes to compare himself to Messi which is rubbish. Messi is in the argument for greatest of all time, you can’t reasonably be expected to be compared to someone like him.

    • Anthony says:

      I don’t necessarily disagree with Yaya, but I also this there might be some misinterpretation of the situation. I read the original interview on espn.UK (the link here was going to the Hazard story). He was responding to and agreeing with Samir NasrI was stating. Nasr I basically started some people don’t realize how good Yaya is and are underrating him. He said he thinks it’s because he is from Africa and if he was from Europe or Brazilian or Argentinean he would be more recognized. Yaya agree with Nasri’a assessment, but also stated it’s not the fans because they have always appreciated him.

      There might be some truth there. I too think he is a top 5. In terms of box to box central midfield, currently I think it’s him, schweinsteiger and probably vidal. I read articles that barely put him the top 10. No doubt about it, he bosses both ends of midfield.

      • Dogg says:

        Drogba got lots of recognition as does Balotelli(who’s kinda sorta African)

        • Anthony says:

          Balotelli is of African descent, but he is an Italian national/citizen. What Nasri said and Yaya agreed with has more to do with national prejudices as to where the footballer comes from which he mentioned Brazil. I think there is a certain degree of truth there, sadly. However, I think the Drogba example is well taken. There was a period where he virtually unstoppable, but forwards are easier to rate in terms of how many goals do you score against topeople flight competition.

        • GW says:

          Balotelli is an African player in the same way Aron Johannsson is an American player.

    • Increase0 says:

      This is lame but its the truth. He isn’t a Striker or an attacking Midfielder. That’s pretty much it. Like everyone said, Drogba.

  9. Shimmzy says:

    Jozy has done it!!!!

    link to i.imgur.com

  10. Anthony says:

    Haha! Classic!

  11. HoboMike says:

    Didn’t see the rest of the game, but was an obvious penalty. Contact was minimal, but you can’t leave your feet in the area with a rash challenge, fail to get a touch on the ball, and expect to get away scot-free. The simple fact that not one Chelsea player complained says it all.

    Same with with Sturridge v. Vidic in the Liverpool/Man U game a few weeks ago.