The Observer, Jamie Jackson: "Delight and a return to the top of the table for Chelsea; a thrashing for Sunderland and an enforced seat in the stands for Roy Keane. This was far too easy for the home side. But while the five unanswered goals might seem to make last week’s surrender of Chelsea’s proud unbeaten run at home faintly unbelievable, there were hints that Luiz Felipe Scolari does need to find differing ways to beat sides who do not just roll over."
Sunday Times, David Walsh: "There are afternoons in football when you want to find a hole in the ground and disappear. So, perhaps referee Martin Atkinson was being kind to Roy Keane when banishing him to a quiet seat in the stand for the second half of this hopelessly one-sided match. By then Sunderland were losing 3-0 and it really was just a question of how many more Chelsea would score. From his new seat Keane was close enough to a defeat that bordered on humiliation."
Independent on Sunday, Glenn Moore: "[Sunderland] were outclassed at Stamford Bridge, where it rained cats, dogs and Chelsea goals. Nicolas Anelka helped himself to three of them, taking his season’s tally to eight in the League. With Didier Drogba making his return it was a timely treble, though the plaudits belonged to its architects, Joe Cole and Frank Lampard."
Sunday Telegraph, Patrick Barclay: "Chelsea, to their credit, entertained us handsomely with passing crisp enough to delight their Brazilian manager."
Official Chelsea FC Website: "The biggest win at Stamford Bridge under Felipe Scolari was a great way to ease concerns about home form, Nicolas Anelka helping himself to a hat-trick with Alex and Frank Lampard, naturally, also on the scoresheet."
Driving up in torrential rain and rubbish traffic, the sense was that this game was a return to the good old days, a 3 o’clock kick off, nights drawing in, bad weather and the predicted view that a big red and white striped bus would be parked firmly in front of the Sunderland goal. But what we got was a samba style red hot display of something I can only describe as ‘like watching Brazil’ and by that I mean the 1970 Brazil team. A game to warm the most chilled of bones and cynical of cold hearts.
- The performance over both halves. Right from the outset it was obvious we would be playing the pass and move game and boy did it ever come off. Sunderland huffed and puffed but did not have a single player capable of holding the ball like the Blues. A joy to watch.
- Joe Cole. A performance that underlined how badly missed he was against Liverpool. Involved in the first four goals and linked superbly with Anelka, Deco and Lampard.
- John Mikel Obi. You never know the media might start to notice him soon instead of getting their communal cocks out at the mention of Steven Gerrard, Gareth Barry or Javier Mascherano. Absolutely first class display (again).
- Nicolas Anelka. Before the Anelka nay-sayers start jumping from their prams, with their ceaseless whinges about him not scoring first or not getting the spectacular goals or being lucky, let’s get something straight: I’d take a lucky striker over an unlucky one anyday. To get the tap in goals you have to be in the right place and does it really matter who gets the first? No, it doesn’t so wind your anti-Anelka necks in and read. He played from box to box tracking back when needed and being in place for the relentless forward advances. He won headers, tackled smartly and sharply, played some lovely lay-offs and cross field passes and held the ball up as good as Mark Hughes ever did on a good day. He scored three goals, the first a cheeky tap in even though it was goal bound. Good, greed is good. Good strikers are greedy. The second a tap in from what was a superb team goal built on incisive passing. The third a slightly fortunate bounce off the keeper’s valiant attempt to block. Lucky, but that does me. Man of the Match.
- The whole team. Every player can hold their head high, Deco was vastly improved though tired in the last ten, Ashley Cole was relishing the chance to bomb forward until Steed Malbranque decided he’d had enough of him, Terry and Alex looked like an assured partnership which grows better the more Ricardo Carvalho is sidelined. Lampard was typically Frank and hats off to him…
- Frank Lampard. 117 goals for us, 100 in the Premier League. A remarkable achievement from a player who seems to have really been lifted under the Popeye Scolari effect.
- The result and the result at White Hart Lane. 5-0 is always an eye grabbing score-line, but the truth is it could have been more than this. I do not use the word awesome lightly but at times yesterday we were exactly that. A fantastic week with eight goals scored, one conceded and an unlikely Spurs helping hand keeping us top of the league with a goal difference of +23.
- I’m tempted to put Sunderland in here as they offered very little and Cech had nothing to do bar one dive at Cisse’s feet late on. But that would be disingenuous to us and I’m frankly sick of the ‘Chelsea played well, but the other team were very poor’ Hansen-esque cliché bollocks spouted by self satisfied pundits. So instead I’m going to nominate Jonathan’s (fine assessment Mr Dyer) oppo in today’s Observers Fans Verdict section. This bloke is called Martyn McFadden and I can only describe his summing up as bitter, twisted and a little crazed. Lay off the ale a bit mate would be my advice. Some nuggets for you: ‘Their first three goals were really dubious.’ Yeah right mate, totally against the run of play. Or maybe ‘The second was definitely offside because someone was standing on the line’. So the ref, the lino, your players, your manager, the TV, the radio and 40,000 Chelsea fans are all wrong? Or this gem: ‘For the third there was a foul in the build up’. Oh didn’t Chimbonda’s attempt to stamp all over Joe Cole quite come off? And then this masterpiece of mental rambling that would feature superbly on a re-mastered Dark Side of the Moon, from the North East’s biggest chip/shoulder suffering victim: ‘It was a miserable day, horrible, cold and wet – but the Sunderland fans were still out singing Chelsea’s who were probably too busy with their cappuccinos and biscuits. But then Chelsea just seems part of the London tourist trade – Madame Tussauds in the morning, game in the afternoon’. At first I was annoyed but now I’m rather sorry for this bloke. Obviously on a day out as part of the ‘Care in the Community’ scheme. Oh and one last thing – we may well be part of the tourist trade in London being based in… err… London, the Capital of England, but Sunderland can’t even claim to be the Capital of the North East, languishing below Newcastle, Middlesbrough and slugging it out for third place with Hartlepool.
- I think that’s enough bad don’t you?
Martyn McFadden. Sunderland’s tactics. Sunderland’s style.
- Petr Cech: Seriously had nothing to do and was probably the loneliest person in SW6 yesterday such was his lack of contact with anybody – 7/10.
- Jose Bosingwa: Quality ball control, fabulous wing play. Rubbish corners. No, make that utterly rubbish corners – 8/10.
- John Terry: Captain Fantastic. Another who seems to have jumped a level under the Popeye Scolari effect – 8/10.
- Alex: Riccy who? – 8/10.
- Ashley Cole: Was starting to relish the game until Malbranque thought otherwise – 7/10.
- John Obi Mikel: Marvellous. Just marvellous – 8.5/10.
- Deco: Great all round contribution but still worryingly apt to play the odd weak pass surrendering possession. I hope he looked at Joe Cole and saw what the fans expect. These two together might just be awesome – 8/10.
- Frank Lampard: Looked a little subdued for the first 30 minutes but then came into his own and the first signs of a real understanding with Deco – 8.5/10.
- Joe Cole: Terrorised Sunderland and linked superbly with Lamps and Deco – 9/10.
- Florent Malouda: I’m still not convinced but am happy to admit I might be missing something. Had two glorious chances close to goal which were easier to score from than miss and completely arsed up a chance when he was clean through and seemingly got stage fright – 7/10.
- Nicolas Anelka: See ‘The good’. Absolute class – 9/10.
- Wayne Bridge (sub): Seriously as good as Ashley Cole. Talk about spoilt for choice – 8/10.
- Carlos Mineiro (sub): Are you Makelele in disguise? A promising show – 7/10.
- Didier Drogba (sub): A cameo appearance to get some match fitness. Poor first touch, lacked a yard of pace and a little bemused by our new found pass and move style. For a moment it seemed we might be back to lumping the ball forward to him. But still good to seem him on the way back – 7/10.
Man of the Match
Very close between Joe Cole and Nicolas Anelka. Joe went off and Anelka slotted seamlessly into his place and scored three goals, no matter how they go in put him as joint top Premier League scorer. In the end this is what differentiated them. Mr Anelka, you get the vote.
Stamford Bridge seemed at ease with itself, the death of the monkey seemingly done and dusted. The players responded with football that at times was simply way above that we’ve seen from Wenger’s babies. In typical Chelsea style a week that arguably started badly with defeat to Liverpool has come good with two superb wins and performances against potential members of the awkward squad, a healthy goal difference which I’m fairly sure is far better than this time last year and some good fortune from White Hart Lane putting us top of the league.
Last night I had a firework party and whilst our teenage kids and some of the pre-teenage ones sat indoors watching MTV, and our respective other halves drank wine in vast amounts in the kitchen, my brothers and brothers-in-law gathered to let off the fireworks. For a short while we were teenagers again, letting off fireworks that would help demolish most small housing estates whilst drinking beer, smoking Cubans and talking football, mercilessly ripping the Liverpool fan to shreds and ignoring the views of the Leeds fan (after all what do they know about football). Sometimes life just doesn’t get much better. Oddly enough we had lots of fireworks that exploded in shades of blue shooting into the sky and making enormous bangs, exciting those who saw them, the only red ones were those that started brightly then fizzled out to familiar sighs of disappointment. Remind you of anything?
Keep the Blue Flag Flying High!