Paolo Di Canio's reign as Sunderland manager began with a defeat at Chelsea that leaves The Black Cats deep in the fight to stay in the Premier League.
The Italian had the start he wanted when Cesar Azpilicueta's own goal gave Sunderland a surprise lead moments before half-time.
Sunderland's renewed optimism was short-lived, however, as Chelsea were in front 10 minutes after the interval as a result of another own goal, this time a deflection off Matt Kilgallon, and Branislav Ivanovic's touch on a David Luiz shot.
Tough starting ground
Paolo Di Canio becomes the fifth manager (including caretakers) to start his time in a Premier League job with a trip to Stamford Bridge. None of the five have come away with a victory.
Di Canio, watching with his flamboyant gestures and constant interaction with his players and backroom staff, will provide a compelling spectacle in the tense closing phases of the season.
There is no doubt, however, that Sunderland are in serious trouble despite the effort and fight shown here. For all this, they look desperately short of attacking inspiration.
And Sunday's Tyne-Wear derby against Newcastle United at St. James' Park now assumes even greater importance.
Chelsea's interim manager Rafael Benitez can reflect on a highly satisfactory week, with an important victory to move the Blues up to third in the Premier League, following on from wins against Manchester United in the FA Cup and Rubin Kazan in the Europa League.
Di Canio's entrance was understated, with a polite wave in response to a warm reception from Sunderland's fans and an embrace from John Terry as the Chelsea captain took his place on the substitutes' bench.
It was not long, however, before he was an animated figure in his technical area, in regular dialogue with his backroom team, bellowing instructions to his players and even giving defender Phil Bardsley a robust slap on the cheek at one point - a slap of encouragement, it should be stressed.
Sunderland acquitted themselves well in the opening half as they restricted Chelsea's chances, and then took the lead seconds before the break.
John O'Shea directed Adam Johnson's corner towards goal and Azpilicueta made a hash of his attempted clearance, sending a slice into his own net.
Benitez responded at the start of the second half with the introduction of Fernando Torres for Demba Ba, who struggled after a heavy challenge that earned Craig Gardner a booking which will rule him out of next Sunday's game at Newcastle.
It was a change that brought instant dividends as Chelsea drew level with another messy goal.
The striker, playing in a mask after suffering a broken nose, produced a surge of pace to find Oscar, whose shot ended in the net via Sunderland keeper Simon Mignolet and Kilgallon, who was debited with the own goal.
Chelsea were ahead after 55 minutes, with Ivanovic reacting quickly to divert Luiz's long-range shot out of the reach of Mignolet.
Sunderland struggled to recover from Chelsea's response and it was no surprise when Di Canio made his first change with 20 minutes left, sending on James McClean for Seb Larsson.
But there was to be no late rescue act as Di Canio was given an illustration of the task awaiting him as he attempts to preserve Sunderland's Premier League status.
Despite the defeat, the Black Cats remain outside of the bottom three but only on goal difference as 18th-placed Wigan picked up a point at QPR.
Chelsea interim manager Rafael Benitez:
"We needed to improve after the break obviously. The negative thing is we conceded a goal, the positive thing is we recovered and came back.
"In the last 15 minutes we were a bit under pressure, but after four games in eight days that has to be expected.
"Sunderland have a new manager, they were compact and organised so it was not easy to find space. Some players are a bit tired, but after so many games it is not easy and you have to change players."
- 01 Cech
- 02 Ivanovic
- 04 Luiz
- 28 Azpilicueta
- 34 Bertrand
- 07 Ramires
- 10 Mata (Lampard - 89' )
- 11 Oscar
- 12 Mikel
- 17 Hazard (Benayoun - 84' )
- 29 Ba (Torres - 46' )
- 22 Turnbull
- 19 Ferreira
- 26 Terry
- 08 Lampard
- 21 Marin
- 30 Benayoun
- 09 Torres
- 22 Mignolet
- 02 Bardsley
- 12 Kilgallon
- 16 O'Shea
- 03 Rose Booked
- 04 N'Diaye
- 07 Larsson (McClean - 71' )
- 08 Gardner Booked (Colback - 82' )
- 21 Johnson
- 28 Sessegnon
- 10 Wickham
- 20 Westwood
- 14 Colback
- 18 Mangane
- 23 McClean
- 09 Graham
- 30 Mandron
- 32 Laidler
Live Text Commentary
Full Time The referee signals the end of the game.90:00 +4:55
Fernando Torres has shot on goal from just outside the area which goes wide of the right-hand upright.90:00 +4:44
Fernando Torres takes a shot. Jack Colback gets a block in.90:00 +2:59
Alfred N'Diaye concedes a free kick for a foul on Nascimento Ramires. Free kick taken by David Luiz.89:01
Inswinging corner taken from the left by-line by Phil Bardsley.88:20 Substitution
Substitution Frank Lampard joins the action as a substitute, replacing Juan Mata.87:38
Inswinging corner taken left-footed by Adam Johnson, save made by Petr Cech.84:45
Emboaba Oscar concedes a free kick for a foul on Adam Johnson. Adam Johnson takes the free kick.83:36 Substitution
Substitution Yossi Benayoun is brought on as a substitute for Eden Hazard.82:56
Centre by Fernando Torres, John O'Shea manages to make a clearance.80:56 Substitution
Substitution Jack Colback joins the action as a substitute, replacing Craig Gardner.79:52
Ryan Bertrand crosses the ball, save by Simon Mignolet.77:50
Ryan Bertrand crosses the ball, clearance made by Phil Bardsley.77:21
Inswinging corner taken by Emboaba Oscar.75:19
Phil Bardsley produces a cross.70:19 Substitution
Substitution James McClean on for Sebastian Larsson.70:04
The assistant referee signals for offside against Juan Mata. John O'Shea takes the direct free kick.69:28
Adam Johnson produces a left-footed shot from just outside the box that goes wide left of the goal.68:29
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on John O'Shea by Branislav Ivanovic. Simon Mignolet restarts play with the free kick.68:01
Inswinging corner taken left-footed by Juan Mata from the right by-line, Alfred N'Diaye manages to make a clearance.
Emboaba Oscar crosses the ball, Header from deep inside the area by Fernando Torres goes harmlessly over the crossbar.64:50
Phil Bardsley produces a cross, blocked by Nascimento Ramires.63:10
The referee blows for offside against Eden Hazard. Free kick taken by Danny Rose.61:47
Branislav Ivanovic restarts play with the free kick.61:47 Booking
Booking Danny Rose is given a yellow card.61:39
Eden Hazard fouled by Danny Rose, the ref awards a free kick.60:41
Emboaba Oscar has an effort from just inside the box that misses to the left of the goal.60:20
Corner taken left-footed by Juan Mata from the right by-line, Simon Mignolet makes a save.60:10
Juan Mata delivers the ball, John O'Shea gets a block in.54:03
David Luiz takes a shot.54:04
The assist for the goal came from David Luiz.54:04 Goal scored
Goal! - Branislav Ivanovic - Chelsea 2 - 1 Sunderland Branislav Ivanovic finds the back of the net with a goal from inside the area to the bottom right corner of the goal. Chelsea 2-1 Sunderland.53:56
Juan Mata decides to take the corner short.53:42
Cesar Azpilicueta takes a shot. Alfred N'Diaye gets a block in.52:41
Adam Johnson concedes a free kick for a foul on David Luiz. Free kick taken by David Luiz.52:05
Free kick awarded for a foul by Fernando Torres on Craig Gardner. Phil Bardsley takes the direct free kick.50:57
Connor Wickham concedes a free kick for a foul on Nascimento Ramires. David Luiz takes the free kick.49:38
Short corner worked by Emboaba Oscar.48:15
Sebastian Larsson gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Emboaba Oscar. Cesar Azpilicueta restarts play with the free kick.47:55
Stephane Sessegnon concedes a free kick for a foul on Branislav Ivanovic. David Luiz takes the free kick.46:04
Emboaba Oscar provided the assist for the goal.46:04 Goal scored
Goal! - Matthew Kilgallon - Chelsea 1 - 1 Sunderland Matthew Kilgallon puts the ball into his own net. Chelsea 1-1 Sunderland.45:40
The ball is crossed by Danny Rose, clearance by Branislav Ivanovic.45:25
Short corner worked by Adam Johnson.45:14
The ball is crossed by Craig Gardner, David Luiz manages to make a clearance.45:01
The second half begins.45:01 Substitution
Substitution Fernando Torres joins the action as a substitute, replacing Demba Ba.45:00 +3:33 Half time
Half Time The half-time whistle blows.45:00 +2:16
The ball is delivered by Emboaba Oscar, save by Simon Mignolet.44:38
Assist by John O'Shea.44:38 Goal scored
Goal! - Cesar Azpilicueta - Chelsea 0 - 1 Sunderland Cesar Azpilicueta scores an own goal from 6 yards. Chelsea 0-1 Sunderland.44:26
Adam Johnson takes the inswinging corner, John O'Shea takes a shot. Cesar Azpilicueta gets a block in.44:08
Connor Wickham takes a shot. Blocked by David Luiz.43:35
The ball is crossed by Ryan Bertrand, John O'Shea manages to make a clearance.43:04
Branislav Ivanovic fouled by Alfred N'Diaye, the ref awards a free kick. Branislav Ivanovic takes the direct free kick.42:46
Emboaba Oscar crosses the ball, Eden Hazard takes a shot. Save by Simon Mignolet.41:18
Sebastian Larsson gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Eden Hazard. Direct free kick taken by Branislav Ivanovic.41:06
Phil Bardsley produces a cross, clearance made by Nascimento Ramires.38:44
Free kick awarded for a foul by David Luiz on Connor Wickham. Direct free kick taken by Phil Bardsley.36:12
The referee gives a free kick against Sebastian Larsson for handball. The free kick is swung in left-footed by Juan Mata, Phil Bardsley manages to make a clearance.36:00
Cesar Azpilicueta crosses the ball, blocked by Sebastian Larsson.35:20
Cesar Azpilicueta crosses the ball.33:07
Free kick awarded for a foul by Nascimento Ramires on Stephane Sessegnon. Danny Rose restarts play with the free kick.32:03
David Luiz sends in a cross, Shot by Demba Ba from deep inside the penalty area misses to the right of the goal.30:51
A cross is delivered by Danny Rose, clearance made by David Luiz.29:24
Demba Ba concedes a free kick for a foul on John O'Shea. Direct free kick taken by Simon Mignolet.29:08
Cesar Azpilicueta crosses the ball.28:33
Stephane Sessegnon takes a shot. Blocked by Branislav Ivanovic.26:40
Ryan Bertrand crosses the ball, Nascimento Ramires takes a shot. Simon Mignolet makes a save.24:45
Branislav Ivanovic takes the free kick.24:45 Booking
Booking Craig Gardner is shown a yellow card for unsporting behaviour.24:34
Craig Gardner gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Demba Ba.22:23
Sebastian Larsson challenges Eden Hazard unfairly and gives away a free kick. The ball is crossed by Juan Mata, Branislav Ivanovic produces a header from inside the area that goes over the bar.20:34
Unfair challenge on Demba Ba by John O'Shea results in a free kick. Nascimento Ramires restarts play with the free kick.19:59
The ball is swung over by Stephane Sessegnon.18:45
Sebastian Larsson is penalised for a handball. Free kick taken by Nascimento Ramires.18:23
Corner taken left-footed by Adam Johnson from the right by-line, save by Petr Cech.18:12
Adam Johnson takes a shot. David Luiz gets a block in.17:00
Unfair challenge on Nascimento Ramires by Craig Gardner results in a free kick. Direct strike on goal from the free kick comes in from David Luiz.15:46
Corner taken by Juan Mata, save made by Simon Mignolet.15:32
Inswinging corner taken left-footed by Juan Mata, Matthew Kilgallon makes a clearance.15:05
A cross is delivered by Eden Hazard, clearance made by Matthew Kilgallon.14:10
Foul by Stephane Sessegnon on Ryan Bertrand, free kick awarded. Petr Cech restarts play with the free kick.13:45
The offside flag is raised against Juan Mata. Free kick taken by Simon Mignolet.13:14
The ball is swung over by Juan Mata, Simon Mignolet gets a block in.11:46
Corner taken by Juan Mata, clearance by Connor Wickham.11:28
Demba Ba takes a shot. John O'Shea gets a block in.10:50
Ryan Bertrand crosses the ball, blocked by John O'Shea.9:27
Shot from outside the box by Connor Wickham misses to the left of the goal.8:21
Eden Hazard concedes a free kick for a foul on Phil Bardsley. John O'Shea takes the free kick.7:34
Emboaba Oscar has an effort at goal from just outside the box which goes wide of the left-hand post.7:03
Foul by Connor Wickham on David Luiz, free kick awarded. Direct free kick taken by David Luiz.4:29
The ball is sent over by Emboaba Oscar, Phil Bardsley makes a clearance.2:34
Shot from inside the six-yard box by Stephane Sessegnon goes wide right of the goal.2:18
Adam Johnson crosses the ball, Ryan Bertrand gets a block in.1:38
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Craig Gardner by Mikel. Simon Mignolet restarts play with the free kick.1:26
The ball is crossed by Ryan Bertrand, John O'Shea makes a clearance.1:04
Free kick awarded for a foul by Connor Wickham on Branislav Ivanovic. Direct free kick taken by Branislav Ivanovic.0:22
Emboaba Oscar concedes a free kick for a foul on Connor Wickham. Direct free kick taken by Simon Mignolet.0:00
The game gets underway.
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