Sunderland hit Chelsea title hopes with 2-1 win in unpredictable twist
By Samuel Petrequin , AP
April 21, 2014, 12:00 am TWN
LONDON--In another twist to this unpredictable English Premier League season, bottom side Sunderland damaged Chelsea's title hopes with a shock 2-1 victory at Stamford Bridge on Saturday.
After surprise defeats to Aston Villa and Crystal Palace in recent weeks, Chelsea again stuttered against weaker opposition, as Jose Mourinho's 77-match unbeaten home run as Chelsea boss came to an end in a major boost for league leader Liverpool.
Chelsea could not hold onto its lead after Samuel Eto'o opened the scoring, as Connor Wickham leveled from a rebound six minutes later following Marcos Alonso's long-range effort. Fabio Borini then scored from the spot after Cesar Azpilicueta brought down Jozy Altidore in the box with eight minutes remaining.
Elsewhere, Crystal Palace claimed a fifth consecutive win with a 1-0 defeat of West Ham to secure its place in the topflight next season, and Swansea secured a vital 2-1 win at Newcastle that piled more pressure on Magpies manager Alan Pardew.
Peter Whittingham's second-half penalty gave Cardiff a precious point in a 1-1 draw against Stoke, and Aston Villa could record only a goalless home draw with Southampton.
Sunderland goalkeeper Vito Mannone made 14 saves as Chelsea blew the opportunity to dislodge Liverpool from top spot.