Chelsea were frustrated by a hard-working Sunderland team at Stadium of Light on Saturday evening.
Chances were created both ways, with Chelsea the dominant team on the pitch, though Sunderland became the first team to deny a Chelsea goal this season.
Jose Mourinho fielded an unchanged team for the third match running, with Diego Costa leading the lines from the front.
The first big chance of the match came on 17 minutes, when Willian fired from range only to see his strike hit the post.
Just after the half hour mark Chelsea were through again. Branislav Ivanovic came storming forward down on his right side.
Inside the area, the Serbian defender attempted a shot from a tight angle, but Costel Pantilimon in the Sunderland goal saved brilliantly.
Sunderland probably thought they had got away with it by then but just minutes later they got a big chance to go in front on the day.
Santiago Vergini was on the receiving end of a Lee Cattermole cross. The defender’s attempt was saved by Thibaut Courtois and hit the top of the bar before going out for a corner kick.
Sunderland looked very pleased to get into half time with 0-0 on the scoresheet and in the second half they were always going to sit deep.
Chelsea were frustrated by the lack of opportunities and were forced to shoot from range as The Black Cats had loads of men behind the ball.
In fact, Jozy Altidore got the half’s first decent chance just nine minutes from the end. The Sunderland striker got inside the box and had a go at goal, but great defending by Chelsea prevented a late opener for the hosts.
Minutes later Adam Johnson had another chance for Gus Poyet’s men. A shot from distance ended up just outside Courtois’ post, and the match faded out in a 0-0 draw.
At the end of the day Chelsea were the only team really giving it a go but it ended with a third match in a row against Sunderland where we failed to win.
Chelsea are still top of the table with six points down to Manchester City in second. Former Blue – yet always a Blue – Frank Lampard scored City’s second as they overtook Southampton in a 3-0 win at St Mary’s on Sunday.
Chelsea (4-2-3-1): Courtois; Ivanovic, Cahill, Terry (c), Azpilicueta; Matic, Fabregas; Willian (Schurrle 84), Oscar (Remy 75), Hazard; Costa (Drogba 75)
Next up is Tottenham at home on Wednesday evening. Let’s get a win from that one!