Frank Lampard scores the only goal of the game as Chelsea defeat Sunderland at Stamford Bridge this afternoon.
By Liam Apicella, Features Editor Filed: Saturday, January 14, 2012 at 16:53 UK
Last Updated: Saturday, January 14, 2012 at 17:27 UK
Frank Lampard scored the only goal of the game as Chelsea kept up their challenge for a Champions League place with a 1-0 victory over Sunderland this afternoon.
The England international struck in the 13th minute following good work from Juan Mata and Fernando Torres. The Spanish duo linked for the latter to send an over-head kick effort against the crossbar, but Lampard was alert to convert the rebound from close range.
Torres had a good chance to double Chelsea's advantage just before the break, but his close-range shot was palmed away by Simon Mignolet.
Visiting Sunderland came out for the second half in positive mood and created chances to claim a share of the spoils.
Nicklas Bendtner had his claims for a penalty waved away on the hour mark following a challenge from Chelsea full-back Ashley Cole inside the penalty area.
Just four minutes later Sebastian Larsson sent in a low cross for James McClean, but the young winger failed to score from six yards out with Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech stranded.
Substitute Craig Gardner had Sunderland's last chance to draw his team level, but he shot wide of goal following a cross from Stephane Sessegnon as Chelsea held out for all three points.