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Chelsea Quick Kicks: Vito Is Back; Jozy Earns Some Love

We pick out a few points of interest from the stunning win at Stamford Bridge.

Jamie McDonald

Welcome back, Vito!

Mannone's mistake at Manchester City last week was one of the most gut-wrenching moments of the season. It wasn't just because of the points it cost, but because you could see that it genuinely hurt him.

Against Chelsea it was obvious that the blunder was still playing on the loveable Italian's mind. He was very shaky early on and very tentative on a couple of corners, including the one from which Samuel Eto'o opened the scoring. From that point on, though, he was magnificent.

By the time the final whistle had blown, Mannone had made a colossal 14 saves. None of them were especially special, but it was the joint most amount of saves in a match any goalkeeper has made in the Premier League in the last decade.

It's good to have you back, Vito.


Does anyone even care?

Well, I suppose that Jose Mourinho and at least one of his assistants care, and the pundits have certainly had their say. I'm going to do something I can't ever remember doing before and agree with Graham Poll.

Poll wrote in his newspaper column that the incident was a 'grey area' and a fair case could have been made for either decision and I think that's basically true. César Azpilicueta didn't intend to make a challenge and it was more an innocent and accidental tangle of legs that occured, but I think if a defender leaves his feet in his own box and takes down an attacker in control of the ball without winning it, he can't have too many complaints.

It's the kind of decision that Sunderland don't usually get and Chelsea do - in fact it was the first Premier League penalty the Blues have conceded all season - so surely we can have this one?

Matchwinner Jozy!

Say what you want about Jozy Altidore, and most do, but he won the matchwinning penalty and no one can take that away from him. He came off the bench and made a difference in a crucial moment of the season. Well done that man.

He hasn't had an easy time of it and, yes, most of the criticism that has been directed to him has been fair given his struggles in front of goal, but you have to give the lad credit where it's due otherwise it stops being criticism and becomes an agenda instead.

It may surprise people to know that over the course of the season, Sunderland's win percentage in all competitions when Altidore has been involved is 36% compared to just 11% without him. In fact, Sunderland haven't won a single Premier League game without Altidore getting on the pitch, taking just two points from seven games. May be that's a coincidence, I don't know. But may be it's time to also cut him a little slack and give him a little love.

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