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Another tussle with The Special One...

Sunderland have had a mixed bag of contests against Jose Mourinho - our pre-season trip to Portugal will provide the latest.

Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

Our pre-season schedule was complete earlier this week with a second match for the trip to Portugal now pencilled in.

As well as facing Europa League finalists Rangers, it’s now been confirmed that we will take on Europa Conference League winners Roma.

This will be a top test for Sunderland ahead of the upcoming Championship season, and it will also bring us up against infamous former Premier League manager Jose Mourinho for the first time in five years.

Here, I take a look at some of the run-ins we’ve had with ‘The Special One’ over the years.

Sunderland AFC 1-2 Chelsea - 15 January 2006

Sunderland v Chelsea Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Jose’s first visit to the Stadium of Light saw him bring his Chelsea side to a club already on the brink of relegation.

The Blues were looking good for a second straight Premier League title, but they were given an early shock when Liam Lawrence fired home to give Sunderland the lead.

It wouldn’t last, obviously, but we put in a spirited display against what was at the time the best team in the country.

Goals from Hernan Crespo and Arjen Robben made sure the visitors returned to London with all three points.

Sunderland AFC 3-4 Chelsea - 4 December 2013

Soccer - Barclays Premier League - Sunderland v Chelsea - Stadium of Light Photo by Darren Walsh/Chelsea FC via Getty Images

An utterly crazy contest resulted in a narrow defeat for Gus Poyet’s Sunderland, keeping us rooted to the foot of the Premier League.

Cult hero Jozy Altidore scored his only league goal for us that night to open the scoring before Frank Lampard levelled things up.

Eden Hazard put the visitors ahead before John O’Shea made things 2-2, proving that Sunderland were up for the fight.

Two goals in the last 20 minutes however made sure Mourinho’s side sealed the three points – but not before a late Phil Bardsley goal gave Sunderland a glimmer of hope.

Our next league meeting would be just as memorable for SAFC fans, but for all the right reasons.

Sunderland AFC 2-1 Chelsea - 17 December 2013 (League Cup Quarter Final)

Soccer - Capital One Cup - Quarter Final - Sunderland v Chelsea - Stadium of Light Photo by Owen Humphreys/PA Images via Getty Images

Less than two weeks on from the 4-3 defeat, Sunderland once again welcomed Mourinho’s Chelsea to Wearside.

We’d enjoyed a good run in the league cup, which was proving a distraction from some truly abysmal league results.

The visitors took the lead through a goal that went down as a Lee Cattermole own goal just after halftime.

It looked as though this one goal would be enough, but up stepped Fabio Borini to nab a leveller just two minutes from time.

Extra time was a slog, and just as it looked as though penalties were looming, on-loan Ki Sung-Yeung fired home past Mark Schwarzer to set up a semi-final tie at Manchester United.

Chelsea 1-2 Sunderland AFC - 19 April 2014

Soccer : Barclays Premier League - Chelsea v Sunderland Photo by Catherine Ivill/AMA/AMA/Corbis via Getty Images

Five months on from the seven-goal thriller, Mourinho’s Chelsea were locked in a title race while it was looking increasingly likely Sunderland would be relegated.

The match looked to be going to script when Samuel Eto’o put the hosts ahead early, but a Connor Wickham equaliser gave Sunderland what they deserved.

A point would have been an incredible effort, but we wouldn’t need to settle for a point.

A late penalty from Fabio Borini would earn Sunderland a famous win, and inflict the first home defeat in the Premier League for Mourinho.

Sunderland AFC 0-3 Manchester United - 9 April 2017

Sunderland v Manchester United - Premier League Photo by Chris Brunskill Ltd/Getty Images

Our last meeting with Jose Mourinho was his only visit to the Stadium of Light as Manchester United manager.

A 3-0 win against a sorry-looking Sunderland put us 10 points adrift of safety with just seven games left.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Henrik Mhykitaryan and Marcus Rashford got the goals and Seb Larsson was sent off.

Mourinho would lead United to the Europa League title the following month, while we were officially relegated following a 1-0 home defeat to AFC Bournemouth.

It’s fair to say we’ve had a mixed bag against Jose over the years, and we’ve not beaten him many times.

However, each of the victories we have got over him have been special in their own way, and any form of result against his Roma side would be hugely uplifting ahead of the new season.


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