By RYAN TOLMICH
Jozy Altidore and Sunderland had been struggling.
The Black Cats, who entered the weekend with just 26 points from 33 games, are dead last in the Premier League. Altidore, who has scored one Premier League goal this season, had been absent from the Sunderland squad for the past few weeks.
Yet it was U.S. Men’s National Team forward who may have lit the spark that saves Sunderland season, as the Black Cats picked up a 2-1 victory over title hopefuls Chelsea. Altidore drew the winning penalty kick, converted by Fabio Borini for the big victory.
Altidore, who entered the game as a 66th-minute substitute, was deployed as a lone striker for a Sunderland side in need of a miracle. With just 10 minutes remaining, Altidore was upended by Chelsea defender Cesar Azpilicueta on the edge of the box, forcing referee Mike Dean to award Sunderland a penalty.
Borini scored to make the score 2-1, and Sunderland held on, picking up a crucial three points towards remaining in the Premier League.
With the win, Sunderland are just three points from safety with a game in hand on Cardiff City and Fulham, who sit 18th and 19th respectively. Sunderland’s next match comes next week when they host the aforementioned Cardiff in a game that may decide their Premier League fate.
The loss was a crucial blow to Chelsea’s English Premier League title hopes, making their upcoming match against Liverpool a must-win to even have a hope of catching the Reds for the title.
What did you think of Sunderland’s victory? Impressed with Altidore’s play? Think he could still redeem himself with a strong finish to the season?
Share your thoughts below.