LONDON - Chelsea's pursuit of Liverpool in the Premier League title race suffered a surprise blow yesterday as they were beaten 2-1 by bottom side Sunderland.
The defeat, Jose Mourinho's first in the league at home in either of his stints as Chelsea manager in a run of 77 games, leaves Chelsea two points behind Liverpool.
Sunderland's winner came from Fabio Borini, who is on loan from Liverpool. The win leaves them bottom, but just three points from safety.
Chelsea went ahead after 12 minutes, Samuel Eto'o capitalising on some sluggish defending to turn in a corner for his ninth goal of the season.
But Sunderland levelled six minutes later, a cleverly worked corner finding Marcos Alonso unmarked at the edge of the box.
His shot was parried by former Socceroo Mark Schwarzer, but Connor Whickham stole in to nab his third goal in two games.
Vito Mannone made a string of fine saves and as Chelsea's frustration grew, Ramires smashed his forearm into Sebastian Larsson's face.
The offence went unnoticed by referee Mike Dean, but retrospective action is likely.
Chelsea had all the pressure but, nine minutes from time, substitute Jozy Altidore was fouled by Cesar Azpilicueta, and Borini rolled in the penalty.
Chelsea assistant coach Rui Faria was sent to the stands for his protests at the award.
Fulham's hopes of avoiding relegation suffered a blow as they were beaten 3-1 by Tottenham Hotspur.
The defeat leaves Felix Magath's side two points behind fourth-bottom Norwich City, who host leaders Liverpool on Sunday.
"We have to win our home games and if we make six points it could be enough. We will stay up," said Magath.
Swansea City moved a healthy six points clear of the drop zone after a 2-1 win away to Newcastle United.
"It means everything," Swansea manager Garry Monk told Sky Sports.
Cardiff City are second-bottom, a point behind Fulham, after drawing 1-1 at home to Stoke City.
Marco Arnautovic put Stoke ahead from the penalty spot on the stroke of half-time after Peter Odemwingie had tumbled under a Kim Bo-kyung challenge.
"I felt what I felt at the time, that it was not a penalty, but I accept that (referee) Howard has got to make a decision there and then," said Cardiff manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.