Chelsea have slipped to third position in the Premier League after losing 3-2 to Stoke City at the Britannia Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
Andre Schurrle put Jose Mourinho’s men in front on nine minutes before Peter Crouch drew the hosts level three minute before the break.
The host’s then took the lead five minutes into the second half through Stephen Ireland before Schurrle got his and the Blues’ second just five minutes later.
Then, in the final minute of the game, Oussama Assaidi fired in an angled shot to secure victory for Mark Hughes’ men, and consign Chelsea to their third league defeat of the season.
The club will now turn their attention to Wednesday evening’s match with Steaua Bucharest if the final round of Champions League group games, where victory will guarantee first place ahead of either Schalke or Basel who meet in Gelsenkirchen.
Meanwhile, the club are set to swoop for Monaco’s Radamel Falcao, according to the Daily Star.
The Colombia striker only moved to the Ligue 1 sidde in the summer and has scored nine times in fourteen games though Mourinho has been linked with a £60m bid as his current selection of strikers continue to misfire.
Chelsea remain without centre back David Luiz for tomorrow afternoon’s trip to Stoke City.
The Brazilian is still struggling with a knee problem though his international teammate Oscar has recovered from an ankle knock but may still be rested.
Cameroon international Samuel Eto’o is available after missing the Blues’ last two games with a groin problem, and may replace Fernando Torres at the top of the field.
Three points for Jose Mourinho’s men will see them move to within a point of Arsenal at the top of the table, with the league leaders not playing until Sunday afternoon when the host fifth place Everton.
Chelsea’s 4-0 victory at the Britannia Stadium back in January was their third successive victory against the Potters, and all three have come without them conceding.
Meanwhile, Mourinho is refusing to rule Manchester United of the title race, according to the Metro.
Chelsea currently sit eight points above the reigning champions, who fell to their fourth league defeat of the season on Wednesday afternoon; losing 1-0 to Everton at Old Trafford.
The Blues boss believes that even if United fail to win the division this season, they will bounce back next season to reclaim their title.
Chelsea edged past Sunderland to take all three points in a seven-goal thriller at the Stadium of Light yesterday evening.
The hosts took the lead through Jozy Altidore on fourteen minutes, only for Frank Lampard to draw the visitors level three minutes later with a close range header.
Eden Hazard then put Chelsea in front with a curling strike from twenty yards, with John O’Shea levelling terms five minutes after the break.
Hazard then wove through the home defence to fire in his second and the Blues third, before Phil Bardsley turned into his own net with six minutes to play to put the result beyond doubt.
Bardsley still had time to make amends by scoring at the right end, but Jose Mourinho’s men held on to chalk up a third straight league victory and keep pressure on league leaders Arsenal, who beat Hull City 2-0 at the Emirates Stadium.
The club’s hectic December continues on Saturday afternoon when they travel to Stoke City before hosting Steaua Bucharest in their final Champions League game on Wednesday evening.
They then face Crystal Palace at Stamford Bridge before again travelling to the Stadium of Light to play Sunderland – this time in their Capital One Cup quarter final.
Chelsea will be without Brazilian midfielder Oscar for this evening’s trip to Sunderland.
The 22 year old injured his ankle in Sunday afternoon’s 3-1 win over Southampton, and joins international teammate David Luiz on the side-lines, though Samuel Eto’o could feature after returning to training following a hamstring problem.
The Blues have are unbeaten in their last three league games, and have lost just one in their last nine. Three points here will keep the pressure on leaders Arsenal, who host Hull City this evening.
This evening’s match begins a run of three matches against teams currently in the bottom five of the Premier League for Jose Mourinho’s side.
They travel to Stoke City on Saturday afternoon before facing Crystal Palace seven days later.
Meanwhile, Thibaut Courtois is set to hold talks with the club regarding his long term future, Sky Sports understands.
The Belgium international is currently in his third season on loan with Atletico Madrid, where he has established himself as one of the best young goalkeepers in world football.
Both Barcelona and Real Madrid have been linked with a move for the 21 year old, who is yet to play for Chelsea since signing from Genk in 2011.
Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic is confident that the club have a fighting chance of reclaiming the Premier League title, Sky Sports understands.
The Blues, who currently sit in second place four points behind leaders Arsenal, last lifted the trophy under the guidance of Carlo Ancelotti back in 2010.
Ivanovic believes the team are much improved following the return of Jose Mourinho, who led the club to back to back titles during his first spell in charge at Stamford Bridge.
Meanwhile, Chelsea target Max Meyler has signed a new long term contract with Schalke, according to the Metro.
The 18 year old, who has caught the eye of a number of Europe’s elite clubs with impressive displays in both the Bundesliga and the Champions League, has confirmed that his future remains with Jens Keller’s side.
Elsewhere, Bayern Munich have entered the race to sign out of favour defender David Luiz, the Express understands.
The Brazil international, who is currently side-lined with a knee injury, has seen his opportunities limited this season with Gary Cahill and John Terry proving to be Mourinho’s preferred central defensive partnership.
Luiz could be tempted to move away from Stamford Bridge as he looks to cement a place in Luiz Felipe Scolari’s side for next summer’s World Cup finals in his native Brazil.
Chelsea have risen to second place in the Premier League after beating Southampton 3-1 at Stamford Bridge yesterday afternoon.
The visitors took the lead inside thirteen seconds through Jay Rodriguez, who capitalised on a mistake from Michael Essien.
However, the Blues improved after the second half, and Gary Cahill levelled terms ten minutes after the restart before his central defensive partner and club captain John Terry turned the game on its head soon after.
Substitute Demba Ba then fired in his first league goal since March in stoppage time to put the result beyond doubt, and secure a second straight win for Jose Mourinho’s men who will now turn their attention to Wednesday evening’s trip to lowly Sunderland, where they have won on each of their past eight visits.
Meanwhile, West Ham United manager Sam Allardyce is set to make a fresh approach for Demba Ba when the transfer window reopens next month.
His appearance off the bench yesterday was only his fifth in the Premier League this season, while his four outings in the cup competitions this time around have all come as a substitute.
Premier League leaders Arsenal were interested in securing the Senegal international’s services in the summer.
Samuel Eto’o is out of Chelsea’s clash with Southampton on Sunday afternoon after picking up a groin injury in Tuesday evening’s Champions League defeat to Basel.
The Cameroon international, who is set to miss the next two weeks, could be replaced by Fernando Torres, who returned from his abductor injury midweek.
David Luiz is doubtful as he struggles to shake of a knee injury, while Marco van Ginkel is out for the majority of the season with a knee injury.
Victory could see Jose Mourinho’s men close the gap on leaders Arsenal, depending on their result against Cardiff City on Saturday afternoon.
Meanwhile second place Liverpool, who are level on points with the Blues, travel to Hull City on Sunday afternoon.
Elsewhere, Mourinnho has taken a swipe at Romelu Lukaku, with many still questioning why he was again allowed to go out on loan this season, the Mail Online understands.
Following a successful season-long stint at West Bromwich Albion last year, the Belgium international moved to Everton for the season on transfer deadline day.
With Chelsea’s current set of forwards largely misfiring, journalists and fans alike have been rueing the clubs decision to temporarily part company with the 20 year old, but the Blues boss has said it is for the player to reveal the reason why.
Liverpool are plotting to bid £8m for Ryan Bertrand when the transfer window reopens, the Metro understands.
Reds’ manager Brendan Rodgers is keen on bringing in cover for Jose Enrique, who is side-lined until February after undergoing knee surgery.
Bertrand has played just sixty-four minutes of Premier League football this season, with two other appearances coming in the Capital One Cup.
He has previously had loan spells with Bournemouth, Norwich City, Reading and Nottingham Forest but could now be set to secure a permanent move away from the club.
Should the 24 year old leave, the Blues may well step up their interest in Wolfsburg’s Ricardo Rodriquez, who they are reportedly eyeing as a long term replacement for Ashley Cole.
Meanwhile, the club are in secret talks with Porto’s Jackson Martinez, according to ESPN.
Jose Mourinho is keen on bringing in a new striker in January, and has identified the prolific Colombia international as his top target.
The 27 year old moved to Europe last July, and has scored an impressive thirty-four goals in just forty league appearances, whilst internationally he has eight in twenty-five senior caps, and is almost certain to be involved at next summer’s World Cup finals.
Chelsea’s progression the knockout stages of the Champions League has been secured despite them losing to a late goal in Basel yesterday evening.
Mohamed Salah, who netted the equaliser when the sides met at Stamford Bridge in September, scored late on to secure back to back wins over the Blues for Murat Yakin’s side.
Petr Cech kept the visitors, who only mustered one attempt on goal throughout the whole match, in the game with several saves.
However, thanks to Steaua Bucharest’s goalless draw with Schalke in Group E’s other fixture means that Jose Mourinho’s men cannot drop to third place, regardless of the results on match day six.
The club will now turn their attention to Sunday afternoon’s Premier League clash with Southampton, where they will be looking to keep pressure on leaders Arsenal who they meet next month.
Meanwhile, the Daily Star have reported that both Manchester United and Liverpool have taken to Twitter to call for their respective clubs to sign Juan Mata.
The Spain international has been strongly linked with a move away from Stamford Bridge after falling down the pecking order since Jose Mourinho returned to the club.
He has completed ninety minutes just one this season – the Capital One Cup third round victory over Swindon Town in September.