SUNDERLAND, England (AP) — Chelsea failed to score for the first time this season although the Premier League leaders remained unbeaten after a 0-0 draw with Sunderland on Saturday.
Having previously been held by Manchester rivals United and City, this was just the third time this season Chelsea had dropped points.
Both teams did hit the woodwork in the first half, with Sunderland defender Santiago Vergini denied by the crossbar and Chelsea midfielder Willian hitting the foot of the post.
On a frustrating day for Chelsea, Diego Costa nearly allowed it to get the better of him. The visiting striker appeared to kick out at defender John O'Shea and then caught Wes Brown with his arm in an aerial challenge, an offense which earned him a fifth booking of the campaign.
Chelsea is seven points ahead of Southampton, which hosts third-place Manchester City on Sunday.