Titus Bramble reflects on highlight of SAFC career at Chelsea

GOOD WIN ... Titus Bramble.
GOOD WIN ... Titus Bramble.

STAMFORD Bridge marked the high point of Steve Bruce’s reign as Sunderland manager.

But within two months of November 2010’s famous 3-0 victory, the rot had set in and Bruce was unable to find a cure.

By the end of January, Danny Welbeck was crocked, Darren Bent jettisoned, and the defence ripped to pieces by injuries to Titus Bramble and Michael Turner.

Staggeringly, just two-and-a-half years on from the win, Bramble is one of only four players in the Sunderland 18 still plying their trade at the Stadium of Light.

Bramble, Phil Bardsley and Lee Cattermole all featured in the starting XI on that Autumn day, while goalkeeper Simon Mignolet was an unused substitute.

The lack of stability has hardly benefited Sunderland, with the Black Cats firmly engulfed in the relegation scrap as they prepare to return to Stamford Bridge this weekend.

But for centre-half Bramble, it remains the highlight of a three-year stint on Wearside, which is approaching its end, unless new head coach Paolo Di Canio opts to hand the 31-year-old a fresh contract in the summer.

Bramble told SportMail: “It’s right up there during my time at Sunderland.

“It was a fantastic result to win 3-0, and the performance was just as good. That’s the pleasing thing.

“Sometimes you go away from home and get a good result, but the performance isn’t great.

“But that time it was both.”

Chelsea had boasted a 100 per cent record in the Premier League until that Sunday afternoon, but were unable to penetrate a rock-solid Sunderland defence.

And it was at the other end where Sunderland did the damage – Nedum Onuoha, Asamoah Gyan and Welbeck all contributing to a scoreline which could have been far more emphatic.

Bramble added: “We didn’t have overly much to do defensively, but what we did do we did very well.

“It was just a joy to play in the game, and watch the attacking players cause them so much trouble.

“I remember it clearly. It was 3-0, but it could easily have been five or six.

“We had so many clear-cut chances.

“It was one of those great days where everything we did was right.”