Full-time - 90'
1 - 3
15:00 +00:00, December 8, 2012
Stadium of Light, England
Chelsea had too much firepower for Sunderland but there are hopeful signs for Martin O'Neill - his team fought well but lacked the goal threat to battle back into the game.
FULL TIME: Sunderland 1-3 Chelsea.
Gardner wallops a free kick against the cross bar, it rebounds into play but is volleyed wide.
Wickham fires in a speculative effort from the edge of the box after good work by Sessegnon but it is turned wide by Cech.
Four minutes of added time.
A left wing cross from Sunderland flies perilously across the goalmouth but Cole clips it away.
The Sunderland fans are leaving in their droves as they contemplate a defeat which leaves them in the bottom three and two points from safety.
Torres, alone up front, is not winning many balls or holding the ball up to much effect.
Sunderland free kick on the half way line to be taken by Mignolet. They have thrown everyone forward in an effort to salvage something but Luiz and Cahill combine to get the ball clear.
Ramires is yellow carded for a foul on Saha.
With so many Sunderland defenders denying Chelsea entry into the penalty area Lampard goes for broke from distance and forces Mignolet into a save. Good try.
Chelsea are seeing out the game and inviting the pressure on to them which is a dangerous way to play the game - no real urgency to their play.
Larsson leaves the pitch to be replaced by Louis Saha as Sunderland chase that second goal.
Torres looks to control Luiz's long punt downfield but the linesman judges him to have used his arm and awards Sunderland a free kick.
The experience Lampard gives may help Chelsea see out the victory here as they really are holding on a bit.
Lampard is coming on for Hazard. Chelsea's third and final sub.
Sunderland corner. Chelsea are camped out in their own half at the moment and in full-on defensive mode.
Sunderland, like in the first half, have taken a while to get going but are now providing a real threat.
Johnson hits a free kick from outside the area towards the right side of the goal but Cech is equal to it and palms it away.
Hazard works hard to find space on the left wing and crosses towards the penalty spot but the ball evades Mata. Unlucky.
Ivanovic has his name taken for a foul on McLean on the half way line.
David Luiz has to head clear a right wing cross from Sunderland as the hosts attack again. Corner for Sunderland.
That Sunderland goal has given Chelsea fresh purpose and they pour forward in numbers but when Sunderland regain possession they break with equal vigour. Both sides desperate to grab the next goal.
GOAL Johnson scores for Sunderland. Out on the left wing he lets fly with a swerving effort which leaves Cech no chance of making a save.
He comes for this one and punches clear but Sunderland attack again. They are gaining momentum again now.
Some great skill by Adam Johnson leaves Ashley Cole chasing shadows and wins Sunderland a corner. Cech comes to claim the corner but can't get there, it deflects off Luiz for another.
Moses is subbed for Bertrand.
Moses is proving his worth for Chelsea in the second half, tracking back to offer cover for Ivanovic and giving the visitors an attacking outlet from the back, running at defenders with great effect.
Benitez is readying Ryan Bertrand to come on who is already stripped off and ready to enter the fray.
This game is becoming another training ground practice match for Chelsea - in much the same way the Nordsjaelland game did after an hour or so.
The problem with that stat is that Sunderland aren't creating any visible threat and Chelsea are keeping them at arms length too easily.
Possession in the last five mins: Sunderland 57% Chelsea 43%
Chelsea invite Sunderland pressure and the hosts attack but their toothless attack is unable to create a real threat and Larsson's ball through to Wickham rolls out harmlessly for a goal kick.
Moses finds room on the right and drills a cross-shot across the goalmouth which slips wide - it just needed a touch to take it in.
With such a strong lead built up Chelsea have regained their swagger and are knocking the ball about confidently around the penalty area. Sunderland, in disarray, need to get hold of this game or they could lose by six.
GOAL Torres, the man in form, takes advantage of some terrible defending by Sunderland and slams a shot against the bar, the rebound falls kindly into the path of Mata who makes it 3-0 from close range.
Oscar is penalised for a foul on Gardner in the Sunderland penalty area.
KICK OFF: Sunderland get us underway in the second half.
Fernando Torres scores from the penalty spot to give Chelsea a 2-0 lead.
Chelsea have scored four Premier League penalties this season - only Fulham have as many.
You can read the latest Sunderland blog offering here.
Fernando Torres' opening goal against Sunderland ended a Premier League goal drought of 12 hours and 30 minutes.
HALF TIME: Sunderland 0-2 Chelsea. Chelsea head into the break with a comfortable cushion but if Sunderland can score next they will be confident they can fight back and maybe claim something out of the game.
GOAL As he chases down a loose ball, Ramires is fouled on the byline by Larsson and Halsey gives Chelsea a penalty. Torres confidently steps up and doubles Chelsea's lead on the stroke of half time. 2-0 to Chelsea.
The corner comes to nothing and Chelsea win a goal kick. Both sides are resigned to seeing out the half.
Two minutes to be added as Sunderland line up a corner.
Since Romeu's substitution Chelsea have lost their grip on the game and just can't get going. Benitez will have to address this at half time.
Gardner goes into the book for a late and high challenge on Oscar.
Torres drops out wide to the left and crosses in search of a colleague but Sunderland's five men in the box have the situation in control.
Mata takes the free kick into the box where it is partially cleared but only to Oscar who volleys wide of goal.
Bardsley's foul on Mata leaves the Spaniard floored and in pain. Free kick to Chelsea. The Sunderland defender raked his ankle.
For all Sunderland's improved possession they are having trouble making the chances to trouble Cech and the Chelsea defence. Sessegnon is the main threat.
Chelsea are being forced to change their game as their attacking players are not being given the space they need to find space and knock it about.
Whenever Chelsea pile forward the Sunderland defence are able to regain possession and start another attack - O'Shea and Cuellar are much improved.
Chelsea are under the cosh and just can't keep hold of the ball - Sunderland, cheered on by the home crowd are looking better and better.
Sessegnon's powerful shot from outside of the area forces Cech into a diving save and wins Sunderland a corner as the pressure continues.
Sunderland are enjoying more possession and are carving out attacks but the Chelsea defence remain relatively in control.
Sunderland fans are on their feet and in good voice backing their team, who as it stands are only out of the bottom three on superior goal difference to Southampton.
Sunderland corner taken by Larsson is pinged around the penalty area before eventually going out for a Chelsea throw in.
That's a bold move from Benitez - expect some goals at both ends. Chelsea now boast the talents of Hazard, Moses, Mata, Oscar, Torres...
Oscar is on for Romeu
Oriol Romeu is down getting treatment and it doesn't look too good for the youngster. Frank Lampard is warming up and looks like making his return as Romeu leaves the pitch limping alongside the physio.
The Chelsea fans are on their feet singing the name of former manager Roberto Di Matteo.
Luiz lofts the ball over the wall and towards the middle of the goal but it zips over the cross bar. Not a bad effort.
Free kick to Chelsea after Ramires is fouled by Larsson about 25 yards out. The Swede has imposed himself a lot so far and committed his share of fouls.
If Sunderland can take any comfort from going behind so early it is that West Ham came back from a goal down to beat Chelsea last Saturday. With that in mind Chelsea will be keen to add a second and a third goal.
GOAL Torres opens the scoring for Chelsea. Moses feeds Hazard down the left wing and the Belgian sends in a teasing cross which Torres meets at the near post with an outstretched leg to continue his refound goalscoring form.
Martin O'Neill is up prowling the touchline nervously while Benitez is taking notes in his seat. It is easy to see why O'Neill is feeling uncomfortable - his side are out of the bottom three by only one point.
Sunderland are allowing Mata, Moses and Hazard all the room they need to play their slick passing game and Chelsea look dangerous as a result.
Big chance for Torres in front of goal after a defensive mix up between O'Shea and Cuellar but Mignolet makes himself big and blocks the shot.
Although both sides have had attacks, Chelsea are in control and look the more convincing of the two sides here.
Chelsea corner after hard work by Hazard.
Hazard slips through Mata who squares the ball across the line but the sliding figure of Torres can't reach the ball to touch it in.
Three minutes in and it is already a wide open fast-paced Premier League game...just the norm then.
Big call for referee Halsey as Hazard is played through by Mata, the Belgian is tugged back by Larsson and then brought down by Mignolet in the Sunderland goal but the appeals for a penalty are waved away.
Sunderland pour forward in numbers again, but Cole is able to cut out Sessegnon's through ball.
Sunderland straight on the attack but Sessegnon's pass towards Johnson is too hard for the winger and Chelsea have a goal kick.
KICK OFF: Torres and Mata kick us off
Rafa Benitez takes his place in the dugout with a big grin on his face. Confident of a win today, maybe.
The teams are out at the Stadium of Light...
Watch every goal from every Premier League game with ESPN Goals (UK only)
Mark Halsey will referee the game today.
Can Sunderland stand a chance in the midfield battle with Chelsea, when they are without influential captain Lee Cattermole.
Rafael Benitez insists Chelsea are still in the title race.But they are already ten points behind Premier League leaders Manchester United.
Chelsea substitutes: Turnbull, Ferreira, Azpilicueta, Bertrand, Lampard, Oscar, Marin.
Frank Lampard is on the bench for Chelsea. A multi-million pound bench which also includes Oscar, Marin and Azpilicueta.
Chelsea team to face Sunderland: Cech, Ivanovic, Luiz, Cahill, Cole, Romeu, Ramires, Mata, Hazard, Moses, Torres
Rafa Benitez keeps faith in the Chelsea side that beat Nordsjaelland so convincingly in the Champions League.
Sunderland team to face Chelsea: Mignolet, Bardsley, Cuellar, O'Shea, Rose, Larsson, Gardner, Johnson, Sessegnon, McLean, Wickham
Breaking team news - Sunderland opt for Connor Wickham in place of the injured Steven Fletcher up front.
Chelsea are reported to be ready to offer Pep Guardiola a £20m-a-season contract to take over in the summer
Rafa Benitez is on borrowed time
Join us at 1500 GMT to see if Chelsea can get back on track with a win away at Sunderland