GUS Poyet’s 100 per cent home record as Sunderland boss came to an end after a seven-goal thriller against his former club Chelsea.
Jozy Altidore’s first Premier League goal for the Black Cats gave basement boys Sunderland a dream start, but Chelsea immediately levelled through Frank Lampard.
The superb Eden Hazard then gave Chelsea a half-time lead when he fired home from the edge of the area.
Captain John O’Shea gave Sunderland an ideal start to the second half when he levelled from a corner before Hazard doubled his tally with a carbon-copy of his first.
Phil Bardsley’s comical own goal with six minutes to go looked to have sealed Sunderland’s fate, but the full-back then set up a grand stand finish by immediately netting his third of the season from Seb Larsson’s corner.
Gus Poyet made two changes to his starting line-up, with Steven Fletcher and Seb Larsson both left on the bench.
Jozy Altidore replaced Fletcher up front, while Jack Colback was also a like-for-like replacement for Larsson in central midfield.
Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho made two changes from the side which beat Southampton, with Frank Lampard and Willian coming in for Michael Essien and the injured Oscar.
Fabio Borini gave Chelsea a second minute scare when he burst past John Terry down the right-hand side of the area and hit a shot across goal which drifted just wide of the far post.
Frank Lampard let fly from 25 yards in the 10th minute, with a dipping right-footed shot which bounced a couple of yards wide of the woodwork.
Four minutes later, Sunderland went ahead as Altidore broke his Premier League duck for the Black Cats.
Andrea Dossena’s free-kick from 20 yards out went straight into the wall, but Jack Colback pounced on the rebound and fed Altidore 10 yards out.
With his back to goal, the American striker hit a powerful shot on the turn which squeezed inside the near post.
Chelsea’s response was instant though as they levelled within three minutes after Sunderland failed to clear Juan Mata’s corner.
The ball came out to Eden Hazard on the left-hand side of the area and he floated an inch-perfect cross for Frank Lampard, who completely lost Dossena, and headed home from six yards.
Dossena went close at the other end himself in the 31st minute after Chelsea failed to clear the Italian’s cross.
The ball came back out to the former Liverpool man on the far left of the area and he chested it down before unleashing a scorching half-volley which was tipped away by at full-stretch Petr Cech, albeit replays suggested it was heading wide.
Moments later, Fernando Torres had a chance from Mata’s free-kick, but the Spaniard fired well over the top from 10 yards out.
Chelsea didn’t have to wait too long for their second goal though as Hazard put Jose Mourinho’s side ahead in the 36th minute.
Hazard was allowed to drift inside from the left and the Belgian unleashed a low right-footed shot from the edge of the area which rocketed into the far corner.
HALF-TIME Sunderland 1 Chelsea 2
Sunderland drew level four minutes into the second half as John O’Shea netted his first of the season.
Emanuele GIaccherini mis-hit his corner from the right, but was flicked on at the near post by a Phil Bardsley back-heel.
Wes Brown couldn’t get anything on his attempted shot from 10 yards out, but central defensive partner O’Shea was right behind him and swept the ball into the net, via a deflection off John Terry.
Torres should have re-gained the lead in the 57th minute after Colback was caught in possession by Ramires midway inside the Chelsea half.
Ramires fed Torres, who swept the ball to the left for Hazard, in acres of space.
Hazard jinked past three Sunderland players before unleashing a right-footed shot which Vito Mannone did well to block, before Torres skied the rebound well over the top.
It was Hazard who did the damage again though in the 62nd minute when he played a one-two with Frank Lampard and received a back-heeled return pass.
Hazard skipped beyond Bardsley and O’Shea before firing a right-footed shot into the far corner.
Subsitute Demba Ba had a chance to seal the outcome in the 73rd minute when he turned Brown on the edge of the area, before scuffing an off-balance right-foot shot wide.
Ramires then went desperately close in the 80th minute when he surged down the right-hand side of the area and fired shot across goal which was inches wide of the far post.
With six minutes to go, Sunderland’s fate looked like it was sealed after Ramires sent Ba racing clear down the right.
The ex-Newcastle United striker over-hit his pull-back, but Bardsley slid in and diverted the ball into his own net.
Moments later though, Bardsley gained immediate redemption when Seb Larsson’s corner from the left went past Steven Fletcher and the full-back was there to stab it home from six yards out.
FULL-TIME Sunderland 3 Chelsea 4
SUNDERLAND: Mannone, Bardsley, Brown, O’Shea, Dossena, Ki, Colback (Larsson 56), Gardner (Fletcher 80), Giaccherini (Johnson 65), Borini, Altidore. Subs not used: Pickford, Celustka, Roberge, Cattermole. Booked: Dossena (39), Bardsley (45)
CHELSEA: Cech, Ivanovic, Cahill, Terry, Azpilicueta, Ramires, Lampard, Willian (Schurrle 90), Hazard, Mata (Mikel 81), Torres (Ba 65). Subs not used: Schwarzer, Cole, Essien, De Bruyne. Booked: Ramires (48), Hazard (62)