The result saw Jose Mourinho lose for the first time at home in the league with the Blues, bringing an end to the Portuguese's 77-game unbeaten streak.
Here, Sports Mole takes a closer look at the action between the two teams in West London.
On target: 15
On target: 3
Was the result fair?
A draw would have probably been the most reasonable result following a thrilling 90 minutes at Stamford Bridge, but it is hard to discredit Sunderland for their heroic display. Chelsea threw absolutely everything at them, and they managed to hold on a pick up a massive three points in their survival bid.
The Blues dominated for almost the entire game, but their impotence up front meant that they could not break Sunderland down. They mounted attack after attack, only to be met by their resilient opponents. If anything, this was the type of display that Arsenal have been criticised for so often down the years: lovely, neat build-up play that lacks any sort of end product. Not only that, but they were also fairly shaky at the back. Mark Schwarzer did little to calm his defence with an erratic performance that was the opposite of the steady Petr Cech. Despite their title hopes still being alive, it is hard to see Chelsea winning the title now.
The Black Cats had to ride their luck at times, but this was a superb showing from the Premier League strugglers. While they needed to be patient from an attacking perspective, it was in defence and midfield where they earned their corn. Gus Poyet's side played with an intensity that surprised Chelsea, not allowing the hosts much time on the ball when they were trying to build from the back. To Sunderland's credit, they rarely let their performance level drop throughout the 90 minutes. They were on the back foot for most of that time, but all of the players did their jobs to record a famous win.
Sports Mole's man of the match
Vito Mannone: The Sunderland goalkeeper had one or two dodgy moments, but over two dozen saves tells you that he was in the thick of the action and doing all he could to keep his team in the match. Time and again he came to the visitors' rescue, keeping the ball out of the net with every part of his body. One of those days.
Demba Ba had a glorious chance to put Chelsea in front on 65 minutes when he was picked out by Willian inside the box. However, the striker could only slice his effort wide after losing his footing on the Stamford Bridge turf. More composure could have seen a different outcome.
There is no denying that this was a controversial day for Mike Dean. His first big moment came when he failed to send off Ramires for lashing out at Sebastian Larsson - a certain red card. His second moment of contention was in the build-up to Sunderland's winner. It was a soft penalty at the best of times, but he went with the word of his official before pointing to the spot.
Chelsea: The Blues continue their Champions League campaign on Tuesday with a trip to Atletico Madrid for the first leg of their semi-final clash.
Sunderland: The Black Cats return to Premier League action next Saturday when they entertain fellow strugglers Cardiff City.