Chelsea gave manager Andre Villas-Boas some breathing space as they recorded a 3-0 victory over Bolton Wanderers at Stamford Bridge.
Ashley Cole, Michael Essien and Frank Lampard were all restored to the starting line-up, and the old guard helped the Blues to a comfortable victory in front of the watching Roman Abramovich.
The Blues dominated the first half but were unable to make the breakthrough until the 48th minute, when David Luiz made space in the box before curling the ball around Bolton 'keeper Adam Bogdan.
Didier Drogba then doubled their lead on the hour after powerfully heading home from a corner, and Lampard finished off the scoring on 79 minutes when he was left in acres of space to fire in at the far post.
Sunderland came crashing back down to earth as they slumped to a 4-0 defeat at the hands of West Brom.
Peter Odemwingie scored his fifth goal in two matches as the Baggies claimed back-to-back league wins for the first time in 2012. Since replacing Steve Bruce at the Stadium of Light, Martin O'Neill has transformed Sunderland's season, turning his side from relegation candidates into European hopefuls, but they were second best to Roy Hodgson's side at The Hawthorns.
Odemwingie, who scored a hat-trick at Wolves last time out, got the Baggies off the mark after just three minutes, nodding in Youssef Mulumbu's cross from the left.
And the Baggies doubled their advantage shortly before half-time, James Morrison nodding past Simon Mignolet from Jerome Thomas' cross. It could have been three just seconds later, but Kieran Richardson blocked Marc-Antoine Fortune's effort after the Sunderland defence failed to clear Jonas Olsson's flick. Odemwingie then compounded Sunderland's woes, burying Fortune's cross before Keith Andrew sealed the rout.