But just as they were dominant going forward against the Black Cats, defensive lapses saw the game go right to the wire when the Blues should have had things wrapped up well in advance of the referee's final whistle.
The game ended 4-3, and an excellent performance from Eden Hazard that ensured goals from Jozy Altidore, John O'Shea and Phil Bardsley proved little more than a consolation for Sunderland.
Poor defensive performances are beginning to creep their way into Chelsea's matches of late, with the events on Wednesday being far from isolated.
Just a few days previous, Chelsea had fallen behind after 14 seconds against Southampton due to an error in judgement, while a lapse in concentration saw them fall to a 1-0 defeat at the hands of Basel in the Champions League.
Indeed, they have conceded the first goal in their previous three matches, not to mention keeping just two clean sheets in 10 Premier League outings since late September.
Jose Mourinho will be concerned with this series of events, and if the Blues do not tackle their existing defensive deficiencies, it will impact how successful they are this term.
Bleacher Report looks at some key areas that must be addressed.