Had it not been for Mignolet the margin of defeat could have been a lot wider for Sunderland and he was one of the only players to emerge with any credit.
A master of his trade. The former Manchester United player rolled back the years with a rock-solid performance that showed why Sir Alex Ferguson hailed him as the club’s most natural defender.
He has been around the block so many times it seems incredible that he still lets his team down by panicking when the pressure is on but he is still singularly erratic.
It seems incredible that Richardson was once tipped to challenge Ashley Cole for the England left-back spot because he is careless in possession and lacks positional sense.
A steady but unspectacular performance from the Scottish international who failed to pose an attacking threat spending most of his time on the backfoot..
He used to be a regular source of goals in his Birmingham days but he offered little by way of an attacking threat as Chelsea dominated.
If only he knew how to control his aggression he could be a major asset to Sunderland but when he gives away free-kicks in dangerous positions as he did here ahead of Terry's opener then he is a liability.
Excellent delivery at free-kicks and full of neat flicks but he failed to seriously trouble Cole and was rendered peripheral by his marker.
Flashes of inspiration from the diminutive wide man but apart from the low shot that Cech did well to repel his contribution was negligible.
It is surely about time the promising youngster was taken out of the firing line because he is starting to look out of his depth as his team struggle.
The focal point of the Sunderland, gave John Terry a torrid time but flatters to deceive, missing a sitter by nodding Sebastian Larsson’s free-kick wide with just Petr Cech to beat at 0-0.
He might have had much to do but on the few occasions when Sunderland managed to threaten an equaliser he was at his imperious best, particularly when thwarting Sessegnon.
Comfortable shift for the Portuguese full-back but should have offered Sturridge more support in attack.
Business as usual for the England left-back who was an intimidating presence in defence and a menacing figure in attack. Flawless.
He found Bendtner a handful in the air but the Sunderland defence struggled to cope with the England skipper as he opened the scoring before using his considerable experience in getting to grips with the Dane.
A steadying influence alongside Terry as Sunderland seized the initiative early on.
His tenacity ensured that Chelsea dominated exchanges in the midfield trenches.
The Mohican hair-style might not look particularly pretty but he performed the shielding role in front of his back-four to perfection.
Sublime through-ball to Ashley Cole early into his full debut showed that he possesses the creativity, speed-of-thought and adhesive touch that Chelsea have craved.
He might be surplus to requirements for Fabio Capello but he still looks indispensable when it comes to Chelsea and almost opened the scoring but was denied by a post moments before Terry scored.
Grabbed his chance with both hands after being preferred to Fernando Torres in a three-pronged attack and his cheeky back-heeled goal put the game beyond Sunderland.
Made light of the absence of Torres by spearheading the Chelsea attack intelligently and energetically and would have doubled the lead had it not been for a fine Mignolet save.
- 20 K. Westwood
- 4 M. Turner
- 15 D. Vaughan
Ahmed El Mohamady
Came on as a second-half substitute but failed to make an impact as Sunderland were given the runaround.
- 23 J. McClean
The teenager showed enough of a threat in the last half-hour to suggest that he deserves a starting slot alongside Bendtner.
A late arrival for Sessegnon with eight minutes to go, which proved to be long enough for the striker to open his account for the Black Cats, albeit only a consolation strike.
- 40 Hilário
- 4 David Luiz
Late substitute as Chelsea took their foot off the gas.
- 20 J. McEachran
Came on late on when the game was effectively won and lost.
- 21 S. Kalou
Failed to make the most of his late cameo role after entering the fray in place of Mata late on.