Chelsea began life after Jose Mourinho with a 3-1 win over Sunderland, with Branislav Ivanovic, Pedro, and Oscar all bagging goals at Stamford Bridge on Saturday.
- Chelsea 3 Sunderland 1
- Ivanovic heads Chelsea into the lead
- Pedro lashes in the second
- Oscar adds a third from the penalty spot
- Borini pulls one back for the Black Cats
Chelsea took a fifth-minute lead after a ferocious start to the game, with Branislav Ivanovic starting the second post-Mourinho era with a powerful header from Willian's corner.
The Blues were then 2-0 up soon afterwards when Ivanovic's ball in eluded the Sunderland defence to fall at the feet of Pedro, and the Spaniard was quick to react with a left-footed half volley into the net.
Oscar added a third from the penalty spot after Costel Pantilimon's foul on Willian before Fabio Borini pulled one back for the Black Cats just three minutes later.
The match got off to a frenzied start, with both club's approaching the game like a cup clash, with Chelsea eager to avoid another upset after Jose Mourinho's departure, while the Black Cats were looking to pounce on the managerless champions.
But Chelsea took the lead in the fifth minute through Branislav Ivanovic, who rose highest to meet Willian's corner with a powerful header rocketed in just under the crossbar. The Serbian has come in for plenty of criticism this season, but was once again on-hand to score another important goal for the club.
Ivanovic was having one of his best games of the season down the right flank, and turned provided for Chelsea's second with a ball into the box that Sunderland failed to deal with, allowing it to fall to Pedro, who pounced on the opportunity to fire it left-footed past Costel Pantilimon.
Chelsea continued to dominate proceedings and look to extend their lead, with Oscar seeing his 26th-minute effort well saved by Pantilimon after charging through to the defence, and Diego Costa slicing his chance over the bar from close range before getting another go from Pedro's cross with a header that was wide of target.
Chelsea then earned themselves a penalty almost immediately after the restart when Pedro found Willian down the right side of the box. He had a defender for company but Pantilimon still decided to come out and made contact after the Brazilian shifted it past him.
Oscar stepped up to the spot and waited for Pantilimon to make his move before calmly rolling it to the keeper's left to make it 3-0.
But Chelsea's three-goal cushion didn't last long as former player Fabio Borini struck at the other end. A deep free kick lifted in by Adam Johnson was met by Younes Kaboul, who headed it back across goal. Thibaut Courtois got a touch but spilled it into the path of the Italian to tuck home.
There were numerous chances for both sides to add to the scoreline, with Defoe getting a couple of shots away at the Chelsea goal and Pedro missing a good chance at the other end, but the Blues held on for just their fifth win of the campaign after a tumultuous few days at Stamford Bridge.