Chelsea capitulated in embarrassing style in the second half at the Stadium of light, losing 3-2 after going in at the interval 2-1 up.
To add insult to injury, John Terry was sent off for a second book able offence deep into added time at the end of the match.
It means that Terry, already sent off this season will now face a two-match ban and miss the rest of the season as the Blues have only Liverpool away and Leicester City at home to play.
This match, a defeat against Sunderland effectively means that's Terry's 14-year career at Chelsea is over.
He had already be revealed he would not be getting an extension to a contract which ends on July 1. He has been hoping for a new one, but that isn't on the cards.
it's an inglorious end to a Blues career for Terry.
While that red card is they full story for the Blues, the three points give Sunderland a relegation lifeline.
Chelsea opened the scoring through Diego Coats with Nemanja Matic restoring the lead after Kone's equaliser.
But the home side showed what Chelsea lacked, Andy that is fight and goals from ex-Chelsea youth product Fabio Borini and and then Jermain Defoe turned the game in their favour.
Gary Cahill was booked two minutes into the match when he hauled down Jermain Defoe on the edge of his penalty area after the striker latched onto an awful back pass by Nemanja Matic, which left Cahill exposed to the quick striker.
Chelsea first effort, was a somewhat tame left-footer by Willian, on nine minutes which Vito Mannone had no difficulty in sniffling to his body.
An excellent period of possession almost reaped dividends for the Blues but the 10-man move was halted by Lamine Kone on 13 minutes. But a minute later, the Londoners took the lead. A Eden Hazard and Cahil move saw the ball fall nicely for in-running Diego Costa on the left and the striker's deft right-footer was clipped past Mannone at an acute angle.
It was the Brazil-born Spain striker's first league goal since March 1 against Norwich City.
Defoe was a tad unlucky to see a curling header beat Thibaut Courtois and bounce off the base of his left upright. But the striker was adjudged to be offside Anyhow.
Costa missed. A sitter on 27 minuted when a brilliant right byline cross by Branislav Ivanovic zipped across the six-yard box. Had Costa being half a second early he would have tucked it home unchallenged. As it was he allowed the ball to pass him by.
But while Chelsea dominated possession, they were always looking shaky at the back. With four minutes until the break, a regulation header out of the penalty area by Cahill was met full on the right boot of Wahbi Khazri, who ripped the ball goal-bound. Even the slightest of deflections off Cahill could do nothing to stop it arrowing past a prone Courtois and into the back of the net to level the score.
When they want to play, Chelsea can be irresistible. And with the last kick of the half, Chelsea with Cesc Fabregas, Hazard, Cesar Azpilicueta all knocking the ball forward, Matic stole a march on the Sunderland rearguard and latched onto the ball from the left-back before tucking it neatly, with his left boot, under the body off Mannone to restore their lead.
There were no substitutions by either side at half-time.
The was precious little football of note in the second half, but what there was came from the home side and they duly popped up with two goals in two minutes. The first, on 68 minutes was made in Chelsea youth squad where Patrick Van Aanholt set up Fabio Borini to lash a low drive past Courtois, then goal-machine Defore smashed home from eight yards to send the 47,050 crowd into delirium.
Chelsea: Thibaut Courtois,, Branislav Ivanovic, Cesc Fabregas, Eden Hazard, John Obi Mikel, Diego Costa, Nemanja Matic, Willian, Garry Cahill, John Terry, Cesar Azpilicueta
Subs: Asmir Begovic, Baba Rahman, Oscar Alexandre Pato, Bertrand Traore, Kenedy, Ruben Loftus-Cheek
Sunderland: Vito Mannone, Patrick Van Aanholt, Lee Cattermole, Fabio Borini, Younes Kaboul, Jermain Defore, Yann M'Vila, Wahbi Khazri, Lamine Kone, DeAndre Yedlin, Jan Kirchhoff
Subs: Jordan Pickford, Sebastian Larsson, Jack Rodwell, Dame N'Doye, John O'Shea, Jermain Lens, Duncan Watmore
Referee M Dean