Sunderland’s 10-year stay in the Premier League came to an end on Sunday as champions Chelsea strolled to victory at Stamford Bridge.
Javier Manquillo temporarily rewrote the script early on with a superb finish at the back post, but Chelsea struck back on eight minutes as Willian rifled the ball beyond Jordan Pickford.
With 26 minutes on the clock Stamford Bridge rose to applaud a legend as John Terry exited the field of play for the final time as a Chelsea player, bringing two decades in Blue to a fitting end.
The Sunderland players were first to acknowledge the Chelsea captain before his team-mates formed a guard of honour on the touchline as West London saluted their skipper.
Antonio Conte’s side continued to bombard the Sunderland defence in their attempt to chase down a record 30th Premier League win of the season, but they were made to wait as the Black Cats held firm.
A host of Chelsea players went close but it was Eden Hazard who made the difference, with the Belgian wizard dancing down the left before slamming a super finish beyond Jordan Pickford.
And Blues were gifted a third in the closing stages through Pedro before a double from Michy Batshuayi kickstarted the Stamford Bridge celebrations.
David Moyes was forced into changes ahead of the game after 11 first-team players were ruled out of the contest, and the Sunderland boss was handed a further blow ahead of the game after Jermain Defoe was ruled out due to a hamstring injury.
Borini led the line against his former club with Joleon Lescott making his first start in red and white, but all eyes were on the champions ahead of kick-off as the Black Cats formed a guard of honour.
Chelsea started well and the enigmatic Conte orchestrated the home support to crank up the already deafening noise levels, but with just three minutes on the clock Stamford Bridge was silenced.
Adnan Januzaj crafted the Black Cats’ first opening with a fine run forcing a free-kick, and from it Moyes’ men took the lead with Manquillo smashing the ball into the roof of the net after Seb Larsson’s free-kick was blocked into his path.
But Chelsea responded and from that point on the Black Cats were under the cosh.
Five minutes later the Blues levelled through Willian who rifled the ball beyond Pickford following immense pressure, with shots continuing to rain down on the Sunderland stopper as Conte’s side searched for a second.
Eden Hazard was next to be denied before Diego Costa volleyed wide, and although Victor Moses, David Luiz and Cesc Fabregas went close it ended level at the break.
And it was Thibaut Courtois who ensured it remained that way at the start of the second period.
A quickfire start from the Black Cats caught the Blues off-guard and the Black Cats forced the Belgian stopper into a fine save, with Rodwell’s powerful header parried to safety.
Chelsea responded as Moses flashed an effort past the far post where Costa was unable to connect, but one minute after the hour mark Hazard took command.
Exceptional movement ensured Billy Jones didn’t know whether to stick of twist, and in a moment of hesitation he allowed the Belgian to strike with a rasping finish giving Pickford no chance.
And late goals from Pedro and Batshuayi - twice – ensured Chelsea’s title coronation started in historic fashion, with Sunderland offering positives to build from ahead of a return to the Championship.
Chelsea: Courtois, Alonso, Fabregas, Kante, Hazard (Pedro 71), Moses, Diego Costa (Batshuayi 62), Willian, Terry (Cahill 26), Azpilicueta, Luiz.
Subs not used: Begovic, Zouma, Matic, Chalobah.
Sunderland: Pickford, Jones, Manquillo, Oviedo, O’Shea, Lescott, Cattermole (Gibson 89), Larsson, Rodwell, Januzaj (Gooch 62), Borini.
Subs not used: Mannone, Love, Maja, Asoro, Embleton.