Chelsea players celebrate a goal against Sunderland in their English Premier League gameReuters

The shackles released, a feeling of freedom running through the squad or maybe just with a point to prove, the Chelsea players got off the blocks in a hurry and left Sunderland gasping in a performance more akin to the one we expect from the Premier League champions.

In less than 13 minutes, the match was pretty much put to bed, with Branislav Ivanovic, one of the players most maligned for his performances this season, and Pedro Rodriguez scoring to give Chelsea a roaring start, as the fans continued to sing Jose Mourinho's name, while booing some of their own players, including Diego Costa and Cesc Fabregas.

The opening goal that Sunderland conceded would have increased the age of Sam Allardyce by a couple of years as a straight corner was headed in, albeit wonderfully, by Ivanovic, who overpowered Sebastian Coates way too easily.

If that was a good start for Chelsea, it only got better for the home team, with Pedro, so often missing in his first season in the Premier League, producing a nice finish. A cross from Ivanovic from the right pinged and ponged in the Sunderland penalty area, before falling for Pedro, who mad no mistake with the finish.

Sunderland would have gone into the second half holding some kind of hope of a sparking a comeback, but that hope was snuffed out pretty quickly, as Sunderland goalkeeper Costel Pantilimon brought down Willian inside the box, with Oscar providing the finish touches with the spotkick.

Fabio Borini, the former Chelsea man, pulled one back for Sunderland just three minutes after Oscar's 50th minute strike, but that was all she wrote as far as the goals in the match were concerned, with Chelsea strolling to victory, something they haven't done too often, if at all, this season.

The immediate thought after this performance from Chelsea was what Mourinho must be thinking. Because the players certainly did not play like this as the months wore on this season and Chelsea's season got worse and worse.

Guus Hiddink, though, watching from the stands alongside Didier Drogba and Roman Abramovich, will be happy to see that the Chelsea players still have it in them to produce such a performance.

You can also watch the Highlights of the match HERE

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