Fernando Torres claimed a brace as Chelsea ended a run of seven English Premier League football games without victory, winning 3-1 at Sunderland in their last game before the Club World Cup.
The Spaniard had not scored in the league since October the 6th but he found the net twice in the mid-week thrashing of FC Nordsjaelland in the Champions League and was in unforgiving mood once again at the Stadium of Light.
Torres opened his account in the 11th minute, guiding Eden Hazard's cross into the top-left corner with a fine volley to end a 770-minute goal drought in the league.
Torres had been overlooked for penalty-taking duties in the 6-1 win against Nordsjaelland, but he notched his second goal from the spot on the stroke of half-time after Sebastian Larsson slid in on Ramires.
Juan Mata made it 3-0 early in the second half, side-footing home after a Torres shot came back off the crossbar, before a fine effort from Adam Johnson gave Sunderland a consolation.
It was a first win in four Premier League games for Chelsea's interim manager Rafael Benitez, whose side closed to within four points of second-placed Manchester City.
City host leaders Manchester United on Monday, when Alex Ferguson's men will be bidding to move six points clear at the top of the table.