Chelsea maintained their unbeaten record, but Jose Mourinho's free-scoring side failed to break down Sunderland in a goalless draw.
Gus Poyet's side combined stoic, well organised defensive work with a willingness to test the league leaders on the break and were excellent value for their point.
Chelsea, who named an unchanged XI for the third game in a row, kept the ball well and had some moments of fluency but created few clear-cut chances.
The closest they came was when Willian hit the post in the first half, while Branoslav Ivanovic had an effort well saved by Kostel Pantillimon.
Their leading scorer Diego Costa had a quiet game in front of goal. He was perhaps lucky to stay on the pitch after lashing out at John O'Shea in the first half and catching Wes Brown with a flailing arm after the break.
Sunderland could have caused an upset when Santiago Vergini's effort clipped the bar 10 minutes before half-time, and in truth it was the energetic Black Cats who looked more likely to score in the latter stages.
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Sunderland 0 Chelsea 0 - player ratings
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