The Premier League's bottom team fought valiantly at the Stadium of Light on Wednesday, but were left to rue a fine display from Eden Hazard as Poyet's 100 per cent winning record at the Stadium of Light was brought to an end.
Jozy Altidore's first Premier League goal for Sunderland had put the hosts ahead only for a Frank Lampard header and low Hazard drive to put Chelsea 2-1 in front.
John O'Shea swept home to notch a rare goal and once more level proceedings shortly after half-time, but Sunderland's joy was short-lived as Hazard rounded two defenders and drilled home Chelsea's third.
Sunderland defender Phil Bardsley put past his own goalkeeper to seemingly end the game as a contest and then scored at the right end in the closing stages to ensure a nervy ending.
Former Chelsea midfielder Poyet hailed the performance of Hazard after the game and talked up his old club's title credentials, while admitting he was "disappointed" to not claim a share of the spoils.
"Eden Hazard was outstanding," he said. "I am sure, I can tell you after playing Chelsea that they are going to be champions.
"When you score three goals at home to a team like Chelsea then you expect something from it.
"I'm sad and I will go home a little bit disappointed."
The loss leaves Sunderland rooted to the bottom of the Premier League table with eight points from 14 matches.
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