Torres leads Chelsea win

Fernando Torres put in another star turn as he inspired Chelsea to a 3-1 win at Sunderland, their first Premier League triumph in eight matches, putting Martin O’Neill’s side in the relegation zone.

The goal-shy Spain striker scored twice in the Champions League in midweek and opened the scoring in the North East with a fine volley, adding a second from the spot just before the break.

He then turned provider as Juan Mata poached a third early in the second half, with Adam Johnson pulling one back for Sunderland with a superb driven effort across Petr Cech.

Sunderland improved in the latter stages, going close three times, but Chelsea were relatively comfortable as they closed out victory.

The result ends Chelsea’s winless streak in the league that started with their infamous 3-2 home defeat to Manchester United on October 28. They are now three points behind second-placed Manchester City, who play leaders United on Sunday.

Sunderland slide into the bottom three after Southampton beat Reading, with the Black Cats on one win in 10 matches.

In other matches, Arsenal defeated West Brom 2-0, Southampton beat Reading 1-0, Aston Villa and Stoke played a scoreless draw, Norwich prevailed 4-3 over Swansea City, and Wigan and QPR tied 2-2.