Diego Costa gave the visitors an early lead before Whabi Khazri equalised spectacularly, but Nemanja Matic just managed to restore their lead seconds from the end of the first period. Chelsea were dominant in the second period until goals in quick succession from Borini and Defoe sealed all three points for Sam Allardyce's side, with John Terry's late dismissal rounding off a miserable afternoon.
Chelsea nearly shot themselves in the foot from the start when Cesc Fabregas' misplaced pass went to Defoe who was brought down by Gary Cahill but luckily for Guus Hiddink, referee Michael Jones only produced a yellow card.
The first real chance of the afternoon fell to the visitors as Eden Hazard teed up Willian, though he failed to produce the magic that has seen him be the side's player of the campaign as his weak effort was easy for Vito Mannone.
The opening goal eventually came from the Blues and it was simple enough with Costa feeding it to Cahill, whose deflected pass found it's way back to the striker and he made no mistake curling it into the far corner.
Back in the driving seat
Sunderland showed they weren't dead and buried in terms of their Premier League status with Defoe hitting the foot of the post before they equalised four minutes from the break in spectacular fashion.
A game of head tennis ensued in the Chelsea penalty area with Cahill seemingly clearing the danger but it proved far from it as Khazri stepped up to hit a spectacular first-time volley giving Thibaut Courtois absolutely no chance.
However Allardyce's men showcased why they are struggling near the foot of the table as Chelsea managed to restore their lead in first-half extra-time. It was poor defending on the Black Cats' behalf as Matic was allowed to be played onside by Patrick van Aanholt and the Serbian coolly slotted home from Cesar Azpilicueta's headed pass.
Costa looked to seal the three points just after hour mark when he was given time and space in the area as he stood one-on-one with Mannone but the Italian did brilliantly to spread himself and block the Spaniard's effort.
That seemingly rallied the home side and the Stadium of Light faithful and were rewarded with a crucial equaliser in the 67th minute. Van Aanholt made up for his error of judgment in the Matic goal as he picked out Borini on the edge of the area and the former Blue made no mistake as his ferocious effort proved to hot to handle for Courtois as the trickled into the bottom corner.
The spectacular comeback was sealed just three minutes later as Tottenham players past and present combined to act revenge for the Blues ending their title ambitions earlier in the week. Tottenham loanee DeAndre Yedlin did well to get the ball into the area with a slight deflection taking into Defoe at speed but he did well to take a touch before smashing into the bottom corner to send the Stadium of Light into a frenzy.
Chelsea looked for a way back into the match as it entered the closing stages with Willian getting a great opportunity from the dead ball situation but Mannone was equal to it as he tipped it over.
A miserable afternoon for the Blues was sealed in the final minute of injury time as Terry fouled Khazri and Jones had no option but give him a second yellow sending both Terry and Chelsea off the capital empty handed.