Gus Poyet believes Sunderland will be denied their just rewards if they fail to avoid relegation after a remarkable week.
Having looked all but down just a few games ago, the Premier League's bottom club are now only three points from safety after following up Wednesday's 2-2 draw at Manchester City with a superb 2-1 comeback win on Saturday over another title challenger in Chelsea.
Sunderland still have a game in hand on the two teams above them and host fellow strugglers Cardiff City, West Brom and Swansea City before the end of the campaign - opening up a genuine possibility of survival after Poyet had stated that his men needed a "miracle" on the back of a 5-1 reverse at Tottenham earlier this month.
But after Fabio Borini's late penalty gave them a shock win at Stamford Bridge, Poyet believes that the momentum has swung.
"If we don't stay up now it will be a shame really," said the Sunderland boss. "On Wednesday at five o'clock (ahead of the Manchester City game) we were dead.
"Then we got a point at Manchester City, it should have been three. We got three today here to give us a great lift and a great opportunity to stay up."
Chelsea took a 12th-minute lead through Samuel Eto'o but Poyet's men produced a stirring fightback, with Connor Wickham adding to his midweek brace with a close-range equaliser before Borini converted from the penalty spot eight minutes from time after Cesar Azpilicueta had brought down substitute Jozy Altidore.
"We needed to fight, we needed to defend, we needed to stay in the game, we needed to make it difficult for them and we needed to take a chance or two," added former Chelsea midfielder Poyet.
"Overall, a team at the bottom of the Barclays Premier League coming here and playing the way we play I think is quite decent.
"But that's us, that's our season. Every time we play against the top teams we perform somehow in a better way than when we play the teams at the bottom.
"So I'm not surprised - It's nice. It was special for me as well, but we needed the points so it's very welcome."
The victory ended Jose Mourinho's 77-game unbeaten run in home Premier League fixtures as Chelsea boss and Poyet's counterpart gave witheringly sarcastic praise to referee Mike Dean and officials chief Mike Riley during a tempestuous and brief post-match press conference
Dean's decision to penalise Azpilicueta's challenge on Altidore to hand Sunderland their late spot-kick was the incident most likely to have riled Mourinho.
Poyet sympathised with the Portuguese's reaction, stating that he would have been in a similar frenzy had such a call gone against his team.
"My view from where I was, I couldn't comment, but I saw on the computer and I understand why we can be talking if it was or not," he added. "It's very difficult.
"I never, ever would expect to get a penalty here.
"It (Mourinho's reaction) is not too bad. If it was against me I would be the same.
"Emotions at key moments in the season - it could be the key moment for the title that one.
"Maybe I understand why he (the referee) gave it, especially the linesman - I'm not talking about the referee now.
"The angle where the linesman is, and when you see Azpilicueta going down trying to put the foot across, maybe he thought it was a different kind of contact to the one the television is showing.
"But I understand. If it was against me and I lose the game with a penalty I would be fuming, for sure."
|Coach: José Mourinho|
for Oscar 59'
for Mohamed Salah 66'
for S. Eto'o 74'
|Allardyce: We cannot lose our cool like Tottenham|
|Rashford reminds me of me – Ronaldo|
|£170m windfall for winners of Boro-Brighton clash|
|Martinez: Leicester have not changed English football|
|Marcelino: Liverpool pushed the boundaries|
|City struggled to cope with semi-final occasion - Bale|
|Mahrez wants Leicester stay, says vice-chairman|
|Shakhtar deserved more - Lucescu|
|Klopp hails Liverpool players after ´wonderful night´|
|Sturridge all smiles after returning to lead Liverpool into final|
|Reaching the Europa League final again is a dream - Gameiro|
|Sevilla 3 Shakhtar Donetsk 1 (5-3 agg): Gameiro brace books holders´ third straight final|
|Liverpool 3 Villarreal 0 (3-1 agg): Anfield comeback sends Klopp´s men into final|
|Bologna v Milan: De Sciglio targeting European qualification|
|Leicester players ´love each other´ - vice-chairman Srivaddhanaprabha|
|Simeone rates all-Madrid Champions League final as ´50-50´|
|Eintracht Frankfurt v Borussia Dortmund: Tuchel´s men hope to extend title race|
|Crystal Palace v Stoke City: League points the priority for Pardew|
|Gray determined to prove himself at Leicester|
|Inter v Empoli: Kondogbia wants to end San Siro drought|
|Norwich City v Manchester United: Van Gaal gives United no excuses|
|Olic brands Guardiola a failure|
|Pardew seeks Leicester inspiration for FA Cup final|
|Atletico boosted by Tiago return|
|Casillas rules out Miami switch|
|Sunderland v Chelsea: Larsson eyes crucial victory|
|Dyke confirms Spurs set for Wembley stay|
|West Ham v Swansea City: Payet credits Bilic for impressive Hammers form|
|Fellaini must learn to control himself - Van Gaal|
|Kaka omitted from Brazil´s Copa America squad|
|Gazelec Ajaccio v Paris Saint-Germain: Relegation-threatened hosts eye vital win|
|Leicester City v Everton: Ranieri ready to celebrate remarkable title triumph|
|Stoke´s Joselu slams Toure and Manchester City|
|´We are the champions´ - Shaq sends musical congratulations to Northampton|
|Huth and Fellaini handed three-match bans|
|Lee set for Crystal Palace fine after Pardew remarks|
|AFC Bournemouth v West Brom: Howe feared injuries would curtail Premier League dream|
|Ranieri will not ´break´ Leicester dressing room with star names|
|Pepe: Benitez told me I was not needed|
|Ingolstadt v Bayern Munich: Title in sight for Guardiola´s men|
|Mahrez 50-50 to stay at Leicester - agent|
|Tough to emulate ´inspirational´ Leicester, warns Martinez|
|Bendtner in training at FC Copenhagen|
|Aston Villa v Newcastle United: Wijnaldum demands result to keep survival bid alive|
|Ibrahimovic could make sensational San Siro return - Raiola|
|Obertan, Marveaux released by Newcastle|
|Jovetic wants Toure, Zabaleta at Inter|
|Ramos admires Champions League final rival Simeone|
|Gotze too nice for Bayern Munich ´sharks´ - Augenthaler|
|Bale hits back at Pellegrini ´lucky´ claim|
|Jovetic desperate to earn Inter stay|
|Lucky Madrid no better than Man City - Pellegrini|
|Ferdinand slams City´s lack of desire in Champions League exit|
|Kroos: Madrid have more quality than Atletico|
|Keane: United lack character|
|Klopp: Villarreal in for tough time at Anfield|
|Copa Libertadores Review: Nacional advance to quarters, River eliminated|
|PFA chief wants Leicester stars to be honoured|
|Argentina recall Tevez for initial Copa America squad|
|Keane focused on the Republic of Ireland, not Celtic|
|Ronaldo reiterates desire for Zidane to continue as Madrid coach|
|Keane: City need to improve to win Champions League|
|Falcao left out of Colombia´s Copa America squad|
|Carragher: Sturridge must start against Villarreal|
|De La Hoya´s clanger: ´Whoever thought Leicester would win the UEFA Cup?´|
|Marotta: City asked, but it´s not time to sell Pogba|
|Marcelino wants to turn Anfield atmosphere in Villarreal´s favour|
|Marcelo calls for La Liga focus after Madrid reach Champions League final|
|Origi hopeful of returning before season´s end|
|Madrid were the better side, insists Ronaldo|
|Mangala: City should be proud of semi-final run|
|Madrid move motivated by Champions League glory, says Bale|
|We will leave our soul in the final - Ramos|
|Hart left broken by ´very lucky´ Madrid goal|
|Zidane hails victorious Madrid|
|Pellegrini disappointed to miss out in tie of few chances|
|Real Madrid 1 Manchester City 0 (1-0 agg): Zidane´s men set up 2014 final repeat|
|Lucescu: Shakhtar ready for hardest fight|
|´Benteke cost almost Villarreal´s budget!´ - Marcelino expects major Liverpool test|
|AFC Champions League Review: Big-spending Jiangsu Suning dumped out|
|Kompany off injured in Champions League semi|
|Ter Stegen: I want to stay at Barcelona|
|Vardy will thrive for England at Euro 2016, says Smith|
|Lemina eyes key role at Juventus|
|Cerezo hits back at Vidal´s ´ugly´ swipe|
|Bacca happy at Milan without European football, says agent|
|Long backs Saints to end Spurs hoodoo|
|West Ham´s Sullivan labels Leicester lucky|
|Alba admires Atletico team work|
|Ranieri deserves an honour - Italian prime minister|
|Klopp bullish ahead of semi-final showdown|
|Ranieri´s 96-year-old mother: Now my son is King of England|
|Lovren: Europa League final would save Liverpool´s season|
|BREAKING NEWS: Dembele set for long FA ban over Costa altercation|
|AC Milan ultras call for Galliani´s head over ´blatant mockery´ of fans|
|Emery wants ´inspired´ Konoplyanka in Europa League semi-final|
|Wendell Lira blames Puskas Award trip for club woes|
|Joe Cole in line for Tampa Bay Rowdies move|
|Fuchs: I could kiss Hazard after title-clinching goal|
|Hiddink turned down Leicester before Ranieri appointment|
|Arsenal did not hold their nerve in title race - Smith|
|Cazorla targets City comeback for Arsenal|
|Webb could face lifelong ban as FIFA opens proceedings|
|Smith backs Leicester to become Premier League ´force´|
|Toni to retire after Juventus clash|
|Iwobi reveals key to dream Arsenal rise|
|Allen expects to reach Europa League final|
|McLeish leaves Zamalek after 65 days|
|Football fans pile bets on Burnley to win Premier League after Leicester´s shock success|
|Ranieri: Rich teams will win for next 10 to 20 years|
|Pity we could not reward Guardiola for his three years, says Bayern captain Lahm|
|Madrid revenge no factor for Simeone|
|Copa Libertadores Review: Pumas UNAM, Atletico Nacional advance to quarter-finals|
|Adelaide want Leicester City friendly|
|Tottenham have proven critics wrong - Eriksen|
|Ferdinand ´turned on´ by Simeone´s Atletico|
|Wilson hoping Brighton experience enough for United|
|Griezmann urges team-mates to keep feet on the ground|
|We´ve learned from past errors - Fernandinho|
|Payet cleans up West Ham awards|
|´We don´t need superstars´ - Ranieri|
|Vidal: Bayern are still the best in the world|
|Guardiola: I have given my life to Bayern|
|Simeone: Atletico have eliminated two of the world´s three best teams|
|Leicester owner reveals Vardy signing doubts|
|Bayern feel cheated, says Rummenigge|