Paolo Di Canio picked up his first points as Sunderland manager as his side sensationally beat Newcastle United 3-0 on Sunday.
Stephane Sessegnon’s first-half strike gave the visitors a deserved half-time lead in the Tyne-Wear derby before unstoppable long range efforts from Adam Johnson and David Vaughan secured the victory which moves the Black Cats three points clear of the drop zone.
It was a typically lively opening as both sides tried to gain an early foothold.
Papiss Cisse almost latched onto Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa’s ball over the top before Steven Taylor was caught in possession by Stephane Sessegnon, who was in on goal, until referee Howard Webb blew for a soft free-kick.
The visitors were soon rewarded for their bright start as Sessegnon fired past Tim Krul after Jonas Gutierrez carelessly gave possession away in midfield.
The Beninese striker still had plenty to do after receiving a square ball from James McClean but after shrugging off two challenges, he gave Krul no chance from the edge of the area.
The hosts almost hit back immediately as Cisse was denied not once but twice by Simon Mignolet.
Firstly, the striker latched onto a flick on but couldn’t beat the Sunderland ‘keeper from eight yards and then from the resulting corner, saw his goal bound shot sto
pped by the Belgian.
The midfield trio of Cabaye, Tiote and Sissoko began to pull the strings as Alan Pardew’s side started to knock on the Sunderland door with some determination.
However, Newcastle nearly found themselves further behind before the break but Cuellar headed straight at Krul from point-blank range.
Newcastle thought they were level on the hour mark but Cisse was flagged offside after slotting home from a tight angle.
In his last throw of the dice, Pardew sent Hatem Ben Arfa into the action but the Frenchman couldn’t direct his header on target shortly after being introduced before Cisse fired wide from Debuchy’s low cross.
After soaking up the pressure, Di Canio’s side landed the killer blow as Johnson’s sensational curling effort gave substitute ‘keeper Rob Elliot, who replaced the injured Krul, no chance from 30 yards.
Shortly after, Sessegnon found Vaughan on the left-hand corner of the penalty area before the Welsh international cracked a screamer into the top corner with his left foot.