Black Cats shock Stoke
Steve Bruce was finally able to celebrate a victory as Sunderland condemned Stoke to their first defeat of the season in resounding style with a 4-0 win at the Stadium of Light.
Titus Bramble's first strike for the club and a Jonathan Woodgate own goal gave the home side a 2-0 lead within 11 minutes of the kick-off, and Craig Gardner's deflected 28th-minute shot put the result beyond reasonable doubt.
Sebastian Larsson ended any hope of an unlikely comeback with a 58th-minute free-kick as Sunderland trebled their season's goals tally.
The Black Cats took the lead when Sunderland old-boy Rory Delap failed to cut out Larsson's corner at the near post and Bramble fired in a low shot which embarrassed goalkeeper Asmir Begovic as it squirmed from his grasp and over the line.
They increased their lead with 11 minutes gone when Bramble's former Newcastle team-mate Woodgate had a moment to forget.
The central defender got his head to David Vaughan's teasing cross ahead of Nicklas Bendtner and could only lift the ball over Begovic and into his own net.
It took a good one-handed save by Simon Mignolet to keep out Marc Wilson's curling free-kick as the Potters hit back. But they fell further behind when Bendtner played the ball inside to Gardner and his shot looped up off Ryan Shawcross' desperate challenge and sailed over the helpless Begovic into the top corner.
The points were safe 13 minutes into the second half after Stoke's German international defender Robert Huth was penalised for a foul on Stephane Sessegnon 20 yards out. Larsson stepped up to curl a right-foot shot around the defensive wall and into the bottom corner with Begovic once again unable to intervene.
Stoke striker Peter Crouch capped a disappointing afternoon by completely miskicking with the goal at his mercy at the death.