Wolves fightback stuns Black Cats
New manager Martin O'Neill saw Sunderland miss a penalty before Steven Fletcher's double earned Wolves a 2-1 victory at Molineux.
O'Neill, who will officially take charge on Monday as Steve Bruce's successor, watched from the directors box as Kieran Richardson put the Black Cats ahead early in the second period.
But then Sebastian Larsson saw his penalty saved by Wolves keeper Wayne Hennessey before Fletcher struck twice in eight minutes.
Victory moved Wolves four-points clear of the bottom three and relieved the pressure on manager Mick McCarthy.
Wolves threatened for the first time when Jamie O'Hara's volley ballooned up to Christophe Berra whose header was held on the line by Keiren Westwood.
Stephen Ward came to Wolves' rescue three minutes before the interval when he cleared off the line from the impressive Stephane Sessegnon. But after 53 minutes a superb strike from Richardson put Sunderland in front after a quickfire counter-attack.
Nicklas Bendtner's flick found Sessegnon in space and he released the overlapping Richardson whose rising shot flew past Hennessey inside the near post for his second goal of the season.
Sunderland had the chance to double their lead when Jody Craddock was adjudged to have brought down Larsson inside the box although replays suggested the initial contact - if there was any - may have been outside. But Hennessey kept Wolves hopes alive by saving Larsson's low spot-kick away to his left.
It was a crucial save as within 30 seconds Fletcher had levelled for Wolves. Matt Jarvis sent over a curling centre and Fletcher's downward header beat the dive of Westwood.
Then Fletcher put Wolves ahead after 81 minutes when a cross from substitute Adam Hammill was manoeuvred by O'Hara to the former Scottish international whose low shot flew past Westwood.