The fact that the Belgian international hardly had a shot to save in open play was a sad indictment of opponents who have Championship written all over them but Taiwo's free-kick would have beaten anyone.
He limped off early on and must be a doubt for the FA Cup tie against Everton on Tuesday.
The no-nonsense former Hull centre-half just seems to be going from strength to strength under Martin O'Neill.
Did little to suggest that Sunderland will want to prolong his loan spell from Wolfsburg but his opponents did not get at him enough.
The on-loan Manchester City left-back might be way past his best but he still looked comfortable against lacklustre opponents.
It took him a while to get going on his return from a three-match ban but when he did get into his stride his goal showed there was simply no stopping him.
The midfielder ended up at right-back after O'Shea went off injured and looked the part in unfamiliar territory.
He has apparently trebled his salary by signing a new contract and he justified the pay rise with a peach of a cross that allowed Bendtner to open the scoring and a goal of his own to celebrate his fresh deal.
He kept things ticking over neatly in midfield where he was always there to pick up the pieces and the cross he sent over for Sessegnon's goal was a beauty.
He might lack a bit of pace but makes up for that with tenacity, energy and an ability to keep things simple.
He seemed so half-hearted and looked as though his mind was on the FA Cup tie with Sunderland until he nodded in McClean's cross but that was his only notable contribution.
It should have been a memorable return for the former Sunderland defender as he captained the side in place of the dropped Joey Barton but ball-watching proved costly as Bendtner gave his lead a deserved lead.
If he could defend as well as he takes free-kicks then his team would be much better off because the left-back was caught in no-man's land when his team fell behind. Lit up the second half with a scorching set piece.
Looked at sixes and sevens on his return to the club where he spent last season on loan.
He came to his side's rescue with a goal-line clearance in the opening exchanges but found it hard to cope with James McClean.
The fact he was wearing gloves as the British summer approaches said it all because he did not look up for this visit to Wearside.
An early booking proved to be a blessing in disguise because he ended up turning in a disciplined display until hobbling off injured.
The combative midfielder looked out of his depth against average opponents.
He should hang his head in shame for the two-footed lunge on Fraizer Campbell that brought a red card and the prospect of a four-match ban.
The Scot failed to justify being selected ahead of Joey Barton apart from one run that almost yielded a penalty when he was felled by Michael Turner just outside the box.
He struggled to get going and let himself down when he tried to get Sotirios Kyrgiakos sent off by play-acting when the pair squared up.
- 1 C. Gordon
- 12 M. Kilgallon
The sort of player QPR could do with because the stylish operator helped Sunderland maintain their command of the midfield trenches.
Ahmed El Mohamady
The Egyptian winger did his bit to quell the Rangers comeback with a tidy cameo.
After spending 18 months out injured he must just be relieved to have survived an ugly two-footed challenge from Cisse intact.
- 10 C. Wickham
- 17 Dong-Won Ji
- 24 R. Černý
- 3 C. Hill
- 6 D. Gabbidon
He hardly got into the game when on the field, the highlight of his afternoon came when taunting the Sunderland supporters while warming up in the first half.
- 17 J. Barton
At least he gave the Hoops a bit of urgency after replacing the ineffective Taraabt.
He failed to make an impact after coming on for Zamora.