The Black Cats continued their dominance of the Tyne-Wear derby as a stunning strike gave them a 1-0 win over Newcastle.
Jermain Defoe's sensational volley secured a fifth straight Tyne-Wear derby win and Dick Advocaat's first success as Sunderland head coach with a 1-0 victory over Newcastle United on Sunday.
Advocaat's first home fixture as boss at the Stadium of Light saw an encouraging, determined display that was lit up by Defoe's wonder strike shortly before halftime.
The former Tottenham forward's brilliant goal from the edge of the area was enough for Sunderland to complete the double over its arch rival for the second season running, and also moved the club three points clear of the Premier League relegation zone with seven games left to play.
Defoe was close to tears after sending the Sunderland faithful into raptures, and the home side's lead was never really threatened by a lackluster Newcastle outfit.
Newcastle, which restored Jonas Gutierrez to the starting XI for the first time since Aug. 2013 after his battle with cancer, was subdued throughout and has now lost four games in a row.
Sunderland had by the far the better of the opening stages but did not create anything of note until the 21st minute when Connor Wickham's header was deflected onto the post and wide by Moussa Sissoko.
Newcastle seemed content to play on the counterattack and was finally punished for its lack of ambition in remarkable fashion by Defoe on the stroke of halftime.
Steven Fletcher beat Mike Williamson to a header following a long free kick forward and Defoe unleashed a thunderous left-footed volley into the top-right corner from 18 yards, leaving Tim Krul with no chance.
Defoe was emotional as the sides went into the tunnel for the interval, but Sunderland emerged for the second half re-focused and dangerous as the team searched for a second goal.
Newcastle did gradually get more of a foothold in the game but was unable to craft anything to trouble the Sunderland defense.
Instead it was Advocaat's man who went closest to scoring again, Sebastian Larsson bending a free kick narrowly wide of the left-hand post.
Remy Cabella stung the palms of Costel Pantilimon and Ayoze Perez curled over the crossbar from the edge of the area as Newcastle pressed for an undeserved leveler late on.
Perez then wasted a great chance to level in the 88th minute as he volleyed over from a corner, but Sunderland was able to see out the remainder in relative comfort to give supporters hope that Advocaat is the man to steer the club to safety.