The appointment of Gus Poyet at the Stadium of Light is proving to be something of a managerial master-stroke. Having led them to the final of the League Cup, the former Brighton boss has now guided them up the table with a 3-0 victory away to their fierce rivals Newcastle United.
Goals from Fabio Borini, Adam Johnson and Jack Colback gave the Black Cats the victory, despite the hosts having more shots both on and off target, more possession and playing more successful passes. It just shows that statistics can only tell you so much, with goals forever the deciding factor.
Sunderland had 49% of the ball to Newcastle's 51%; they had five shots on target (half as many as the Magpies) and yet managed to convert 60% of them.
Adam Johnson was outstanding yet again, scoring, hitting the woodwork and generally looking as though he has a new lease of life under Poyet. But special praise should also be reserved for Colback and Marcos Alonso, who both impressed.
So what did Sunderland fans make of it all? We took to Twitter after the match to find out, and you can read a selection of their tweets below:
Sunderland are going to the final of the cup! !!!!!!! Oh and they beat a local team up the road 0-3. SAFC... what a lovely roller coaster!— Chris Jewitt (@mrchalk78) February 1, 2014
We're going to Wembley, we're staying up and we've beat the Mags. God I love Sunderland— A Love Supreme (@ALS_Fanzine) February 1, 2014
amazing performance from sunderland and particularly johnson who's the main player for sunderland. wonderful display— Wajeeh ul Hassan (@StylishBlanco) February 1, 2014
Sunderland fans don't want to leave. Their singing "we always win 3 nil"— Smaug (@Gvzie) February 1, 2014
Unbelievable performance from Sunderland there— Katie (@KatieGranvillex) February 1, 2014
Bridcutt must be loving it, first game for sunderland away from home in the derby and we win 3-0! looks a decent player.— dbdannybell (@dbdannybell) February 1, 2014
Take a bow, Sunderland. That took quite some character.— Prashanth (@Prahsanth_jmbld) February 1, 2014
image: © Ronnie Macdonald