Liverpool made it two wins from two in the Premier League to round off 2015, while Christian Benteke made it two winning goals from two as the Reds climbed to seventh in the table, and to within five points of the Champions League places at the halfway stage of the season.
It will have been disappointing for Sunderland manager Sam Allardyce as his side conceded so early in the second half after a string of Vito Mannone saves kept the visitors at bay during the first half at the Stadium of Light.
Roberto Firmino was twice denied as Sunderland survived but they did create chances of their own in the first half as Jermain Defoe was denied by ex-Black Cat Simon Mignolet in the Reds' goal - while former Liverpool man Fabio Borini shot wide before the break.
Following Benteke's goal, though Sunderland had a bit of pressure they didn't really offer much in the game, which will be a worry for Allardyce as his side are seven points from safety and urgently need to start picking up the points if they are to survive this season.
There was one flash point late on in the game when Jeremain Lens's tackle from Mamadou Sakho looked a bit of a nasty one, which Lens received a yellow card for. Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp felt it was worthy of a sending off but his opposite number disagreed, as Allardyce branded him a 'soft German'.
With all that said, here are the best images of last night's action: