Despite a barrage of first-half pressure, Sunderland found the confidence to spark a second-half revival against Manchester City and seal a monumental three points thanks to Adam Johnson's 54th-minute finish.
The win was by no means a handsome one for Sunderland but Martin O'Neill's men can be pleased with the way they defended and can direct mountains of praise towards Simon Mignolet who was a heroic presence in front of the Black Cats goal from start to finish.
Sunderland Starting XI: Mignolet, Gardner, Rose, Kilgallon, Cuellar, Larsson, Colback, Johnson, McClean, Sessegnon, Fletcher
Sunderland Subs: Bardsley, Campbell, Wickham, McFadden, Vaughan, Bramble, Westwood
Scorers: Johnson (54')
Manchester City Starting XI: Hart, Kompany, Zabaleta, K Toure, Nastasic, Y Toure, Garcia, Silva, Milner, Aguero, Tevez
Manchester City Subs: Pantilimon, Lescott, Rekik, Barry, Razak, Sinclair, Dzeko