Sunderland moved up to eighth in the Premier League after ending Norwich's six-match unbeaten run in some style.
Fraizer Campbell, starting in the top flight for the first time since August 2010, opened the scoring with a superb right-footed volley from 25 yards.
Stephane Sessegnon started and finished a delightfully-worked second, heading in Campbell's perfect right-wing cross.
The Black Cats added a third soon after the break when Phil Bardsley's cross fizzed in off Daniel Ayala's knee.
How times have changed at the Stadium of Light since Martin O'Neill took charge in December.
Sunderland recorded only one win in their first seven home matches in the league this term but O'Neill has presided over four in the last five.
There had been little to choose between these teams in recent meetings, with 11 of the last 14 matches settled by the odd goal and the other three drawn.
But Paul Lambert's first managerial challenge against his former boss at Celtic was a one-sided affair, the Canaries unable to find any passing rhythm and Sunderland far sharper throughout.
Campbell, who returned after an 18-month injury lay-off to score the equaliser against Middlesbrough in the FA Cup last weekend, forced Norwich keeper John Ruddy to push away his early header following a fine cross from the industrial James McClean.
Norwich had barely got out of first gear, and indeed would barely do so for the rest of the evening, but they might have taken the lead when Steve Morison flicked on a free-kick and Grant Holt hit a fierce volley on the turn. Fortunately for the home side, it was too close to goalkeeper Simon Mignolet to cause him serious difficulties.
DID YOU KNOW?
This was the fifth time Norwich have conceded three goals or more in the Premier League this season
But Campbell put Sunderland ahead in magnificent fashion, controlling a high ball neatly and unleashing a fabulous shot that soared over Ruddy into the corner of the net. It was the former Manchester United striker's first Premier League goal since April 2010.
Sunderland, slick, creative and full of confidence going forward, and well-organised defensively, fashioned a magnificent second.
Sessagnon nutmegged Bradley Johnson in the centre circle, sprayed the ball wide to Campbell on the right-flank, then darted into the six-yard box to head home the inviting first-time cross.
The intrepid 800-strong band of Norwich supporters who had made the 510-mile round trip needed something inspirational from their side in the second period, but another rapid Sunderland break ended their chances of anything to celebrate.
An intricate one-touch passing move on the right freed Bardsley and his cross from the byeline flicked off Ayala's knee into the net off the underside of the bar.
Norwich made a double substitution and one of the new arrivals, Anthony Pilkington, delivered a perfect left-wing cross for Morison but his header was fractionally wide and there were to be no further chances for the visitors.
Eight minutes from time Sunderland were able to give a debut to new loan signing Wayne Bridge, whose last Premier League appearance was against them for West Ham in the final match of last season.
Bridge received a warm ovation from the home fans, buoyed by an impressive performance from their team, who have lost only two matches in O'Neill's 11 in charge.
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Sunderland manager Martin O'Neill:
"I am particularly pleased for Fraizer Campbell, he's had a really tough time but has done magnificently.
"He's magnificent to have around, his overall enthusiasm is terrific and his play has been fantastic.
"Even at 3-0 Norwich had a chance and if it had gone in it could have been an uncomfortable last 20 minutes for us.
"I'm delighted with the team, they have put heart and soul into the games."
Norwich boss Paul Lambert:
"We were second best the whole game.
"We were beaten by the better side on the night but we have to put that to bed and go again on Saturday."
Live Text Commentary
Full Time The final whistle is blown by the referee.90:00 +1:09
The referee blows for offside against Dong-Won Ji. John Ruddy takes the free kick.90:00 +0:27
The assistant referee flags for offside against Craig Gardner. Indirect free kick taken by Zak Whitbread.89:47
Free kick taken by Wayne Bridge.89:47 Booking
Booking Kyle Naughton is shown a yellow card for unsporting behaviour.89:35
Kyle Naughton challenges Dong-Won Ji unfairly and gives away a free kick.89:10
Inswinging corner taken left-footed by Andrew Surman, Michael Turner makes a clearance.88:37
Corner from the right by-line taken by Andrew Surman, John O'Shea manages to make a clearance.86:43
Andrew Surman takes a shot from just outside the penalty area clears the crossbar.85:09
Aaron Wilbraham takes a shot. Comfortable save by Simon Mignolet.84:28
James McClean challenges Russell Martin unfairly and gives away a free kick. Russell Martin takes the direct free kick.81:37 Substitution
Substitution Wayne Bridge replaces Kieran Richardson.81:37 Substitution
Substitution David Meyler is brought on as a substitute for Stephane Sessegnon.81:06
Anthony Pilkington takes a shot from a long way out clearing the bar.80:05
The ball is sent over by Phillip Bardsley, clearance made by Daniel Ayala.78:34
Shot by Steve Morison cleared the crossbar.77:08 Substitution
Substitution Grant Holt goes off and Aaron Wilbraham comes on.76:37
Jack Colback takes a shot. Save made by John Ruddy.75:43
Elliott Bennett gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on James McClean. Sebastian Larsson restarts play with the free kick.75:09
Unfair challenge on Dong-Won Ji by Grant Holt results in a free kick. Free kick taken by Simon Mignolet.
Substitution Dong-Won Ji comes on in place of Fraizer Campbell.73:03
Inswinging corner taken from the right by-line by Andrew Surman, Kieran Richardson makes a clearance.72:54
Elliott Bennett produces a cross, Kieran Richardson gets a block in.64:05
Craig Gardner produces a left-footed shot from just outside the area that goes wide left of the goal.63:03
Close range header by Steve Morison misses to the right of the goal.61:13 Substitution
Substitution Elliott Bennett joins the action as a substitute, replacing Bradley Johnson.61:13 Substitution
Substitution Anthony Pilkington comes on in place of Wesley Hoolahan.60:46
The ball is sent over by Kyle Naughton, clearance by John O'Shea.58:59
The ball is delivered by Phillip Bardsley.58:09
Corner taken left-footed by Andrew Surman, John O'Shea makes a clearance.57:39
Fraizer Campbell gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Andrew Crofts. Andrew Surman crosses the ball from the free kick right-footed from right wing, save by Simon Mignolet.54:51
Unfair challenge on Jack Colback by Kyle Naughton results in a free kick. Free kick taken by Craig Gardner.53:44
The assist for the goal came from Phillip Bardsley.53:44 Goal scored
Goal! - Daniel Ayala - Sunderland 3 - 0 Norwich Daniel Ayala concedes an unfortunate own goal. Sunderland 3-0 Norwich.53:41
Phillip Bardsley sends in a cross.52:36
Steve Morison fouled by Michael Turner, the ref awards a free kick. Andrew Surman crosses the ball from the free kick left-footed from right wing, save by Simon Mignolet.50:08
Sebastian Larsson takes the outswinging corner, Zak Whitbread manages to make a clearance.49:45
Craig Gardner takes a shot. Save by John Ruddy.49:02
Andrew Surman takes a short corner.47:52
Centre by Sebastian Larsson.45:01
The referee starts the second half.45:00 +1:43 Half time
Half Time The first half comes to an end.45:00 +1:26
Free kick awarded for a foul by Grant Holt on John O'Shea. Free kick taken by Simon Mignolet.44:56
Foul by Andrew Crofts on Jack Colback, free kick awarded. Kieran Richardson delivers the ball from the free kick left-footed from left wing.40:44
Russell Martin takes a shot. Michael Turner gets a block in. Russell Martin produces a right-footed shot from just outside the area that goes wide left of the goal.39:22
Shot from just outside the area by Craig Gardner misses to the left of the target.38:16
Wesley Hoolahan takes a shot. Blocked by Michael Turner.35:46
The referee blows for offside. John O'Shea takes the free kick.35:30
Fraizer Campbell is caught offside. John Ruddy restarts play with the free kick.35:00
The ball is crossed by Kieran Richardson, Daniel Ayala manages to make a clearance.33:03
James McClean takes a inswinging corner from the right by-line played to the near post, Russell Martin makes a clearance.32:34
Corner taken by James McClean, clearance made by Steve Morison.32:26
A cross is delivered by Sebastian Larsson, clearance made by Daniel Ayala.31:52
Shot by Kieran Richardson. Blocked by Russell Martin.31:20
Foul by Wesley Hoolahan on Craig Gardner, free kick awarded. Phillip Bardsley restarts play with the free kick.30:58
The ball is swung over by Sebastian Larsson, John Ruddy makes a comfortable save.30:03
Steve Morison has a headed effort at goal from deep inside the area missing to the left of the target.29:05
Inswinging corner taken left-footed by Andrew Surman from the right by-line, comfortable save by Simon Mignolet.27:41
Assist by Fraizer Campbell.27:41 Goal scored
Goal! - Stephane Sessegnon - Sunderland 2 - 0 Norwich Stephane Sessegnon finds the back of the net with a headed goal from deep inside the penalty area. Sunderland 2-0 Norwich.27:41
The ball is delivered by Fraizer Campbell,26:03
James McClean fouled by Russell Martin, the ref awards a free kick. Sebastian Larsson crosses the ball in from the free kick, clearance by Zak Whitbread.25:23
Andrew Surman gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Phillip Bardsley. Simon Mignolet takes the direct free kick.24:18
A cross is delivered by Phillip Bardsley, save by John Ruddy.21:52
Unfair challenge on Andrew Crofts by Jack Colback results in a free kick. The ball is crossed by Bradley Johnson, Close range headed effort by Zak Whitbread goes wide of the left-hand upright.20:05
James McClean provided the assist for the goal.20:05 Goal scored
Goal! - Fraizer Campbell - Sunderland 1 - 0 Norwich A goal is scored by Fraizer Campbell from outside the area to the top right corner of the goal. Sunderland 1-0 Norwich.19:30
A cross is delivered by James McClean, Daniel Ayala manages to make a clearance.19:00
Centre by Andrew Crofts, clearance made by John O'Shea.18:02
Direct free kick taken by John Ruddy.18:02 Booking
Booking Caution for Craig Gardner.17:46
Zak Whitbread fouled by Craig Gardner, the ref awards a free kick.14:07
Bradley Johnson challenges Stephane Sessegnon unfairly and gives away a free kick. Jack Colback crosses the ball from the free kick left-footed from left channel, Zak Whitbread manages to make a clearance.13:35
Andrew Surman produces a left-footed shot from deep inside the penalty area which goes wide of the right-hand post.12:13
Phillip Bardsley challenges Andrew Surman unfairly and gives away a free kick. Kyle Naughton takes the free kick. Shot from 18 yards from Grant Holt. Save by Simon Mignolet.10:27
Stephane Sessegnon fouled by Bradley Johnson, the ref awards a free kick. The free kick is swung in right-footed by Sebastian Larsson, clearance made by Russell Martin.8:48
James McClean produces a cross.8:02
Phillip Bardsley delivers the ball, clearance made by Russell Martin.6:25
Effort from the edge of the box by Sebastian Larsson goes wide of the left-hand post.4:58
Unfair challenge on Craig Gardner by Bradley Johnson results in a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Kieran Richardson.4:30
The ball is delivered by James McClean, Fraizer Campbell takes a shot. Brilliant save by John Ruddy.2:33
Foul by Andrew Crofts on James McClean, free kick awarded. Sebastian Larsson crosses the ball from the free kick right-footed from left wing, save by John Ruddy.1:13
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Phillip Bardsley by Steve Morison. Simon Mignolet restarts play with the free kick.0:39
Fraizer Campbell takes a shot. Blocked by Zak Whitbread.0:00
The match gets underway.
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