Paolo Di Canio masterminded Sunderland's first victory at St James' Park in 13 years to give their Premier League survival hopes a massive boost while dragging Newcastle into the relegation scrap.

In only the Italian's second game in charge, his team delivered a devastating blow to their arch rivals as Stephane Sessegnon's first-half goal was followed up by strikes by Adam Johnson and David Vaughan late in the second period.

The manner of the victory will give fresh hope to the Black Cats, who moved three points clear of the relegation zone with five games to go and to within two points of Alan Pardew's side.

The enthusiasm, passion and celebrations from Paolo Di Canio rubbed off on the Sunderland players on the pitch. Their counter-attack capabilities were also well organised, and they caught Newcastle with sucker punches all day

And it also looked to have justified the surprise dismissal of former boss Martin O'Neill as Di Canio's side reversed their slump of nine games without a win in some style.

If the Italian's appointment was intended to garner a response from the team, then it was met in stunning fashion in a victory which Sunderland richly deserved.

The charismatic, and sometime maligned, manager celebrated all three goals with typical verve and went onto the pitch after the final whistle to revel in an historic performance from his side, which will go a long way to establishing his status as a saviour should the club stay up.

Paolo Di Canio celebrates Sunderland win over Newcastle

Newcastle fans were warned about their behaviour prior to the game as there was speculation they could taunt Di Canio with fascist salutes given his political past.

But thankfully, the game was remembered for the performance on the pitch in a highly charged atmosphere as Sunderland withstood first-half pressure to take control.

Before Sunderland took the lead, they had two penalty claims with the first - when Steven Taylor pulled Danny Graham's shirt - looking like the visitors had a case.

The noise during the opening exchanges was immense, but the majority of St James' Park was stunned into silence when Sessegnon picked up Jonas Gutierrez's loose ball, drove at the Newcastle defence and squeezed a shot past Tim Krul.

Newcastle's remaining games

20 April: West Brom (A)

27 April: Liverpool (H)

04 May: West Ham (A)

12 May: QPR (A)

19 May: Arsenal (H)

Di Canio sprinted down the touchline and leapt into the air in delight, but he soon regained his composure to deliver careful instructions to his troops.

The Newcastle response came almost immediately with Simon Mignolet twice producing good stops to deny Papiss Cisse and it helped to restore a measure of control for Sunderland.

Indeed, the visitors could have gone further ahead before the break when Carlos Cuellar climbed highest to head Sebastian Larsson's corner towards goal, but Krul made an assured save.

Newcastle's desperation to get an equaliser then boiled over on a couple of occasions as Cisse and Steven Taylor went into the book, with Danny Rose also cautioned for a stern challenge on Mathieu Debuchy.

Sunderland's remaining games

20 April: Everton (H)

29 April: Aston Villa (A)

06 May: Stoke (H)

12 May: Southampton (H)

19 May: Tottenham (A)

Despite some scares, Sunderland were marshalling Cisse quite well which was enough for Pardew to bring on Shola Ameobi up front and later introduce Hatem Ben Arfa in an attempt to yield an equaliser.

Having tested Mignolet again after the hour mark, Cisse then had a goal wrongly ruled out for offside, as he was played on by Cuellar following a free-kick, and it proved a turning point.

Newcastle had to replace the injured goalkeeper Krul with Rob Elliot but the new addition could do nothing as Johnson countered and then struck a delightful curler into the top corner.

That put Sunderland fans and the visitors' bench in wonderland, but more delight was to come when again they broke forward, and substitute Vaughan stayed onside to drive another stunner into the top corner with eight minutes left.

Di Canio's name rang around St James' Park, a prospect that few would have anticipated at the start of the game.

Lineup, Bookings (5) & Substitutions (6)

Newcastle United

  • 01 Krul (Elliot - 57' )
  • 13 Yanga-M'Biwa
  • 26 Debuchy
  • 27 S Taylor Booked
  • 04 Cabaye (Ben Arfa - 62' )
  • 07 Sissoko
  • 18 Gutierrez
  • 22 Marveaux
  • 24 Tiote
  • 09 Cisse Booked
  • 11 Gouffran Booked (Sh Ameobi - 46' )

Substitutes

  • 21 Elliot
  • 14 Perch
  • 19 Haidara
  • 08 Anita
  • 10 Ben Arfa
  • 23 Sh Ameobi
  • 49 Campbell

Sunderland

  • 22 Mignolet
  • 02 Bardsley (Colback - 54' )
  • 16 O'Shea
  • 24 Cuellar (Mangane - 72' )
  • 03 Rose Booked
  • 04 N'Diaye
  • 07 Larsson
  • 21 Johnson Booked
  • 23 McClean (Vaughan - 65' )
  • 28 Sessegnon
  • 09 Graham

Substitutes

  • 20 Westwood
  • 12 Kilgallon
  • 14 Colback
  • 15 Vaughan
  • 18 Mangane
  • 30 Mandron
  • 32 Laidler
Ref: H Webb
Att: 52,355

Match Stats

Shots

15 8

On target

9 7

Corners

10 9

Fouls

14 7

Live Text Commentary

90:00 +6:04 Full time

Full Time The referee ends the match.

90:00 +5:20

Unfair challenge on Danny Rose by Papiss Cisse results in a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Sebastian Larsson.

90:00 +3:48

Corner from the left by-line taken by Sylvain Marveaux, Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa has a headed effort at goal from just inside the penalty area that misses to the left of the goal.

90:00 +3:38

The ball is sent over by Jonas Gutierrez, John O'Shea makes a clearance.

90:00 +2:32

Foul by Mathieu Debuchy on Stephane Sessegnon, free kick awarded. Sebastian Larsson restarts play with the free kick.

90:00 +1:55

Sebastian Larsson takes a short corner.

90:00 +0:31

Stephane Sessegnon decides to take a short corner.

89:42

Moussa Sissoko decides to take a short corner.

87:01

Danny Rose fouled by Mathieu Debuchy, the ref awards a free kick. Simon Mignolet restarts play with the free kick.

85:01

Outswinging corner taken by Hatem Ben Arfa from the left by-line played to the near post, Headed effort on goal by Jonas Gutierrez from inside the penalty box misses to the right of the target.

84:46

Shot from 12 yards by Hatem Ben Arfa. Blocked by Jack Colback.

84:11

The referee blows for offside against Stephane Sessegnon. Rob Elliot takes the indirect free kick.

83:09

The assistant referee signals for offside against Shola Ameobi. Simon Mignolet restarts play with the free kick.

81:44

Stephane Sessegnon provided the assist for the goal.

81:44 Goal scored

Goal! - David Vaughan - Newcastle 0 - 3 Sunderland David Vaughan fires in a goal from the edge of the penalty area to the top right corner of the goal. Newcastle 0-3 Sunderland.

80:43

Shot from just outside the box by Stephane Sessegnon misses to the right of the goal.

80:23

The ball is delivered by Stephane Sessegnon, Steven Taylor makes a clearance.

79:49

Corner taken by Sebastian Larsson played to the near post, clearance made by Mathieu Debuchy.

79:29

Shot by Alfred N'Diaye. Save by Rob Elliot.

78:40

Jonas Gutierrez takes a shot from 25 yards.

78:33

The ball is sent over by Moussa Sissoko.

77:56

Sylvain Marveaux takes the outswinging corner, Kader Mangane makes a clearance.

77:35

Outswinging corner taken from the left by-line by Sylvain Marveaux, clearance made by Adam Johnson.

75:44

The referee blows for offside. Free kick taken by Simon Mignolet.

75:19

Danny Rose gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Hatem Ben Arfa. Sylvain Marveaux crosses the ball in from the free kick, clearance by Danny Graham.

74:04 Booking

Booking The referee cautions Adam Johnson for unsporting behaviour.

73:19

Assist on the goal came from Sebastian Larsson.

73:19 Goal scored

Goal! - Adam Johnson - Newcastle 0 - 2 Sunderland Adam Johnson finds the back of the net with a goal from just inside the area to the bottom left corner of the goal. Newcastle 0-2 Sunderland.

72:33

Shot by Papiss Cisse from deep inside the penalty area misses to the right of the target.

71:03 Substitution

Substitution Carlos Cuellar goes off and Kader Mangane comes on.

70:25

A cross is delivered by Sylvain Marveaux, Header from deep inside the area by Hatem Ben Arfa goes harmlessly over the crossbar.

69:33

Shot by Papiss Cisse. Blocked by Carlos Cuellar.

68:04

Corner taken by Sebastian Larsson.

67:26

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Adam Johnson by Jonas Gutierrez. The free kick is swung in left-footed by Adam Johnson, Rob Elliot makes a save.

67:06

Mathieu Debuchy delivers the ball, save by Simon Mignolet.

64:35 Substitution

Substitution David Vaughan joins the action as a substitute, replacing James McClean.

63:55

Inswinging corner taken from the left by-line by Sebastian Larsson.

61:54 Substitution

Substitution Yohan Cabaye goes off and Hatem Ben Arfa comes on.

61:09

The official flags Papiss Cisse offside. Simon Mignolet takes the indirect free kick.

59:45

Unfair challenge on Jonas Gutierrez by Stephane Sessegnon results in a free kick. Sylvain Marveaux crosses the ball from the free kick left-footed from left wing.

59:29

Sylvain Marveaux takes the inswinging corner, John O'Shea manages to make a clearance.

59:08

Effort on goal by Papiss Cisse from 18 yards. Simon Mignolet makes a save.

58:43

Moussa Sissoko produces a cross, clearance made by John O'Shea.

56:44

Corner taken by Sebastian Larsson, save by Rob Elliot.

56:20 Substitution

Substitution (Newcastle) makes a substitution, with Rob Elliot coming on for Tim Krul.

53:11

Free kick crossed right-footed by Adam Johnson, save by Tim Krul.

53:11 Substitution

Substitution Jack Colback on for Phil Bardsley.

53:11

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Stephane Sessegnon by Cheick Tiote.

52:09

Alfred N'Diaye gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Sylvain Marveaux. Cheick Tiote takes the direct free kick.

51:47

Adam Johnson takes a shot. Save made by Tim Krul.

51:04

Corner from the right by-line taken by Sylvain Marveaux, James McClean manages to make a clearance.

49:23

The offside flag is raised against James McClean. Steven Taylor takes the free kick.

49:07

The ball is crossed by Cheick Tiote, Simon Mignolet makes a save.

48:28

Outswinging corner taken from the left by-line by Sylvain Marveaux, John O'Shea manages to make a clearance.

46:40

Moussa Sissoko produces a cross, clearance made by Carlos Cuellar.

45:01

The game restarts for the second half.

45:01 Substitution

Substitution (Newcastle) makes a substitution, with Shola Ameobi coming on for Yoan Gouffran.

45:00 +4:06 Half time

Half Time The referee blows for half time.

45:00 +2:00

Simon Mignolet restarts play with the free kick.

45:00 +2:00 Booking

Booking Steven Taylor receives a caution for unsporting behaviour.

45:00 +1:28

Foul by Steven Taylor on Simon Mignolet, free kick awarded.

45:00 +0:47

Inswinging corner taken left-footed by Sylvain Marveaux from the right by-line, Papiss Cisse takes a shot from 12 yards. Blocked by Carlos Cuellar.

45:00 +0:35

Jonas Gutierrez delivers the ball, save made by Simon Mignolet.

44:04

Yohan Cabaye crosses the ball, Phil Bardsley makes a clearance.

42:36

Phil Bardsley takes the direct free kick.

42:36 Booking

Booking Booking for Papiss Cisse.

42:27

Papiss Cisse concedes a free kick for a foul on Phil Bardsley.

39:22

Inswinging corner taken by Sebastian Larsson, Carlos Cuellar takes a shot. Tim Krul makes a save. The official flags Danny Graham offside. Tim Krul restarts play with the free kick.

36:15

Free kick crossed left-footed by Sylvain Marveaux, Sebastian Larsson manages to make a clearance.

36:15 Booking

Booking Danny Rose shown a yellow card.

36:05

Mathieu Debuchy fouled by Danny Rose, the ref awards a free kick.

34:03

Danny Graham takes a shot. Save by Tim Krul.

33:23

Unfair challenge on Adam Johnson by Yoan Gouffran results in a free kick. Phil Bardsley takes the free kick.

31:21

Yoan Gouffran takes a shot. Save made by Simon Mignolet.

30:57

Cheick Tiote takes a shot. Blocked by Sebastian Larsson.

29:43

Shot by Papiss Cisse. Save by Simon Mignolet.

28:10

Corner taken left-footed by Sylvain Marveaux from the left by-line, clearance by John O'Shea.

27:41

Papiss Cisse has an effort at goal. Save by Simon Mignolet.

26:14

The assist for the goal came from James McClean.

26:14 Goal scored

Goal! - Stephane Sessegnon - Newcastle 0 - 1 Sunderland A goal is scored by Stephane Sessegnon from just inside the penalty area to the bottom left corner of the goal. Newcastle 0-1 Sunderland.

24:42

Yoan Gouffran is flagged offside by the assistant referee. Simon Mignolet takes the indirect free kick.

24:25

Mathieu Debuchy delivers the ball, Carlos Cuellar makes a clearance.

24:05

Free kick awarded for a foul by Sebastian Larsson on Yohan Cabaye. Direct free kick taken by Cheick Tiote.

22:56

Adam Johnson crosses the ball from the free kick left-footed from right wing, clearance by Papiss Cisse.

22:56 Booking

Booking Yoan Gouffran goes into the referee's book.

22:26

Yoan Gouffran gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Adam Johnson.

21:12

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Adam Johnson by Cheick Tiote. Adam Johnson takes the free kick.

20:20

Adam Johnson takes a inswinging corner.

19:40

Yohan Cabaye gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on James McClean. Danny Rose takes the free kick.

19:28

Centre by Sylvain Marveaux, clearance by John O'Shea.

17:27

Free kick awarded for a foul by Yohan Cabaye on Danny Graham. Free kick crossed by Sebastian Larsson.

11:09

The ball is delivered by Phil Bardsley, save by Tim Krul.

9:15

Papiss Cisse gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Carlos Cuellar. Direct free kick taken by Simon Mignolet.

8:08

Unfair challenge on Steven Taylor by Stephane Sessegnon results in a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Tim Krul.

6:57

Yoan Gouffran takes a shot. Phil Bardsley gets a block in.

6:27

Corner taken left-footed by Adam Johnson to the near post, clearance made by Jonas Gutierrez.

5:40

Free kick awarded for a foul by Yohan Cabaye on Danny Rose. John O'Shea takes the direct free kick.

2:41

Free kick awarded for a foul by Alfred N'Diaye on Mathieu Debuchy. The ball is crossed by Sylvain Marveaux, Steven Taylor has a headed effort at goal from just inside the box that misses to the left of the goal.

0:27

Phil Bardsley sends in a cross, Yohan Cabaye makes a clearance.

0:00

The ref blows the whistle to start the match.

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