Match ends, Sunderland 2, Stoke City 0.
Sunderland lifted themselves out of the relegation zone with just their third Premier League win of the season, as two late goals saw off 10-man Stoke.
The Potters had held firm despite Ryan Shawcross being sent off but Patrick van Aanholt and Duncan Watmore struck with two goals in the last 10 minutes.
Shawcross was dismissed for a second yellow after a foul on Watmore, who replaced the injured Jermain Defoe.
Stoke, who went closest through Jonathan Walters, slip to 12th.
Stoke and Butland finally beaten
Stoke went into the game unbeaten in their past four away matches - and had won three of those 1-0 - but finally conceded when wing-back Van Aanholt fired home from the edge of the box after a free-kick was played short.
Sunderland had an extra man for almost the whole of the second half and frustration had been building, but the home fans could finally relax when Watmore sealed the win, finishing low across Jack Butland after Erik Pieters' missed header.
The Black Cats were without a win when Sam Allarydce took over in October and they continued their revival here - despite Stoke having the clearer chances and greater possession in the first half.
Costel Pantilimon stopped a Walters shot with his legs at point-blank range just before the break, while the trio of Bojan, Xherdan Shaqiri and Marko Arnautovic looked menacing with their slick passing.
But do Sunderland need another striker?
With Defoe withdrawn before the break, having suffered an apparent thigh muscle injury, the Black Cats struggled to make their numerical advantage tell.
Watmore was full of running throughout, and provoked the foul by Shawcross that saw the Stoke defender dismissed, but was guilty of spurning chances until his goal.
Steven Fletcher had a limited impact, too, and the striker had several weak penalty appeals dismissed.
With his team still to play Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester City and Liverpool before the new year, these hard-won three points could prove vital for Allardyce.
He will be hoping Defoe - the club's top scorer with seven goals this season - will be fit for what looks like being a very tricky run of fixtures.
'Still relegation form'
Sunderland boss Sam Allardyce: "We might be out of the bottom three, but it's still relegation form in terms of points per games played and we have got to make sure we continue to lessen that gap, the quicker the better. Certainly by winning three in the first six, it takes us to where we want to be going.
"I said when I came here, I don't really want to be doing what the club has done over the last four years and have to win a huge amount of games in the last six or eight matches.
"Let's try not to get there and let's try to do it as quickly as we can."
'The red card cost us'
Stoke City manager Mark Hughes: "In the second half the sending off affected us. It was always going to be difficult from there.
"Jon will kick himself for missing - it was a clear chance and he should score. He knows that and if we score at that point we would have very probably taken the game away from them.
"But we pick ourselves up. We have a big game on Tuesday and we will draw a line under this.
Man of the match - Lee Cattermole (Sunderland)
The stats you need to know
- Sunderland have lost just one of their last nine Premier League meetings with Stoke (W5 D3 L1).
- The Black Cats have now won as many league games in six games under Sam Allardyce as they had in 17 under Dick Advocaat (three).
- Patrick van Aanholt's strike was his first goal in the Premier League.
- Games involving Stoke have seen just 25 goals so far this season, fewer than any other team in the Premier League.
- Sunderland mustered 18 shots (including blocked) - their highest number in a Premier League game this season.
What's next for both sides?
Sunderland play away to Arsenal in the Premier League next Saturday, before welcoming Watford to the Stadium of Light the following Saturday.
Stoke play at home to Sheffield Wednesday in the League Cup quarter-finals on Tuesday, before taking on Manchester City in the Premier League's early kick-off next Saturday.
- 16O'SheaSubstituted forJohnsonat 74'minutes
- 7LarssonSubstituted forLensat 54'minutes
- 3van Aanholt
- 18DefoeSubstituted forWatmoreat 31'minutes
- 17ShawcrossBooked at 47mins
- 3PietersBooked at 81mins
- 16AdamBooked at 33minsSubstituted forAfellayat 85'minutes
- 22ShaqiriSubstituted forDioufat 64'minutes
- 27BojanSubstituted forCameronat 50'minutes
- 15Van Ginkel
- Mike Dean
- Shots on Target
Second Half ends, Sunderland 2, Stoke City 0.
Corner, Stoke City. Conceded by Sebastián Coates.
Attempt blocked. Jonathan Walters (Stoke City) header from the left side of the six yard box is blocked. Assisted by Ibrahim Afellay.
Attempt missed. Adam Johnson (Sunderland) left footed shot from outside the box misses to the left. Assisted by Steven Fletcher.
Foul by Erik Pieters (Stoke City).
Duncan Watmore (Sunderland) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Attempt missed. Jeremain Lens (Sunderland) right footed shot from the left side of the box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Duncan Watmore.
Substitution, Stoke City. Ibrahim Afellay replaces Charlie Adam.
Goal! Sunderland 2, Stoke City 0. Duncan Watmore (Sunderland) right footed shot from the right side of the box to the bottom left corner.
Goal! Sunderland 1, Stoke City 0. Patrick van Aanholt (Sunderland) left footed shot from outside the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Adam Johnson following a set piece situation.
Erik Pieters (Stoke City) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Foul by Erik Pieters (Stoke City).
Adam Johnson (Sunderland) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Corner, Sunderland. Conceded by Erik Pieters.
Erik Pieters (Stoke City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Duncan Watmore (Sunderland).
Attempt missed. Jeremain Lens (Sunderland) right footed shot from outside the box is too high. Assisted by Adam Johnson.
Foul by Mame Biram Diouf (Stoke City).
Sebastián Coates (Sunderland) wins a free kick in the defensive half.