Yannick Bolasie plundered an 11-minute hat-trick as Crystal Palace boss Alan Pardew got his own back on Sunderland.
Scorers: Sunderland - Wickham 90; Crystal Palace - Murray 48; Bolasie 51, 54, 62
The DR Congo international struck after 51, 54 and 62 minutes after Glenn Murray had opened the scoring to hand the former Newcastle manager a 4-1 victory at the Stadium of Light, Palace’s first ever top-flight win on Wearside.
Victory took the Eagles through the 40-point barrier – 25 of their 42 have come in the 12 Barclays Premier League games since he took charge.
By contrast Sunderland find themselves back in the relegation mire.
The visitors broke the deadlock three minutes after the restart when Bolasie was allowed to turn wide on the right edge of the penalty area and he floated a cross to the far post, where Murray timed his run to perfection to head inside the far post.
Only three more minutes had elapsed when Murray rose to head a long ball down towards Bolasie who, after defender Santiago Vergini failed to cut it out, stabbed gleefully past the helpless Costel Pantilimon.
The game was effectively over just nine minutes into the half when Bolasie easily out-muscled John O’Shea and lifted his shot over Pantilimon to spark an exodus from the stands.
That grew in size within eight minutes when Bolasie stabbed the ball into the empty net to complete a quick-fire treble.
Conor Wickham’s 89th-minute strike prove scant consolation for what remained of a crowd of 42,073.