Local boy Jordan Henderson claimed a precious double as Sunderland finally ended their wait for a Barclays Premier League victory at the 10th attempt with a 4-2 win over struggling Wigan.
Wigan gave their own survival hopes a boost when Mohamed Diame blasted them into a 52nd-minute lead, but Asamoah Gyan levelled within three minutes to set up a grandstand finish.
Henderson fired the Black Cats in front 11 minutes later and after Stephane Sessegnon had converted a 73rd-minute penalty, added his second four minutes later to make substitute Franco di Santo's late strike irrelevant.
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