Steve Bruce was finally able to celebrate a victory as Sunderland condemned Stoke to their first defeat of the season in resounding style with a 4-0 win at the Stadium of Light.
Titus Bramble's first strike for the club and a Jonathan Woodgate own goal gave the home side a 2-0 lead within 11 minutes of the kick-off, and Craig Gardner's deflected 28th-minute shot put the result beyond reasonable doubt.
Sebastian Larsson ended any hope of an unlikely comeback with a 58th-minute free-kick as Sunderland trebled their season's goals tally.
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