Sunderland powered their way to a huge three points in the race for Premier League survival with an authoritative performance against fellow-strugglers Cardiff City at the Stadium of Light.
The Black Cats took a first half lead when the in-form Connor Wickham brilliantly headed into the top corner, and they were rarely - if ever - stretched all day. The pivotal moment of the game came just before half time, though.
Wickham, who was at the heart of everything good that Sunderland produced, chased down a poor back pass from Juan Cala before being tugged back by the Spaniard. Wickham elected to stay on his feet and try to score, but when it was clear there was no advantage, referee Phil Down pointed to the spot and brandished the red card.
Fabio Borini, so often the man for the big penalty this season, made no mistake, and Sunderland's position was commanding.
The second half was an easy one for the home side, though they were grateful to substitute Emanuele Giaccherini for settling what nerves there were with a cool 76th-minute finish after a flowing Sunderland move. When Wickham added his second and his side's fourth, it was just a cherry on top of the most sumptuous of cakes.
The win lifts Sunderland out of the relegation zone going into the last fortnight of the season and gives Gus Poyet's man a serious fighting chance of pulling off a 'miracle' escape from the drop.
Remarkable. Can't figure out if Sunderland have been trolling us all season or whether they are just trolling us now. This club, man!
Sunderland: Mannone, Vergini, O'Shea, Brown, Alonso, Larsson (Giaccherini 73'), Cattermole, Colback (Gardner 84'), Johnson (Bridcutt 84'), Wickham, Borini.
Goals: Wickham (26', 86'), Borini (45') Giaccherini (76')
Cardiff: Marshall, Theophile-Catherine, Caulker, Cala, Fabio (Jones 64'), Cowie (Zaha 45'), Medel, Whittingham, Daehli, Mutch, Campbell (Bellamy 74').