Costel Pantilimon - 9
Came up big with a couple of cracking saves in the second half, and his dominance on crosses was a big factor in the crucial clean sheet.
Santiago Vergini - 8
Very solid, if a little more subdued than normal, but certainly played his part.
Sebastian Coates - 9
Was a really tough situation for him to have a Tyne and Wear derby thrust upon him with mere minutes notice, but after a shaky opening ten minutes he really had a splendid game.
Wes Brown - 8
Steady and disciplined. Another big game and another top performance from Brown.
John O'Shea - 9
Forced into left back duty and didn't let anyone down. In fact, he was bloody marvellous there all things considered.
Lee Cattermole - 8
Set the tone in the midfield and kept his head, as he tends to far more often than not.
Seb Larsson - 9
Brilliant. Just brilliant. He never stopped running. Plenty of quality and composure to go with it too.
Jordi Gomez - 8
He missed a glorious chance, but he wasn't alone in that. Generally, he was an influential figure in the midfield and was a very calming figure on the ball when he needed to be.
Adam Johnson - 8
The matchwinner in the end and a generally creative factor in the game throughout. Loved that he stayed on his feet trying to score when leading the counter attack rather than taking the free kick and settling for the draw.
Connor Wickham - 7
He was okay. The worst of the Sunderland starters for me. As usual with Wickham, he has a tendency to cancel out his good work with frustrating stuff in the same game.
Steven Fletcher - 9
I thought Fletch was brilliant. Really held the ball up well, showed a lovely touch on the turn, involved in the winning goal, and nearly bagged a superb goal for himself too.
Liam Bridcutt (Sub) - 6
A little sloppy at times but did his share of the defending.
Will Buckley (Sub) - 6
Had a bit of a stinker, aside from his big role in the winning goal. It was Buckley who both cleared the corner and set-up the goal, so huge marks for that.
Jack Rodwell (Sub) - 5
Man Of The Match - Costel Pantilimon
This one could have gone to any one of five for me, but the giant Romanian was so pivotal in the win with a couple of huge saves at vital times. He's turned out to be one hell of a signing.