Sunderland drift closer to relegation after failing to score for a sixth time, beaten 2-0 away at Leicester City.
David Moyes's side lacked cutting edge and confidence in front of goal rarely looking like scoring despite plenty of territory and possession.
Islam Slimani fired Leicester ahead off the bench with Jamie Vardy sealing the points for the league champions who were clinical, despite a sub-par performance.
Outside of Victor Anichebe hitting the post there were few Sunderland chances, they remain bottom, eight points from safety. Ostensibly rivals in the relegation battle just a month ago, Leicester are now tenth on 36 points after a fifth straight win.
Sunderland were let off on just three minutes when Shinji Okazaki fired wide. The industrious forward nipped ahead of Kone and had a free hit from point blank range which he narrowly missed at the near post.
After an early let off the Black Cats settled. Sebastian Larsson and Bryan Oviedo forced the form team to defend two great crosses early as Sunderland attempted to build pressure.
Yet the cutting edge continued to come from the league champions. Robert Huth's looping header was punched off the line by Jordan Pickford.
A lack of quality and confidence cost Moyes's men who looked like a team who hadn't scored in five fixtures.
Leicester comfortably cleared a plethora of Larsson set pieces and Kasper Schmeichel easily blocked Jermain Defoe from close range, when the angle favoured the Dane.
Defoe and Didier Ndong had poor shots from overly optimistic areas as Sunderland continually struggled to score.
Demarai Gray nearly fired Leicester ahead forcing a phenominal save from Pickford. The England under 21 internation blasted across goal, with his under 21 teammate just tipping it round the post with the faintest touch.
Gray nearly broke the deadlock in first half injury time again cutting inside this time curling wide.
A bright start to second half saw Fabio Borini squander Sunderland's best opening from open play. The Italian hit the first Leicester defender unmarked in the area when he should have tested the Foxes's stopper.
The Wearsider's continued to be positive just after the break, Defoe using quick feet to win a dangerous free kick against Yohan Benalouane. The opportunity was criminally wasted by Larsson who shot high and wide.
Defoe who was lively throughout shot straight at Schmeichel as Sunderland continued to struggle to score that illusive goal., the England international did well to chest and volley in a crowded area.
Craig Shakespeare changed the entire complexion of the game bringing on Islam Slimani and Marc Albrighton mid-way through the second half. Within minutes the two combined for the game's opening goal.
Albrighton ran at Billy Jones in transition his in-swinging cross was glanced home by Slimani, who nudged Kone out the way for a free header.
The closest Sunderland came was a penalty box scramble 15 minutes from time. The ball ran to substitute Wahbi Khazri who was impressively denied by Christian Fuchs at close range. The subsequent rebound fell to Anichebe whose deflected shot cannoned off the post, Defoe then hit the side netting from a tough angle. Not quite good enough.
Within a minute it was over. Jones slipped giving Slimani free reign down Sunderland's right. The Algerian took advantage of poor flat footed defending from Kone, to slip in Jamie Vardy. The England forward took one touch before smashing the ball into the top corner. A minute after hitting the post Sunderland were beaten.
At 2-0 Leicester were comfortable, like many teams this season, with the game stretched they counter-attacked easily against the Premier League's worst team. Riyad Mahrez and Albrighton missed decent chances to add to Sunderland's misery.
A superb injury time tackle from Kone denied Slimani his second, the front man had latched on a loose ball after a heavy Oviedo touch, but Kone blocked at full stretch to save Sunderland further embarrassment.
Sunderland now have eight games to save themselves from the drop, but look completely bereft of the confidence needed to do so. They also have a miserably conservative manager restricting their ability to win football matches.