Sunderland were undone by Wes Brown’s early red card and Hull City’s January transfer window strikeforce of Shane Long and Nikica Jelavic. Watch video highlights here.
Steve Bruce made a winning return to Sunderland on Saturday as his side Hull ended a winless run of five matches with a 2-0 win over the hosts who played almost the whole match with only 10 men.
Bruce — whose side had not won since demolishing Fulham 6-0 at the end of last year — saw his transfer window signings Shane Long and Nikica Jelavic — the latter’s first in over 16 hours — score after Wes Brown was sent off in the third minute.
Hull’s win sees them move four points above the relegation zone while Sunderland are only a point clear of the bottom three.
Sunderland’s chances of extending their four match unbeaten run suffered a serious blow as former Manchester United defender Brown was sent off for a professional foul on Long bringing the number of red cards in matches between the two sides to seven in the last eight meetings.
Sunderland manager Gus Poyet reacted by removing Italian striker Fabio Borini and replacing him with defender Santiago Vergini but it didn’t prevent the visitors from taking the lead shortly afterwards.
It was appropriately Long who punished them as the Ireland international helped on Jake Livermore’s shot with a sharp header to beat Vito Mannone in the 16th minute.
Hull piled on the pressure seeking to put the game to bed but saw the woodwork defy them twice, first former Everton striker Jelavic’s header coming back off the bar and then Long fired a cracking drive from outside the box beating Mannone all hands down but it came back off the post.
Sunderland came out for the second-half fired up and Hull ‘keeper Steve Harper had to pull off a brilliant save to deny Korean Ki Sung-yeung and that was to prove crucial as the visitors went on to double their lead.
It was Jelavic who struck, his excellent header from Maynor Figueroa’s shot beating Mannone to bring much relief to the Tigers bench.