SUNDERLAND secured a first away win of the season after ending their 17-year hoodoo at Everton.
Ki Sung-Yeung’s first half penalty ended 10-man Everton’s unbeaten home record in 2013 as the Premier League’s basement boys secured a huge result in the battle against the drop.
Ki’s spot-kick came after he had been brought down by Tim Howard, with the Everton keeper earning a red card as a result.
Sunderland could have added a second in the closing stages of the opening 45 minutes, yet Everton piled on the pressure after the break.
Vito Mannone’s made several stunning saves, while Fabio Borini produced an unbelievable goal-line clearance to give Sunderland a first away win outside of the North East since January.
Gus Poyet was forced to change his central defensive partnership, with Wes Brown and John O’Shea both ruled out through suspension and injury respectively.
Summer signings Valentin Roberge and Modibo Diakite started together for only the second time, with the latter making his first appearance under Poyet.
The defenders were two of four changes to the side, with Jack Colback and Steven Fletcher also recalled at the expense of Seb Larsson and Jozy Altidore.
Everton boss Roberto Martinez made one change to the starting line-up with Leon Osman replacing Ross Barkley, who was included on the bench.
Steven Fletcher almost pounced on a weak backwards header from Phil Jagielka in the third minute, but Tim Howard just got to the ball ahead of the Sunderland striker.
Gareth Barry had a chance for the Toffees in the 12th minute when he met Kevin Mirallas’ left-wing corner at the back post, but he couldn’t get over the ball from two yards out and sent his header over the top.
Jack Colback should perhaps have done better three minutes later when Fabio Borini rolled the ball across to the edge of the area to the midfielder.
Colback had time to get his body around the ball, but could only send his low left-footed strike straight at Howard.
Out of nothing, Sunderland were handed the chance from the spot in the 23rd minute, while Everton were reduce to 10 men.
Howard was the guilty party after his pass out from a goal-kick was miscontrolled by Leon Osman on the edge of the area.
Ki Sung-Yeung burst in, rounded Howard and was clipped by the goalkeeper before he was about to tuck it into an empty net.
Howard was given a straight red card by referee Lee Probert, with Ki netting the resulting spot-kick calmly past substitute stopper Joel Robles into the bottom left-hand corner.
Sunderland went desperately close to doubling their advantage in the 36th minute when Ondrej Celustka capped a period of sustained passing on the Everton area from the visitors when he unleashed an angled drive from the right.
Robles spilled it sloppily, but recovered superbly to tip away Seb Larsson’s effort on the rebound.
HALF-TIME Everton 0 Sunderland 1
Sunderland had a great chance two minutes after the restart when Larsson floated in a free-kick from the right which was knocked back across goal by Celustka.
Valentin Roberge missed the ball with an attempted half-volley before Modibo Diakite saw his scooped shot deflected just over the bar.
The resulting corner was taken short to Lee Cattermole whose floated cross was met by Steven Fletcher at the back post, but his header lacked power and was gathered relatively comfortably by Robles low to his right.
A superb save from Vito Mannone denied Jagielka in the 56th minute after the England defender met Bryan Oviedo’s corner with a firm header six yards out.
Mannone parried it and then gathered Lukaku’s off-balance effort on the rebound, which lacked power.
Fletcher let fly with a powerful effort from 20 yards in the 63rd minute, but it was gathered well at the first attempt by Robles, with Borini waiting for the sniff of any rebound.
Half-time substitute Ross Barkley tried his luck from distance in the 66th minute, with a right-footed effort that bounced just before Mannone and needed to be pushed away by the Italian.
Moments later, Barkley let fly from 25 yards with his left foot and saw his low, skidding effort drift inches wide of the near post.
Oviedo was denied by a brilliant stop from Mannone in the 75th minute after the left-back cut inside and struck a right-footed shot towards the far corner.
The ball was rocketing towards goal, yet Mannone managed to divert it behind, high to his left.
Fletcher had a golden opportunity to seal victory in the 78th minute when substitute Emanuele Giaccherini delivered a perfectly-weighted slide rule pass.
The Scotland international’s first touch was heavy and then with Robles advancing out of his goal, the striker diverted his shot wide of the far post.
Mannone produced another magnificent save in the 84th minute to somehow tip away Barkley’s free-kick from 25 yards out.
From the resulting corner, Jelavic planted a firm header from six yards out which beat Mannone, but not Fabio Borini on the line, who produced an unbelievable goal-line clearance.
FULL-TIME Everton 0 Sunderland 1
EVERTON: Howard, Coleman, Jagielka, Distin, Oviedo, Mirallas (Barkley 46), McCarthy, Barry, Osman (Robles 24), Pienaar, Lukaku. Subs not used: Heitinga, Jelavic, Naismith, Stones, Alcaraz. Sent off: Howard (23)
SUNDERLAND: Mannone, Celustka, Diakite, Roberge, Bardsley, Cattermole, Ki, Colback (Giaccherini 70), Larsson, Borini, Fletcher (Altidore 87). Subs not used: Pickford, Dossena, Cabral, Ba, Johnson. Booked: Barry (42)