SUNDERLAND suffered post-derby blues against Hull City for the second time this season as ex-Black Cats boss Steve Bruce enjoyed a successful return to the Stadium of Light.
The four-game unbeaten league run for Gus Poyet’s side came to an abrupt end after Sunderland never recovered from the fourth minute sending off Wes Brown - dismissed for the third time this season for bringing down Shane Long when he was clean through on goal.
Long gave Hull the lead when he glanced home Jake Livermore’s shot in the 16h minute, with the £7million January signing going close to doubling his tally before the break when his rasping long-range drive came back off the post.
Sunderland, now lying one point and one place above the drop zone, huffed and puffed to little effect with Long’s strike partner Nikica Jelavic getting the crucial second goal just after the hour mark.
Unsurprisingly, Gus Poyet opted for an unchanged side from the one which triumphed 3-0 at Newcastle United seven days earlier.
But there was a return on the bench for fit-again Lee Cattermole, who took the place of January signing Nacho Scocco.
Hull boss Steve Bruce made just one change to his starting XI with Jake Livermore, who was ineligible to face parent club Spurs last weekend, replacing Robbie Brady.
Ex-Sunderland trio David Meyler, Paul McShane and Elmohamady were all included in the side.
Sunderland made the worst possible start after being reduced to 10 men inside the opening four minutes.
Phil Bardsley produced a suicidal back pass which sent Shane Long through on goal.
Wes Brown chased back and brought down Long on the edge of the area, with referee Mike Jones having little option than to dismiss the former Manchester United man.
Tom Huddlestone took the resulting free-kick, but it was gathered well by Vito Mannone low to his left.
Poyet reshuffled his defence in the 12th minute, with Fabio Borini sacrificed to make way for January signing Santiago Vergini, who joined John O’Shea at centre-half.
Mannone produced a superb save to deny Jake Livermore three minutes later when the ball fell nicely to the on-loan Tottenham midfielder just inside the area.
Livermore wrapped his right foot around the ball, but it was diverted over the top by the Sunderland stopper.
But from the resulting corner, Hull took the lead after Jozy Altidore couldn’t get enough on his headed clearance at the near post.
The ball landed as far as Livermore, 15 yards out, who cushioned a half-volley into the turf which was glanced home by Shane Long from point-blank range.
Nikica Jelavic was denied by a smart save from Mannone in the 26th minute after the striker outmuscled Santiago Vergini to connect with Liam Rosenior’s cross from the right.
Jelavic’s header looked as if it was heading just inside the post, but Mannone managed to palm it away high to his left.
The woodwork then saved Sunderland in the 31st minute after Long unleashed a thunderbolt of a left-foot shot on the turn from 20 yards which crashed back off the inside of the post.
Sunderland were unfortunate a minute before the interval when the ball dropped to Adam Johnson 25 yards out.
Johnson met the ball flush on the volley with a powerful left-footed strike, but it was straight at Hull stopper Steve Harper.
HALF-TIME Sunderland 0 Hull 1
Sunderland went close to an equaliser in the 55th minute when Ki Sung-Yueng unleashed a shot from the edge of the area which took a wicked deflection off Paul McShane.
Harper was forced to scamper across his goalmouth to palm the ball behind low to his right.
Two minutes later, Sunderland had a let-off when Liam Bridcutt gave the ball away cheaply to David Meyler, just inside the Black Cats half.
Meyler threaded a perfectly weighted ball through to Jelavic who took a touch before screwing his shot wide of the far post.
Jelavic did get his goal in the 62nd minute, albeit Hull received a hefty slice of fortune in the build-up.
Maynor Figueroa came forward and scuffed a shot from 25 yards which took a wicked deflection off Vergini and landed perfectly for Jelavic to head into the top corner from 10 yards out.
Hull almost made it three in the 75th minute when Jelavic stabbed the ball into the side netting after meeting Elmohamady’s cross from the right.
Substitute Sone Aluko let fly with a low drive from 25 yards in the 81st minute which bounced awkwardly in front of Mannone, although the stopper managed to turn it behind.
FULL-TIME Sunderland 0 Hull 2
SUNDERLAND: Mannone, Bardsley, O’Shea, Brown, Alonso, Bridcutt (Wickham 75), Ki (Gardner 70), Colback, Johnson, Borini (Vergini 12), Altidore. Subs not used: Larsson, Giaccherini, Ustari, Cattermole. Sent off: Brown (4). Booked: Bridcutt (45)
HULL: Harper, Rosenior (Koren 46), Davies, McShane, Figueroa, Elmohamady, Meyler, Huddlestone, Livermore, Jelavic (Aluko 78), Long (Brady 89). Subs not used: Jakupovic, Bruce, Boyd, Sagbo. Booked: Rosenior (11), Livermore (41), Jelavic (61)
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