SUPER-SUB Ji Dong-won gave Sunderland the perfect start to 2012 with a winner deep in injury time against Barclays Premier League leaders Manchester City.
The South Korea international came off the bench to strike in the fourth minute of added time, when he looked to be fractionally offside before slotting in.
Man City substitute Micah Richards had hit the woodwork at the other end with just a minute of the 90 remaining, and with the Black Cats staging a valiant rearguard action.
But a day after Manchester United and Chelsea both slipped up at home, City were unable to take advantage despite creating a host of chances as they were shut out for the second successive game.
Sunderland goalkeeper Simon Mignolet kept out substitute Sergio Aguero's 59th-minute shot and striker Edin Dzeko saw a series of opportunities go begging on another frustrating afternoon for the leaders.
Sunderland had the two best chances of the match, but Nicklas Bendtner and the excellent Stephane Sessegnon failed to capitalise on them.
The hosts were not to be denied and Ji latched onto Sessegnon’s pass and round England keeper Joe Hart to roll the ball into the empty nets to spark amazing scenes of celebration.
Sunderland climb to 13th in the Barclays Premier League, six points clear of the bottom three.