STUNNING SUNDERLAND secured their biggest derby victory since 1979 as Paolo Di Canio secured his first win as Black Cats boss.
Sunderland were rampant at St James’s Park and thoroughly deserved the three points, as they secured both the bragging rights for the first time since 2008 and handed their survival prospects a major boost.
Stephane Sessegnon gave Sunderland a half-time lead when he fired in from the edge of the area, although Di Canio’s side were indebted to two superb saves from Simon Mignolet to preserve that advantage.
Papiss Cisse wrongly had a goal disallowed for Newcastle in the second half before Sunderland sealed the points with two stellar strikes.
First, Adam Johnson curled one into the far corner from the edge of the area before substitute David Vaughan sealed the points in the 83rd minute with his first of the season.
Paolo Di Canio made three changes to the starting line-up with fit-again Danny Graham replacing the injured Connor Wickham, James McClean coming in for the suspended Craig Gardner and Carlos Cuellar preferred to Matt Kilgallon at centre-half.
McClean took up the slot on the left flank, with Larsson partnering Alfred N’Diaye in central midfield.
There was also a spot on the bench for fit-again David Vaughan.
Newcastle made five changes from the side which crashed out of the Europa League on Thursday night, with injury doubts Steven Taylor, Mathieu Debuchy and Cheik Tiote all passed fit, while Yoan Gouffran and Sylvain Marveaux were also included.
After a strangely subdued start from both sides, Sunderland had a great shout for a penalty in the 15th minute.
Stephane Sessegnon picked out Graham eight yards out with a low ball into the box and as the striker tried to get a shot away on the turn, his shirt was tugged back by Taylor.
Deservedly, Sunderland did go ahead in the 27th minute when Jonas Gutierrez gave the ball away cheaply on halfway to McClean.
The Ireland winger fed Sessegnon midway inside the Newcastle half and the Benin international advanced to the edge of the area before planting a low shot beyond Tim Krul.
Newcastle almost drew level instantly when Cisse got the wrong side of the Sunderland back-line and was left with just Simon Mignolet to beat six yards out.
But the Belgian spread himself excellently and blocked Cisse’s shot behind.
Mignolet was again called into action on the half-hour mark when Moussa Sissoko picked out Cisse on the edge of the area.
The Senegalese hit a low left-footed shot but Mignolet got down superbly to collect low to his left.
Graham had an opportunity in the 34th minute when he rolled Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa on the edge of the area to Phil Bardsley’s long ball forward, but could only scuff a relatively harmless left-foot shot which Krul gathered routinely.
Four minutes before the interval, Sunderland had a far more clear-cut chance to double the lead when Cuellar managed to crane his neck to meet Larsson’s corner six yards out.
Cuellar made good contact, but Krul got down superbly to block.
Mignolet was again called into action in first half stoppage time when he was forced to tip Gutierrez’s inswinging cross behind.
From the resulting corner, Cisse shanked a shot at the far post which was deflected off Cuellar before being cleared off the line by Larsson.
HALF-TIME Newcastle 0 Sunderland 1
Alan Pardew made a change at the interval with Shola Ameobi replacing Gouffran.
Adam Johnson had an opportunity in the 52nd minute when he caught out Debuchy to McClean’s punt forward.
From the left of goal, Johnson had just Krul to beat 35 yards out, but his attempted lob lacked power and the keeper was able to race back and gather.
Moments later, Sunderland had another opportunity when Krul flapped to Johnson’s inswinging free-kick, but from six yards out, Graham couldn’t generate any power on his looping header.
It was Krul’s last contribution of the game as he was forced off with an elbow problem. Rob Elliot took the place of the Dutch international.
At the other end, Cisse let fly on the hour mark after plucking Yohan Cabaye’s long ball out of the air and letting fly with a dipping shot from 25 yards which Mignolet turned behind.
Newcastle wrongly had a goal disallowed in the 61st minute when Sissoko flicked on Marveaux’s free-kick and Cisse turned it in from point-blank range.
Cisse was behind Danny Rose when the ball went through, but the linesman incorrectly judged that the Senegalese was offside.
Sunderland had another penalty shout in the 69th minute when Graham met Larsson’s corner with a back-post header that was blocked by the outstretched arm of Yanga-Mbwia.
Moments later, Newcastle spurned a golden opportunity when Debuchy headed Marveaux’s left wing cross back into the mix, but substitute Hatem Ben Arfa could only steer his header high and wide from eight yards.
Cisse turned the ball wide at the near post in the 73rd minute after being picked out by Sissoko’s low left wing cross.
A minute later, Sunderland doubled their lead when Johnson collected the ball on the right, drove inside and curled a stunning left-footed shot into the far corner from the edge of the area.
Elliot was forced to push behind N’Diaye’s shot in the 80th minute after the midfielder surged down the right-hand channel of the area and struck a shot across goal.
A third arrived for Sunderland in the 83rd minute when Sessegnon picked out substitute David Vaughan down the left-hand channel of the area.
Vaughan unleashed a rocket left-footed shot into the far top corner, which left Elliot motionless.
FULL-TIME Newcastle 0 Sunderland 3
NEWCASTLE: Krul (Elliot 57), Debuchy, S Taylor, Yanga-Mbiwa, Gutierrez, Tiote, Cabaye (Ben Arfa 63), Marveaux, Sissoko, Gouffran (Ameobi 46), Cisse. Subs not used: Perch, Haidara, Anita, Campbell. Booked: Gouffran (23), Cisse (43), Taylor (45)
SUNDERLAND: Mignolet, Bardsley (Colback 55), Cuellar (Mangane 71), O’Shea, Rose, Johnson, N’Diaye, Larsson, McClean (Vaughan 65), Sessegnon, Graham. Subs not used: Westwood, Kilgallon, Mandron, Laidler. Booked: Rose (37), Johnson (74)