ECSTATIC Black Cats fans celebrated a momentous win against arch rivals Newcastle.
Sunderland AFC’s first victory at St James’s Park in 13 years gave their chances of Premier League survival a massive boost.
In only his second game in charge, new manager Paolo Di Canio reversed the fortunes of an ailing team and halting their slump of nine games without a win in spectacular style.
The Black Cats delivered three killer blows to their old enemies, as Stephane Sessegnon’s first-half goal was followed up by strikes from Adam Johnson and David Vaughan.
Sunderland became wonderland as supporters cheered and hugged as each of the three goals soared past the Magpies at their home ground. Fans packed into The Chesters pub in Chester Road to watch the crucial game.
Loud cheers of “legend” rang out every time flamboyant manager Paolo Di Canio appeared on screen, leaping into the air in delight as his new team secured victory.
And the pub erupted into a loud countdown before referee Howard Webb blew the final whistle.
Watching the game was father and son Andrew and Matthew Old, from Kayll Road in Sunderland.
Andrew, 47, a nurse at Sunderland Royal Hospital, said: “I was on night shift last night but he persuaded me to come out. He said we were going to win 3-0. I’m not bothered about the politics with Di Canio.
“Nothing was mentioned when he was at Swindon.”
Barnes Junior School pupil Matthew, 11, added: “It’s brilliant. They were outstanding.”
Fans also took to Sunderland city centre to celebrate the win.
Echo editor John Szymanski said it had been a “memorable day”.
“It shows how a change of manager can influence a team.
“The derby was perfectly set up for Sunderland and they came up with an absolutely astounding victory,” he said.
“It’s given a lift to the team, the fans, the club and the whole city. A memorable day indeed.”