David Moyes described Patrick van Aanholt's winner as a "great finish" as Sunderland made sure they go into Christmas off the bottom of the Premier League.
The flying Dutchman produced an excellent turn and finish to match when he supported a rapid 49th-minute attack initiated by Adnan Januzaj.
Receiving from Jermain Defoe on his right, he swivelled and shot with his left to score via Heurelho Gomes's right-hand post for his third and most crucial goal of the season.
"It was a really good goal," said Moyes. "To manipulate that, to get in the turn, it was a great finish.
"It was one of our best moves of the match.
"Adnan had a great turn and played in Jermain. His pass sent him a bit wide but he got it back in.
"Great credit goes to Pat for being in the six-yard box and then to get in a turn and finish.
"It was fantastic the way he manipulated the finish."
While the 26-year-old took the headlines, the Sunderland boss saluted Victor Anichebe.
The powerhouse forward, back after missing the midweek defeat to Chelsea with a thigh problem, did not find the net but put in another magnificent shift.
"I thought Victor was immense in the second half, helping turn the game our way," said Moyes. "He really did.
"He was up against someone bigger and stronger than him, but he showed that pound for pound Victor as good as anyone.
"If someone wants to go up big against Victor he can do it."
Moyes was without his two principal right-backs with Billy Jones, after a fine run in the side, and Javier Manquillo missing through injury.
However, Donald Love continued from where he left in midweek against the leaders with an energetic display.
"It would be wrong of me not to mention the young right-back," added Moyes. "He played really well."
While the Black Cats did not recreate the form they produced in their previous home win against Leicester, the never-say-die spirit was in evidence, backed by another 40,000-plus attendance.
Their fourth victory of the season moved them up to 18th, leapfrogging Swansea and Hull, who slipped to the foot of the table, and took them to just one point from fourth-bottom-club Crystal Palace
"I think we have a good siege mentality within the club," said Moyes.
"We need the crowd to be with us all the way, if we do that and we get over 40,000 here every week - there are very clubs can say that - then we have a big chance here."