SUNDERLAND’S derby bubble was burst, as ex-Black Cats boss Steve Bruce oversaw a fourth consecutive victory over his former club.
Gus Poyet’s side suffered only their fifth loss of the campaign, as struggling Hull repeated their trick from last season of inflicting defeat on Sunderland after the Black Cats had triumphed against Newcastle United.
The defeat was all the more galling for Sunderland after they had taken the lead inside the opening 30 seconds against a Hull side, who looked utterly devoid of confidence, when Adam Johnson pounced on Curtis Davies’ catastrophic error.
But Hull pulled level when Gaston Ramirez shot hit a divot and deceived Costel Pantilimon.
Even then, Sunderland were left aggrieved going into half-time level after referee Andre Marriner waved away a couple of strong penalty appeals for handball.
But Sunderland produced arguably their worst 45 minutes of the season in the second half, with James Chester heading Hull ahead and the Black Cats struggling to string two passes together.
Nikica Jelavic sealed Hull’s victory in stoppage time when he took advantage of Sunderland’s search for an equaliser by netting on the counter-attack.
Billy Jones returned from more than two months on the sidelines to take the place of Wes Brown in the Black Cats line-up - a change which saw the former West Brom man come in at left-back and John O’Shea revert to centre-half alongside Sebastian Coates.
Ricky Alvarez also started, as the on-loan Inter Milan man replaced the suspended Connor Wickham, while Emanuele Giaccherini was included among the substitutes after a three-month lay-off.
Ex-Sunderland midfielders David Meyler and Ahmed Elmohamady both started for Hull, who made four changes from the side which lost against Swansea.
Liam Rosenior, Stephen Quinn, Robbie Brady and Sone Aluko were all included in the starting XI.
Sunderland went ahead after just 30 seconds following an abominable piece of defender from Hull skipper Curtis Davies.
The centre-half carelessly under-hit a blind back pass towards goalkeeper Allan McGregor which Johnson sensed he could get onto and under pressure from the Sunderland winger, Davies lost his balance and fell over.
Johnson kept his cool, rounded McGregor and tapped the ball into the empty net.
Hull looked desperately fragile in the exchanges that followed, but Sunderland were unable to profit from the nerves of the visitors to double their advantage.
The Black Cats paid the price for that in the 33rd minute, as Hull pulled level via a splash of fortune.
Gaston Ramirez unleashed a weak left-footed shot from 25 yards, but it hit a divot which completely deceived Costel Pantilimon and bounced over the Sunderland keeper’s dive and into the net.
Sunderland should have been handed a penalty five minutes before the break when Alex Bruce blatantly blocked Johnson’s pass behind with his arm, but referee Andre Marriner waved away the appeals.
During a frenetic end to the half, Sunderland had a second penalty appeal waved away when Quinn blocked Alvarez’s cross with his outstretched arm.
Moments later, Seb Larsson’s header was hooked away off the line by Bruce after Johnson’s cross-come-shot from the right-hand side of the area.
Santiago Vergini then went close when he hit a right-footed shot on the turn from 12 yards which was turned behind at the near post by McGregor.
HALF-TIME Sunderland 1 Hull 1
Brady tested Pantilimon within five minutes of the re-start, with a left-footed free-kick from 25 yards which was tipped over the top by the Sunderland keeper.
Steven Fletcher headed Ramirez’s resulting corner behind, but from the second corner, Chester met it at the near post and headed home from eight yards out.
Sunderland were far too sloppy and direct after that goal, with Hull growing significantly in confidence.
With 15 minutes to go, Sone Aluko fired a couple of feet over the bar with a shot on the turn from the edge of the area.
Substitute Nikica Jelavic sealed Hull’s win in the final minute of stoppage time when he collected Elmohamady’s pass on the break and slid the ball beyond Pantilimon.
FULL-TIME Sunderland 1 Hull 3
SUNDERLAND: Pantilimon, Vergini (Buckley 84), O’Shea, Coates, Jones, Johnson, Larsson, Cattermole, Gomez (Giaccerini 62), Alvarez (Altidore 62), Fletcher. Subs not used: Mannone, Bridcutt, Brown, Rodwell. Booked: Larsson (16), Vergini (19), Fletcher (53), Jones (74)
HULL: McGregor, Chester, Bruce, Davies, Elmohamady, Rosenior, Meyler, Quinn, Ramirez (Sagbo 78), Brady (Ince 88), Aluko (Jelavic 89). Subs not used: Harper, Figueroa, Hernandez, Maguire. Booked: Chester (45), Brady (73)