Coventry City boss Mark Robins hailed side for executing a 'magnificent counter-attacking game'.
The Black Cats suffered their first home league defeat of the season after shipping five goals in a remarkable contest.
Coventry stormed into a 3-1 lead in the first half before Sunderland battled back twice to make it 4-4 ahead of the closing stages.
A winner from substitute Conor Chaplin sealed the points as the Black Cats were regularly overwhelmed on the break.
"Sunderland haven’t been beaten here all season, so we came here going for the win, it was a magnificent counter-attacking game, but not just that we had excellent build-up play, quick play, individual skill, good finishing and good composure, that’s the attacking part," he said.
"Defensively, I don’t want to talk about, but attacking wise, it was just outstanding.
“They’ve come at us, and we’ve been able to pick them off. We’ve played some really good football and tried to be positive. We dragged them onto us, and we were able to hit them on the break."
The Coventry boss was full of praise for his attacking players, particularly Wolves loanee Bright Enobakhare.
"Enobakhare is just unbelievable, you could see today he was ready for the game, he got into a great position [for the first goal] and opened his body and his accuracy with power and precision was fantastic.
"There was movement off the ball too from Jordy [Shipley] which takes defenders away to take them away, creating the avenue to Bright.
Robins admitted that he felt Sunderland's demanding schedule played a part in the result.
"At the end of the day, they’ve had a lot of games, they have an unbelievable squad but to be fair to them they’ll be feeling it at this part of the season," he said.
"But again no one has won here this season apart from Coventry City and that is something, the way we played was outstanding."