Asamoah Gyan scored twice on his first Premier League start to restore pride for Sunderland as they registered a controversial victory over Stoke.
The Ghanaian striker slotted home from close range early on, before Steed Malbranque missed a first-half penalty.
The Potters felt hard done by when Lee Cattermole seemed to keep out Kenwyne Jones’s goalbound effort with his hand.
And their frustration was compounded when Ryan Shawcross was sent off and Gyan added his second at the death.
It was a frenzied finish to a game which could have gone either way as the visitors attempted to end a three-match losing streak and the Black Cats looked to put their crushing 5-1 defeat by north-east rivals Newcastle behind them.
Stoke made the livelier start as their manager Tony Pulis’s decision to keep faith with the side that narrowly lost at Everton last weekend brought a positive response.
But they were only in the ascendancy for nine minutes before Sunderland’s £13m record signing Gyan gratefully slotted home a loose ball after Nedum Onuoha’s attempted shot was blocked by goalkeeper Asmir Begovic.
The goal settled the home fans and players but former Wearside hero Jones, who left the Stadium of Light to join Stoke in the summer for £8m, quickly revived the visitors.
Surging towards the Sunderland goal, he coolly collected Matthew Etherington’s through ball but his close-range shot was kicked to safety by the outstretched boot of keeper Simon Mignolet.
The Black Cats had a chance to extend their lead just before the half hour when Jon Walters fouled the lively Gyan in the area.
With leading scorer Darren Bent absent because of a hamstring injury, Malbranque took on the responsibility but his effort was easily read by Begovic, who palmed the ball to safety.
Frenchman Malbranque almost made amends right on the stroke of half-time with a powerful volley from the edge of the box but the effort flew wide and without the comfort of a two-goal cushion, the game hung in the balance at the restart.
Tuncay almost grabbed an equaliser after a goalmouth melee before Jones looked set to equalise when his header from Etherington’s corner curled towards the net.
It was knocked away by Cattermole’s arm and although Stoke appealed, referee Martin Atkinson only awarded a corner after consulting his assistant.
The visitors, to their credit, got on with the game but Jones was denied again when he headed down Tuncay’s curling corner only to see it cleared off the line, this time by Phil Bardsley.
Moments later, Shawcross saw red for a second bookable offence after a foul on Danny Welbeck and the home side quickly pounced, with Gyan volleying substitute Kieran Richardson’s deflected pass beyond Begovic to secure all three points.