Ten-man Sunderland fought back from 1-0 down to grab a 2-1 win at Bournemouth on Bonfire Night.
It was Sunderland’s first win of the season as Dan Gosling’s early strike was cancelled out by Victor Anichebe before Jermain Defoe scored the second-half winner from the spot after Anichebe was fouled.
Anichebe, whose only notable contribution this term had been a Twitter gaffe after the recent defeat at West Ham, was handed a first Premier League start at Bournemouth by under-fire manager David Moyes. And the former Everton striker responded with his first goal in 18 months, to cancel out Gosling’s opener, before winning the penalty which Defoe dispatched to seal a 2-1 victory.
The win was all the more remarkable given Sunderland had Steven Pienaar sent off with half an hour to go for a crude challenge on Junior Stanislas.
The Black Cats remain at the foot of the table but Moyes can at least breathe again amid reports claiming he could be sacked if they had lost at Dean Court.
A victory certainly did not look on the cards after 11 minutes when Bournemouth took the lead.
Harry Arter forced Jordan Pickford into a fine save with a fierce drive but Sunderland switched off from the corner, which Bournemouth took short.
Adam Smith had all the time in the world to swing the ball across the six-yard box and Gosling bundled in his third goal of the season.
Bournemouth smashed six past Hull last month and sensed the chance to fill their boots again.
Josh King played in Stanislas, who hit the side-netting, before Stanislas returned the compliment and King was only denied by the alert Pickford.
Yet totally against the run of play Sunderland grabbed a 33rd-minute lifeline through Anichebe’s first goal since he scored for West Brom at Newcastle in May 2015.
The former Everton forward collected Defoe’s pass in the box and held off Simon Francis before turning and crashing his shot into the roof of the net.
The Wearsiders had the ball in the net again moments before half-time, but Duncan Watmore was flagged offside as he converted a Billy Jones cross.
Pienaar’s red mist came on the hour mark, the midfielder catching Stanislas’ shin right under the nose of referee Mike Dean to put Sunderland on the back foot and leave Moyes, in the stands due to a touchline ban, looking on in disbelief.
Bournemouth piled forward again and Gosling slipped in Stanislas, who fired across Pickford only to see his effort clip the far post.
But remarkably it was the 10 men of Sunderland who took the lead after Smith tripped Anichebe in the 74th minute and Defoe tucked in the spot-kick.
Stunned Bournemouth tried desperately for an equaliser, but for once Sunderland managed to hold out with Pickford’s superb stop to deny King finally securing that elusive win.