TIM KRUL: Made a great save to deny Carlos Cuellar in the first half and looked solid in goal before he was replaced soon after the break due to an arm injury. 6.
YOHAN CABAYE: A solid game in midfield but lacking a certain amount of spark and was brought off in place of Hatem Ben Arfa early in the second half. 6.
MOUSSA SISSOKO: Linked up well with Papiss Cisse to keep Sunderland under pressure. 6.
PAPISS CISSE: Dangerous in the Sunderland box and a constant threat, with the excellent Simon Mignolet regularly tested. Booked for a wild and high challenge on Phil Bardsley in the first half and had a goal ruled out for offside after the break. 8.
YOAN GOUFFRAN: Tested Bardsley early on with a good run down the left but shown a yellow card midway through the first half for a nasty challenge, going over the top of the ball to tread on the ankle of Adam Johnson. Replaced at half time. 6.
MAPOU YANGA-MBIWA: Pulled the strings in midfield, lining up Cisse with long, searching balls but could have given away a penalty on two occasions when the ball struck him on the arm in the Sunderland box. 5.
JONAS GUTIERREZ: Gave the ball away on the halfway line which resulted in Stephane Sessegnon's opening goal for Sunderland as he was unable to recover and stop the midfielder in his tracks. Regularly gave the ball away after that. 5.
SYLVAIN MARVEAUX: Looked lively in the middle early and linked up well with Gouffran before settling into the game. 6.
CHEICK TIOTE: A steely presence in midfield for the home side and did not shy away from an early crunching tackle on Alfred N'Diaye. 6.
MATHIEU DEBUCHY: Tested by Sunderland winger Johnson and could have done better to close down Sunderland on both of their goals. 6.
STEVEN TAYLOR: Was lucky to see a through-on-goal Stephane Sessegnon hauled back following a poor challenge before he headed the ball from the Sunderland midfielder's toes in a brave bid to prevent a goal. Rode his luck again when he escaped giving away a penalty for a shirt-tug on Danny Graham. 5.
SUBSTITUTES: SHOLA AMEOBI (For Gouffran, 46): Pressed forward but did not really test the Sunderland defence. 6.
ROB ELLIOTT (For Krul, 57): Survived an early test from a Sunderland corner after replacing Krul but was unable to deny Johnson and David Vaughan's superb effort. 5.
HATEM BEN ARFA (For Cabaye, 62): Brought on to provide an extra spark in midfield but was unable to unlock the Sunderland defence. 6.
SIMON MIGNOLET: A solid and brave performance, standing tall against Cisse in the first-half before making a second quality save against the Senegal international within two minutes. Continued his excellent form after the break. 9.
PHIL BARDSLEY: Managed to contain Gouffran but showed his strength as he was regularly tested by Cisse. Was replaced by Jack Colback due to injury 10 minutes into the second half. 6.
DANNY ROSE: Booked for a two-footed challenge on Debuchy right in front of referee Howard Webb. Lively down the Sunderland wing. 6.
ALFRED N'DIAYE: Part of the Sunderland attacking machine and forced a good save from Elliott in the second-half. 6.
SEBASTIAN LARSSON: Worked hard in a solid and non-flashy performance. 6.
DANNY GRAHAM: Saw a penalty shout turned down after Taylor tugged his shirt in the first half but linked up well with Sessegnon. Tested Tim Krul with on-target strikes of his own and was a nuisance to Yanga-Mbiwa, and was unlucky not to be given a penalty in both halves after the ball struck the Newcastle player's arm. 7.
JOHN O'SHEA: No major mistakes and solid in defence. 6.
ADAM JOHNSON: Looked more dangerous than he has done in recent times, putting Debuchy under pressure with a chance early in the second half and forcing a save from Krul. Made the vital breakthrough midway through the second half with a fantastic finish to give Sunderland a two-goal lead. 7.
JAMES McCLEAN: Good work in midfield and responded quickly to Gutierrez's mistake to set up Sessegnon for the first goal. 6.
CARLOS CUELLAR: Found great space in the box from a Sunderland corner and almost doubled their lead in the first half. No major errors in defence before being replaced in the second half. 6.
STEPHANE SESSEGNON: Scored the opening goal from 25 yards after testing the Newcastle defence early on with a run which was eventually stopped due to a foul on Taylor. Looked condfident with plenty of pace and was Sunderland's biggest attacking threat. 9.
SUBSTITUTES: JACK COLBACK (For Bardsley, 54): A solid performance with no major errors. 5.
DAVID VAUGHAN (For McLean, 65): Sealed the win for Sunderland with a fantastic curling strike from the edge of the box. 7.
KADER MANGANE (For Cuellar, 72): Steadied the ship after the loss of Bardsley. 5.