Sunderland snapped a four-game winless run with a 3-0 defeat of Reading at the Stadium of Light on Tuesday, bringing the Black Cats out of the relegation zone.
James McClean and Steven Fletcher gave Sunderland a two-goal lead by halftime while Stephane Sessegnon added a third in second-half stoppage time to see Martin O'Neill's men improve to 16 points in as many games, leaving the club one point clear of the danger area.
Reading has lost five Premier League matches in a row to remain second from bottom on nine points.
McClean got Sunderland off to a flying start when he connected on a failed clearance in the third minute, hammering a one-time shot through traffic and past Reading goalkeeper Adam Federici.
The Black Cats added to the lead in the 28th when Danny Rose centered a pass that Fletcher finished with a superb back heel on the turn.
Sunderland dictated play for the remainder of the match and never looked likely to surrender three points, but Sessegnon added an exclamation point to the end of the result by latching on to a long ball in the fourth minute of stoppage time, holding off a defender to get around Federici and slotting the ball into the empty net.
The Black Cats return to the pitch on Saturday with a trip to Old Trafford to take on Manchester United. Reading will look to rebound Monday when it hosts Arsenal.