Benteke nets hat-trick as Villa smash Sunderland
The Magpies were hammered 6-0 at home by Liverpool on the weekend and now Paolo Di Canio's side were sentenced to a second glaring defeat of the round for clubs from the North East.
Christian Benteke was the star of the show, scoring a second-half hat-trick as Paul Lambert's Villa replace the Magpies in 16th position, moving five points clear of Wigan Athletic in the relegation zone.
Villa skipper Ron Vlaar opened the scoring just after the half-hour mark when he fired home from 30 yards for his first goal for the club but Sunderland were soon back on level terms when left-back Danny Rose received a pass from Danny Graham before curling his effort beyond Brad Guzan.
But from there on it was all Villa with Andreas Weimann making it 2-1 seven minutes prior to the break, finishing off a neat pass from Matthew Lowton courtesy of some great control in front of Simon Mignolet.
The half-time break bought about no respite for the Black Cats as Benteke got in on the act, adding a third ten minutes in with a free header after Gabby Agbonlahor's effort could only be parried before he grabbed a second five minutes later, heading home Ashley Westwood's corner at the far post.
The Belgian ace completed his treble in the 72nd minute - not long after Stephane Sessegnon saw red for the Black Cats for a stamp on Yacouba Sylla - rifling the ball inside a small gap after it had deflected into his path off Carlos Cuellar.
The rout was complete a minute from time when Agbonlahor pounced on David Vaughan's wayward pass to round Mignolet and slot home, making it a night to remember for the Villa faithful.