The Black Cats boss bounced down the touchline, hugged his players and took a bow in front of 45,000 frenzied fans.
And afterwards the Italian beamed: "I'm very happy. The emotion I feel is the best moment in my sports life of 27 years.
"Not just because of the result but for many reasons. Because we won and we gave something special to the fans.
"But also because of all that happened when I first arrived.
"I felt so responsible for so many people and we delivered the right job, the right performance, the right result."