Shaun Wright-Phillips was hailed by his new Manchester City boss Mark Hughes after capping a dream debut with two goals at the Stadium of Light.
The England international struck twice in eight second-half minutes, wasting no time in re-paying the £10m transfer fee paid to Chelsea just three days ago.
“I’m delighted for Shaun. It’s great day for him and I’m sure he’ll remember that performance for a long time,” Hughes said. “He’s written his own story today and will rightly grab all the headlines.
“I’m delighted with the performance. We were excellent from start to finish and got the goals when we needed them.”
The result completed an exciting day for City fans after the club announced two more high-profile signings.
Argentine right-back Pablo Zabaleta arrives from Espanyol in a deal believed to be worth £6.8m and joins Brazilian defender Glauber Berti, who signs on a one-year deal from German club Nuremberg.
On this evidence, however, Hughes may not need his reinforcements as City ran riot against a poor Sunderland side, who looked out of sorts after boss Roy Keane’s own busy summer in the transfer market.
Brazilian striker Jo caused problems all afternoon and twice went close before City eventually took the lead in first-half stoppage time – Stephen Ireland side-footing home after Danny Collins had blocked Michael Johnson’s initial effort.
City then turned the screw on their hosts and within five minutes of the re-start they had doubled their lead when Jo dragged his shot across goal and Wright-Phillips tapped home from four yards out.
Wright-Phillips wasn’t finished yet, however, and wrapped things up with a third, latching onto a Michael Ball pass, out-pacing Phil Bardsley and delicately lifting the ball over keeper Craig Gordon.