Stephane Sessegnon's first half winner earned Sunderland a valuable three points in their bid to beat the drop.
In an open first half, Sunderland were the first to threaten when Danny Graham, who has yet to score for the Black Cats, tested Tim Howard in the Everton goal. The away side, who dominated possession throughout forced a succession of corners in a decent five minute spell, but were unable to seriously test Mignolet. Sebastien Larsson, who impressed in midfield for the home side, went close with a couple of free-kicks, one of which clipped the top of the crossbar, before Paolo Di Canio's men took the lead in first half injury time. Everton were the architect's of their own downfall as Leighton Baines stupidly gave the ball away in a dangerous position before Sessegnon advanced on goal and hit a shot from 20 yards that squirmed past Howard, who should have done better. David Moyes introduced Nikica Jelavic at the start of the second half and the Croatian gave his side more of a cutting edge, and Mignolet was forced to catch a back pass from Larsson that was heading into the goal. Everton were unable to capitalise on the free-kick from 10 yards out though and Sunderland held on for the win that moved them six points away from the relegation zone.