For almost 10 minutes in the second-half, a power cut ensured that the Stadium of Light failed to live up to its name. Fortunately for David Moyes, Victor Anichebe and Jermain Defoe had no such problems in helping to illuminate the fact that we might just be seeing the beginnings of Sunderland's latest great escape.
Perhaps the most surprising aspect of Defoe registering his 150th Premier League goal is that of the other seven men to accomplish the feat before him, only one - Frank Lampard - has taken more games than the former England forward, whose opener against a Hull side that has now lost eight of its last 10 games arrived in his 443rd appearance.
Alan Shearer first reached the milestone in less than half the amount of games, but that is not to denigrate a player whose prowess a decade and a half after his top flight debut is yet to be diminished by the advancing years, and one who, with a little help from his forward partner who plundered the other two, is almost single-handedly giving the Wearside club hope of pulling off its latest improbable relegation side-step.
At the other end Jordan Pickford, the rookie goalkeeper who continues to thrive on the responsibility handed to him at such a young age, is also more than doing his bit as the hosts recorded back-to-back victories for only the third time this year, ending a 192-day wait for a home league win as their early winter renaissance gathered pace.
Hull had carved out the clearer openings of a frenetic first-half before Defoe struck with 11 minutes remaining to draw level with Michael Owen in seventh place in the Premier League's goalscoring hall of fame. Next in his sights is Robbie Fowler, on 163. If the 34-year-old overhauls the laid-back Liverpudlian this season, there's a fair chance it will help seal an 11th consecutive season of Premier League football in this corner of the North-East.
It was the moment of quality which arrived as Duncan Watmore flicked on Billy Jones' long diagonal ball towards the Hull area, allowing Defoe to take the ball beyond Curtis Davies and a half-hearted challenge from Ahmed Elmohamady, before finding the bottom corner from a dozen yards with a typically unflustered finish.
With Defoe again to the forefront moments later, Anichebe was presented with a glorious opening to double the advantage, only to shank his effort horribly wide, though the former Evertonian atoned when, just after the hour, and after good approach play from Patrick van Aanholt, he cut inside debutant Josh Tymon 10 yards from goal to batter Sunderland's second beyond an exposed David Marshall.
A similarly no nonsense finish from Defoe's neat tee-up with six minutes remaining sealed victory by a scoreline which while flattering Moyes' side, was still nevertheless richly deserved.
Hull looked accomplished and composed in possession as they carved out presentable chances for Dieumerci Mbokani, Sam Clucas and Ryan Mason in dominating the opening quarter, before Sunderland's industry began to gain its reward. Watmore ought to have had a penalty when he was cleaned out by David Marshall as the goalkeeper attempted to cover for a dithering Elmohamady. Paddy McNair's second-half trip on Clucas, which went unpunished, evened up the incorrect calls from referee Lee Mason.
Defoe's expertise in front of goal for his seventh of the season helped give the hosts an calmness of demeanour they had hitherto been unable to find, and Watmore should have claimed the second after from close range soon after the break before, temporarily at least, the lights went out.
Hull fashioned chances after the second re-start, and were latterly thwarted by an astonishing double goal-line clearance from Patrick van Aanholt. Before that, Mason had volleyed woefully across face of goal from a Robert Snodgrass centre, and Pickford saved brilliantly from the Scotland midfielder to seal a first clean sheet this season as Sunderland negotiated injury time a man light after Papy Djilobodji received a second yellow card for a late challenge on substitute Jarrod Bowen.
In between those Hull openings, Anichebe etched his name on the scoresheet in successive games for the first time in more than four years to leave him just 123 in arrears of Defoe, as the hosts climbed off the foot of the table to pull to within two points of their vanquished visitors, both still occupying places in the bottom three.Reuse content