The result leaves them just two points behind their bitter North East rivals.
You can read how all the action unfolded below.
11amGood morning! Welcome to Sports Mole for live coverage of the Tyne-Wear derby between Newcastle United and Sunderland at St James' Park.
11.01amIt's a massive game in the context of the relegation battle, with both teams struggling in the bottom half of the table.
11.03amA win for the hosts should see them just about safe. Three points would take them eight clear of their North East rivals with five games left.
11.04amMeanwhile, the Black Cats can pull three clear of Wigan Athletic, although Roberto Martinez's men will have two games in hand. Click here to see the full Premier League table.
11.05amRight, let's get you some team news. We'll start with the visitors...
11.06amSUNDERLAND: Mignolet; Bardsley, Rose, Cuellar, O'Shea; Johnson, McClean, N'Diaye, Larsson; Sessegnon; Graham
11.06amNEWCASTLE: Krul; Debuchy, S.Taylor, Yanga-Mbiwa, Gutierrez; Tiote, Cabaye; Marveaux, Sissoko, Gouffran; Cisse
11.08amAlan Pardew makes two changes from the 1-0 win over Fulham, with Mathieu Debuchy and Cheikh Tiote starting ahead of Davide Santon and Danny Simpson.
11.12amPaolo di Canio has also made changes from the side that lost 2-1 to Chelsea, with Carlos Cuellar replacing Matthew Kilgallon in defence, and Danny Graham starting ahead of Connor Wickham as the attacking spearhead.
11.16amStoke City are another team in the mire and they also play today. However, the Potters will have their work cut out against the champions elect Manchester United. They will have home support at the Britannia Stadium, but it hasn't exactly been the fortress it once was this season.
11.20amPaolo di Canio can instantly endear himself to the Sunderland faithful with a win here today. It's his second game in charge of the Black Cats following the loss at Stamford Bridge. His appointment at the Stadium of Light has not been with its controversy, as many point to his alleged political leanings as a reason why he should not be in charge of the club. But no one can deny his passion and enthusiasm, and that may be exactly what's needed for them to beat the drop this season.
11.22amNewcastle went down valiantly in their Europa League quarter-final second leg with Benfica on Thursday. They were fighting to overcome a 3-1 deficit from the first leg in Portugal, and Papiss Cisse gave them hope by opening the scoring at St James' Park. Eduardo Salvio scored late on to secure Jorge Jesus's side their spot in the last four. What will that effort have taken out of the Magpies?
11.28amSunderland have not won in nine Premier League matches since a 3-2 victory over Wigan at the DW Stadium in January. They have conceded at least two goals in each of their last six away, while also losing the last four. They don't have the greatest record against their North East rivals, winning just three of 21 Premier League matches.
11.32amNewcaslte have a decent record at home this season, claiming 28 points of 36 available. They have also won their last four on their own patch. Defeats away from St James' to Tottenham Hotspur, Swansea City, Wigan and Manchester City mean that they have a bit more work to do to ensure their survival.
11.38amDanny Graham is still looking for his first goal in a Sunderland shirt since completing a £5m move from Swansea City. He's made seven appearances so far, and the onus will fall on him to fire the Black Cats to safety with Steven Fletcher missing for the rest of the season.
11.44amBoth defences have been leaky this season, with only Wigan (57), Aston Villa (60) and Reading (63) conceding more. Goals haven't been too much of a problem for the hosts (42), but they have been rarer for Sunderland (34). Norwich (31), Stoke (29) and QPR (28) are the only ones who have scored less.
11.46amWe're just under 15 minutes from kick off now, so I'll put forward a prediction...
11.46amPREDICTION: Newcastle 2-2 Sunderland
11.49amI think we could be in for an exciting game this afternoon. Sunderland looked to have a bit more verve against Chelsea last week, while Newcastle could be tired from their Europa League exploits. I fancy the Black Cats to start quickly and, if they can get ahead, then who knows what can happen?
11.52amA new manager often has an impact, but on average it's been shown to last around two games. Well, this is the second game, and it's an easier one than Chelsea away.
11.55amA major weakness for Sunderland is at the back with Carlos Cuellar, I feel. In the handful of games I've seen of him this season he has been, let's say, less than assured. Craig Gardner and Lee Cattermole missing is also likely to affect the visitors, so maybe my prediction will be proven greatly wrong. But you know me, I'm always one to go out on a limb.
11.56amAlan Pardew speaking on Sky Sports News: "It was a really great performance against Benfica, without the result. There's a good feeling around the place at the minute. I don't know if a win will make us safe, but we're in good shape."
11.58amThe two teams emerge from the tunnel to a raucous atmosphere at St James' Park. We're just moments from kick off in the Tyne-Wear derby.
0 minSunderland get the game underway...
1 minCuellar, unchallenged, slices the ball out trying the hit a long one up field. Not the best start for the centre-back.
2 minCabaye goes looking for Debuchy down the right, but Rose holds the Frenchman off well to let the ball run out for a goal kick.
3 minDebuchy wins a free kick from N'Diaye after a give-and-go with Marveaux. First set piece of the game, and Cabaye will look to deliver into the box.
4 minIt's curled towards Steven Taylor at the back post, but he can't get the right direction on his header and the ball goes behind for a goal kick.
5 minJames McClean tries to get down the left and deliver the ball into the box for Graham, but his cross is a poor one. It's greeted by cheers from the Newcastle fans.
6 minYanga-Mbiwa punts a long ball through for Cisse, who runs through on goal, but Mignolet stoops at his feet to ease the danger. The Black Cats defence stood a bit flat footed there, and were nearly undone by a fairly routine long ball.
7 minLong free kick into the box is headed behind for a Sunderland corner. Johnson whips it into the near post but Gutierrez heads clear. Newcastle break quickly and Gouffran has a shot on goal, which is blocked. Lively start!
9 minOhhhhh! First point of contention, as Danny Graham wins a header for Sessegnon to chase. Taylor gets there first, but goes down under very little persuasion. The Frenchman was clean through on goal but the referee brought the play back. I'm not so sure that was a foul there...
11 minSunderland's midfield are tackling tenaciously but are giving the ball away in equal measure. It's been a frantic start, with not much chance to catch a breather.
12 minBardsley angles a ball into the Newcastle area but Tim Krul wades through the pack to claim the ball well. Great goalkeeping. The Dutchman has shown himself to be more than capable during his time at St James' Park.
14 minPENALTY CLAIM! Graham has his head in his hands! He's claiming he was fouled inside the area! Sessegnon rolled the ball into his feet and he did well to roll Taylor, who had a chunk of his shirt. The referee wasn't interested though!
14 minIt's a ubiquitous terminology in football, but you've seen them given.
18 minFirst little lull in the action in the last few minutes. It's been full-blooded so far. Sunderland have an opportunity to launch a free kick into the area, but Larsson puts far too much on it and the ball drifts beyond Sessegnon at the back post for a goal kick.
20 minMarveaux tries to sprint down the right, but Rose has the pace to match him. His cross into the area is easily dealt with and Cabaye ends up fouling McClean for a free kick to Sunderland.
21 minJohnson delivers a corner to the back post for Graham, who has two bits at it and claims hand ball on the second attempt. Muted appeals, really. Replays show that it would have been harsh on Yanga-Mbiwa, who had his arms by hids sides when it was struck at him from just a few yards away. Sunderland are on top at the moment, though.
23 minBOOKING! Gouffran becomes the first man to see yellow after raking his studs down Johnson's shin.
25 minMarveaux looks like he's clean through but Rose has lightning in his boots! He covers the ground at such pace to quell the threat and Sunderland clear their lines.
27 minGOAL! Newcastle 0-1 Sunderland (Sessegnon)
27 minGreat strike by Sessegnon, but it all came from a misplaced pass from Gutierrez in midfield! The Argentine's cross-field ball was lazy, and present the ball right to McClean. He galloped into the Newcastle half and fed Sessegnon, who turned around the incoming challenge from Debuchy before advancing on goal and firing low beyond Krul from 20 yards out!
28 minCHANCE! Cisse has a golden opportunity to immediately pull one back but is denied by Mignolet from eight yards out! It really should be 1-1!
30 minSAVE! Mignolet denies Cisse once more! It was Sissoko who found the Senegal striker inside the box, and he hit the ball first time with his left, but the Belgian keeper got a big left hand to stop it from finding the corner of the net! Great save!
31 minGouffran and Bardsley are both down after a clash of heads. Time to catch our breath once more.
32 minIt's been all Newcastle since the goal. It seems to have woken them up, as Sunderland were on top. Their defence has gone to sleep slightly though, and have Mignolet to thank for two fantastic saves to keep them in front.
34 minSunderland fans are in full voice at St James' Park.
35 minSHOT! Graham has a go from just inside the box after the ball fell kindly for him. He went up with Taylor for the initial challenge, but couldn't get much power on his effort as three Newcastle players converged on the drop down.
37 minBOOKING! Rose goes into the book for a foul on Debuchy. Newcastle have a free kick wide on the right, perfect for Cabaye to deliver with his left.
38 minIt's a poor one that is fired low into the near post. It was actually Marveaux that took the free kick. Easily cleared.
39 minSunderland haven't exactly looked steadfast in defence. Danny Rose has been their best player at the back, if you don't include Mignolet. Which, I suppose technically, you can. But not really.
40 minCabaye gives the ball away deep in Sunderland territory and the break is on. Sessegnon wins the corner.
41 minSAVE! What a chance for Cuellar to double Sunderland's lead! Larsson drifts the ball in from the left, and Cuellar is allowed a free header on goal, but Krul beats it away! Big chance!
42 minTerrible marking from Newcastle. Absolutely no one picked up Cuellar. Not even when he started from deep. Sissoko stood in the middle of the area as the ball sailed over his head. I don't even think you can call that zonal marking. It was nothing marking.
43 minBOOKING! Cisse is the latest man to be reprimanded by the referee. He went in late on Bardsley and was rightly cautioned.
45 minCHANCE! The ball is delivered into the box for Sissoko, but he can't connect with his header! The Frenchman got in front of his marker. The ball was half cleared and Gutierrez sent the ball back into the box and Mignolet has to tip it around the post.
45+1 minCorner comes in and the ball drops for Cisse, but the Sunderland defender throw their bodies in the way to stop it from hitting the net! Desperate defending, but they get the ball away.
45+2 minKrul pumps the ball into the box and it's flicked on for Taylor, but courageous goalkeeping from Mignolet prevents a goal.
12.49pmHALF TIME: Newcastle 0-1 Sunderland
12.51pmWhat a frantically entertaining game of football. Sunderland's lead is just about deserved, although Newcastle have not been without their chances. The Black Cats had a penalty appeal turned down and Cuellar missed a big chance. However, Mignolet has had to make two great stops to keep his team in front.
12.58pmThe hosts have seen much more of the ball, finishing the first half with 66% of possession. Sunderland have used their 34% wisely, and have looked very dangerous going forward.
1.01pmThree of Sunderland's five effort on goal have been on target. That's the goal, a weak shot from Danny Graham and a glorious chance for Carlos Cuellar. Half of Newcastle's eight have forced Mignolet into action. One big chance fell to Cisse, and the Senegal striker also brought a fantastic save from the Belgian just a couple of minutes later with a first-time effort that looked destined for the corner.
1.04pmFour yellow cards so far. Gouffran, Cisse and Taylor are all in the book for the hosts, while Rose is the only Black Cats player to have been carded. Replays suggest that Gouffran may have been lucky to stay on the field for his challenge on Johnson, though opinion may be divided as to whether it was malicious. He went over the ball, but it's one of those ambiguous ones where only really he player knows what his true intentions were.
1.05pmThe players are back out onto the pitch and ready to resume the second half. Let's hope for more of the same.
45 minNewcastle resume play in the second half, and Alan Pardew has made a change...
48 minIt's been a more passive start to the second half, but Sissoko injects some energy with a run down the left. Bardsley challenges him for a corner.
49 minThe ball is cleared as far as Yanga-Mbiwa, who swings the ball into the box but no Newcastle player gambles and Mignolet is able to gather comfortably.
50 minThere's a break in play as Bardsley is on the deck receiving treatment. He gets up and slowly makes his way off the pitch.
52 minNervy moment at the back for Debuchy, as Johnson makes life difficult for him. The Frenchman was the only man in defence after a Newcastle corner, and the ball was cleared down field. It was bouncing and awkward for Debuchy, and his header back wasn't a good one, but Johnson could not lift the ball over Krul and St James' Park can breathe again.
55 minSUNDERLAND SUB: Phil Bardsley cannot continue and he is replaced by Jack Colback.
56 minLooks like Krul is in trouble here. He punched the ball away from a wide free kick but landed awkwardly on his shoulder. Newcastle could now be forced into a change here...
58 minNEWCASTLE SUB: The Dutchman can't carry on, and he looks in quite a bit of pain. Rob Elliot comes on to replace him between the sticks. That's two subs down for the hosts early in this second half.
59 minElliot's first contribution is to come out and claim the ball confidently from Larsson's corner.
60 minSHOT! Cisse tests Mignolet from distance and the Belgian palms behind for another corner,
61 minNo joy for Newcastle from a corner yet again, but they have another chance from a free kick now. Marveaux's delivery has left something to be desired today.
61 minGOAL DISALLOWED! This time his delivery is a peach, and the ball is headed through for Cisse, who blasts home unmarked at the back post. He wheels away in delight, but it's short-lived as the linesman's flag goes straight up! Replays show he was onside, so Newcastle have every right to feel aggrieved!
63 minNEWCASTLE SUB: Alan Pardew makes his third and final change as Hatem Ben Arfa enters the fray in place of Yohan Cabaye. What can the French winger do to get his team back into this game?
65 minNewcastle are very much on the front foot, but Sunderland still look like they have a goal in them when they break. The hosts are throwing plenty of men forward and that's inevitably leaving them open at the back.
66 minSUNDERLAND SUB: James McClean makes way and he will be replaced by David Vaughan.
68 minHatem Ben Arfa gets on the ball but can find no way through the sea of red and white. Sunderland hack clear, but still can't break out of defence as Newcastle come back once more.
69 minFree kick wide on the right delivered by the leg peg of Adam Johnson. Elliot flapped at it, unchallenged, and put it behind for a corner.
70 minSPPEALS FOR HANDBALL! Once again it's Graham who appeals after the ball makes contact with Yanga-Mbiwa's hand. This time, the Frenchman's arm was outstretched, but he could not have got it out of the way, and the header wasn't on goal. Difficult ones them but, again, you've seen 'em given...
71 minCHANCE! Great chance for Ben Arfa to level with his head, but the connection is all wrong and it flies over Mignolet's crossbar!
71 minSUNDERLAND SUB: Paolo di Canio's final change sees Carlos Cuellar coming off to be replaced by Abdou Kader Mangane.
72 minCHANCE! Sissoko makes minced meat out of Colback on the left and gets to the byline, where he pulls the ball back for Cisse, who fires over the bar!
73 minGOAL! Newcastle 0-2 Sunderland (Johnson)
73 minGreat strike by Johnson, but who was closing him down?! Sunderland broke quickly following Cisse's missed opportunity, and Johnson had the ball wide on the right. He came inside on his favoured left peg, but was allowed time and space to size up his shot before firing beyond Elliot. The Black Cats are on their way to a massive three points at St James' Park!
78 minPlenty of glum faces all around St James' Park. Apart from the away end, of course! Paolo di Canio, as ever, animated on the touchline.
79 minGutierrez takes a shot, and he catches it cleanly, but it hits Cisse on its way through and deflectes wide for goal kick.
80 minSAVE! Sunderland foray forward, with Sessegnon playing the ball through for N'Diaye. He takes a shot across Elliot, who pushes it behind.
83 minGOAL! Newcastle 0-3 Sunderland (Vaughan)
83 minWhat... a... hit! Vaughan sends the Sunderland fans into raptures, and manager Paolo di Canio sprints from the technical area to get involved in the celebrations! Sessegnon fed the ball to Vaughan, who was on the left corner of the box, and he unleashed an unstoppable pile driver that found the top corner of the net, leaving Elliot clutching at air. That surely wraps up the points for the Black Cats!
87 minWho could have predicted this scoreline before the match? I had a sneaking fancy for Sunderland, but thought a draw would be a great result for them. This is unreal.
88 minThey have had to put on two difference performances in each half. They were on top in the first, but have come under pressure in the second. They've been clinical though, taking their chances while Newcastle flounder in front of goal.
89 minSessegnon tries to keep the ball in the corner, wasting time. He eventually concedes the goal kick.
90 minThis result means that Newcastle are still in the relegation equation. The Black Cats will be breathing down their necks now, just two points behind. Wigan will be five points behind with two games in hand, and with this being the time of the season when they normally turn it on, then there might be a few fans of a nervous disposition around St James' Park at the moment.
90+1 minWe're going to have six minutes of time added on at the end of this match.
90+4 minEvery touch being cheered by the away fans now. The home end is beginning to look rather sparse indeed.
1.57pmFULL TIME: Newcastle 0-3 Sunderland
1.58pmThere you have it! A magnificent result for Sunderland! They have won 3-0 to breathe new life into their fight against relegation, but even sweeter - they've done it in the backyard of their bitter North East rivals!
1.59pmClick here to read Sports Mole's Match Report from an extraordinary say for Sunderland at St James' Park.
2.01pmAttention now switches to the Britannia Stadium, where Stoke City take on Manchester United. You can follow that match by clicking here
2.02pmThat's all from our live coverage of this match. Hope you enjoyed it. Please join us again soon!