Coventry City scored a goal in each half as they made it three straight wins by beating former former boss Tony Mowbray’s Sunderland.
The Sky Blues carved open the visitors to take the lead on 25 minutes when Viktor Gyokeres set up Jamie Allen for the opener.
Top scorer Gyokeres then struck himself in the 89th minute for his 16th goal of the season when he turned in Matt Godden’s low right-wing cross from close range.
On-loan Manchester United youngster Amad Diallo caused a few very late wobbles when he pulled a goal back with a 94th-minute curler.
But Mark Robins’ City saw it out to edge to within a point of their Championship play-off rivals.
As a test of form, both sides went into the match following meetings with Rotherham, who lost 2-0 at home to Coventry last Saturday, then won 2-1 at home to Sunderland in midweek.
And, for an unchanged City side, that form guide ultimately proved correct, although not without a few anxious moments along the way.
Sunderland have not won an away game against Coventry in 11 attempts since April 1985, the last three of them at the CBS – formerly Ricoh – Arena.
Having made three changes from their midweek defeat, Sunderland made a vibrant start, forcing home keeper Ben Wilson to save from Trai Hume before Danny Batth’s looping header brushed the bar.
But Gyokeres went close when he pounced on a loose pass to gallop clear round Batth, only to blast his right foot shot over, but the Swedish striker’s involvement was a foretaste of what was to come.
On-loan Burnley defender Luke McNally threaded a pass through the inside-right channel, Gyokeres took it on and timed his square pass superbly for Allen running in to almost effortlessly sidefoot home a sweet strike for his seventh goal of the season.
Sunderland remained a threat throughout, had the lion’s share of possession, created more chances and won more corners.
But it was Coventry who had the sting in the tail when Gyokeres netted for the third game running.
Diallo had the last word when he curled home beautifully, but the hosts held on to inflict Sunderland’s second straight defeat.
Coventry now face successive away games, a rearranged visit to Preston on Tuesday night followed by next Saturday’s trip to Huddersfield, when Sunderland will be at home to former manager Alex Neil’s Stoke City.
- 13WilsonBooked at 86mins
- 3DoyleSubstituted forRoseat 80′minutes
- 28EcclesBooked at 45mins
- 27BidwellSubstituted forGoddenat 80′minutes
- 45PalmerBooked at 39minsSubstituted forWilson-Esbrandat 52′minutes
- 42AleseSubstituted forBennetteat 81′minutes
- 24NeilBooked at 23minsSubstituted forO’Nienat 74′minutes
- 25MichutSubstituted forBaat 70′minutes
- 16DialloBooked at 45mins
- 20ClarkeSubstituted forPritchardat 69′minutes
- 28GelhardtSubstituted forEkwahat 70′minutes
- Dean Whitestone
Match ends, Coventry City 2, Sunderland 1.
Second Half ends, Coventry City 2, Sunderland 1.
Attempt blocked. Amad Diallo (Sunderland) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Patrick Roberts.
Goal! Coventry City 2, Sunderland 1. Amad Diallo (Sunderland) left footed shot from the right side of the box to the top left corner. Assisted by Jewison Bennette with a cross.
Attempt saved. Matt Godden (Coventry City) left footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Gustavo Hamer.
Goal! Coventry City 2, Sunderland 0. Viktor Gyökeres (Coventry City) left footed shot from very close range to the centre of the goal. Assisted by Matt Godden with a cross following a fast break.
Attempt missed. Dan Ballard (Sunderland) header from the centre of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Alex Pritchard with a cross following a corner.
Corner, Sunderland. Conceded by Brooke Norton-Cuffy.
Dan Ballard (Sunderland) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Matt Godden (Coventry City).
Ben Wilson (Coventry City) is shown the yellow card.
Foul by Patrick Roberts (Sunderland).
Josh Wilson-Esbrand (Coventry City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Pierre Ekwah (Sunderland).
Brooke Norton-Cuffy (Coventry City) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Substitution, Sunderland. Jewison Bennette replaces Ajibola Alese.
Substitution, Coventry City. Matt Godden replaces Jake Bidwell.
Substitution, Coventry City. Michael Rose replaces Callum Doyle.
Foul by Pierre Ekwah (Sunderland).
Josh Eccles (Coventry City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.