Kenwyne Jones claimed a match-winning double as luckless Blackburn left Sunderland empty-handed following the 2-1 result at the Stadium of Light.
Jones struck after 32 minutes to cancel out Gael Givet's opener, and then added a second nine minutes after the break to claim a first home victory of the season for his side.
However, Rovers left Wearside fuming after having two goals disallowed and seeing £6million signing Nikola Kalinic pass up four glorious opportunities, the last of them in the dying seconds.
The visitors had already had a Jason Roberts goal correctly ruled out for a foul by Christopher Samba on goalkeeper Marton Fulop when former Black Cat El-Hadji Diouf dispatched a volley which looked to be heading for the top corner before Fulop threw out a hand to turn it away.
Rovers took the lead from the resulting 21st-minute corner when Gael Givet thumped a left-footed drive through a crowded penalty area after a corner had only been partially cleared.
The visitors were level 11 minutes later. Steed Malbranque lifted the ball over the top for Jones to leave Samba and Ryan Nelsen in his wake before rounding goalkeeper Paul Robinson and slotting home.
Rovers might have gone ahead once again within five minutes of the restart when Fulop spilled Diouf's cross under pressure and Kalinic lifted the rebound high over the crossbar from four yards.
Blackburn were made to pay with 54 minutes gone when Lee Cattermole broke down the left and crossed for Jones to power home a close-range header.
Soon after, Steve Nzonzi looped a header into an empty net but the flag had gone up for offside against Samba. The defender saw a header hit the underside of the crossbar, with Kalinic unable to stab the rebound home in the midst of a melee.
Martin Olsson shot into the side-netting seconds later, then in injury-time Kalinic dragged a shot hopelessly wide.