But it was more awayday woe for Steve Bruce's side who paid for some schoolboy-style defending against Manchester City's three-pronged attack.
Despite overseeing a win that put City into third place in the Premier League Mark Hughes was relieived of his duties before the game
Some truly dreadful defending by both sides ensured a feast of goals in a match played at breakneck pace in snowy conditions.
Roque Santa Cruz started the game in place of Emmanuel Adebayor and Santa delivered an early gift for the City fans with a close range strike after just five minutes.
Carlos Tevez doubled City's lead from the penalty spot after Nyron Nosworthy's clumsy challenge on the livewire Bellmay was judged to have been a foul.
But City seemed happy to rest on their two-goal cushion and Sunderland capitalised first with a Mensah header from Andy Reid's superbly-judged right wing cross and then a close range effort from Jordan Henderson.
But more sloppy defending allowed Shaun Wright-Phillips to cut a pass to Bellamy who restored the home side's lead.
Kenwyne Jones came on for the injured Steed Malbranque, enabling Sunderland to revert from a five man midfield to a 4-4-2 formation. And Jones headed his sixth goal of the season to level the scores following excellent work from Nosworthy and Henderson.
But the Sunderland back four were sleeping when Santa Cruz ghosted in to grab his second and take all three points.
Turner was dismissed in the second minute of injury time for elbowing Gareth Barry. His straight red card suggests Sunderland are becoming a marked team among Premier League referees.
Manchester City (4-3-3): Given;Richards (Zabaletta 22),Onuoha,Toure,Sylvinho;Ireland, Barry Wright-Phillips (Kompany 53);Tevez,Santa-Cruz,Bellamy.
Man City subs (not used): Taylor (gk), Robninho, Weiss, Adebayor, Petrov.
Sunderland (4-5-1): Fulop;Nosworthy,Mensah (Healy 89),Turner,McCartney;Malbranque (Jones 41), Henderson,Campbell (Richardson 60)Cattermole,Reid,Campbell;Bent.
Sunderland subs (not used): Carson(gk),Bardsley,Da Silva,Murphy.
Referee: Andre Marriner (Birmingham)
***Read the full match report in The Northern Echo on Monday***