Sunderland produced a perfect team performance to beat Queens Park Rangers 3-0 at Loftus Road.
Jack Clarke's late brace added to Luke O’Nien’s first-half strike to wrap up the points but the Lads had goalkeeper Anthony Patterson to thank after saving IIias Chair's penalty half way through the second half.
QPR created the opening chance of the half when Jamel Lowe’s strike from the edge of the box whistled inches wide of Patterson’s far post after some neat build-up play from Chair.
The visitors responded instantly with an opportunity of their own, Trai Hume picked out Joe Gelhardt's run between the QPR backline but his attempt from close range ruffled the wrong side of Seny Dieng’s net.
O’Nien manoeuvred space minutes later his strike from 25 yards out forced Dieng into a low save, palming the ball away from the danger area.
Sunderland continued to grow into the match, Patrick Roberts almost finding Dieng’s near post after Abdoullah Ba’s perfectly timed flick fell into the path of the advancing Roberts inside The Hoops box.
The deadlock was broken from the resulting corner on 34 minutes, Dan Ballard's goal-bound header was fumbled by Dieng allowing O’Nien a simple tap-in at the back post.
There was little to show after the interval as both teams struggled to get a hold of the game with neither goalkeeper being forced into action.
Half-way through the second half QPR were awarded a penalty when Aji Alese was adjudged to have handled the ball, but Patterson pulled off a brilliant save with his feet to deny Chair from the spot.
Gelhardt almost doubled Sunderland’s lead in the final 15 minutes, the striker's effort rattling Dieng’s crossbar after getting on the end of Roberts's dinked cross from the byline.
The Black Cats’ sealed victory with another late goal, Amad found Clarke out on the left, the winger cutting inside before placing his shot into Dieng’s far corner.
Amad had a chance of his own when Pierre Ekwah’s pass split open the home team's defence, but Dieng was off his line quickly to deny the substitute.
Clarke grabbed his second of the night in stoppage time when he got on the end of Dan Neil's squared pass inside the QPR box to side-foot his shot into the roof of Dieng’s goal.
The win gives Sunderland their third clean sheet in four league matches, moving the Black Cats’ into the play-off places in the Sky Bet Championship.
Sunderland XI: Patterson, Hume, Ballard, Batth ©, Alese (Cirkin 81’), Ba (Amad 62’), O’Nien, Roberts, Pritchard (Neil 68’), Clarke, Gelhardt (Ekwah 81’)
Subs not used: Bass, Lihadji, Bennette.
QPR XI: Dieng, Laird (Kakay 46’), Dickie, Dunne, Paal, Field ©, Dozzell (Johansen 81’), Iroegbunam (Armstrong 75’), Chair, Lowe, Martin.
Subs not used: Archer, Gubbins, Adomah, Dixon-Bonner.