Sunderland won their first Sky Bet League One match of the season and inflicted a second defeat on Portsmouth.
There was little to choose between the sides, fifth and sixth last term, in their five meetings in 2019-20, and this game at the Stadium of Light was no different.
It looked significant, therefore, when summer signing Marcus Harness made the most of Max Power’s sloppy pass to put his side in front after 22 minutes. It was the third time Sunderland had gone 1-0 down in as many league games this season – and the other two finished 1-1.
Importantly for the Black Cats, watched by a crowd of 29,140, they levelled just five minutes later, Jordan Willis heading in a Grant Leadbitter corner.
The hosts were ahead when Chris Maguire tapped in after good work on the left by Marc McNulty and Aiden McGeady after 39 minutes.
The hosts held on in the second half, thanks in no small part to an excellent save from Jon McLaughlin to keep out a diving header from his own midfielder, Leadbitter.
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