Sunderland avenged last month’s defeat to Blackpool at the Stadium of Light by beating the Seasiders 2-1 in their own backyard thanks to two first-half goals from Kieran Richardson.
Sunderland opened the scoring after 15 minutes when Richardson was put through by Asamoah Gyan and slotted past his Ghana team-mate Richard Kingson who was advancing out of the Blackpool goal.
Moments later, Gyan also raced clear of the Blackpool defence but an out-of-position Kingson recovered well to make the tackle on the edge of his box.
Blackpool created few chances until just before the half-hour mark when Craig Gordon was forced to make two fine saves.
The first was from Luke Varney who spurned a golden chance when he went through one-on-one with the keeper.
Then Gordon turned Charlie Adams’s vicious shot over the crossbar.
Blackpool’s pressure was undone by Richardson’s second goal in the 36th minute. This time the decisive pass came from Steed Malbranque and Richardson kept a cool head to slot past the keeper once more.
Just before half-time Gordon made another superb save, tipping over an Adam shot again, this time from a free-kick.
Despite their best efforts Blackpool struggled to find a way back into the game, although substitute Marlon Harewood went close when he sent a shot inches wide of the post.
Then in the 86th minute Ian Holloway’s side were awarded a penalty, which Adam converted to set up a frantic finish to the game.
Blackpool pressured the visitors and Gordon was forced into another good save to ensure his side were victorious.
The result keeps Sunderland challenging for a European place, while Blackpool remain mid-table.