Match ends, Sunderland 1, Bristol City 2.
Sunderland 1-2 Bristol City
Sunderland's dreadful start to the season continued as they slumped to a home defeat by Bristol City.
The hosts started brightly but Bobby Reid headed the visitors into the lead from Callum O'Dowda's corner.
Lewis Grabban levelled for the Black Cats with a close-range finish in first-half stoppage time.
Aden Flint missed a fine chance to put Lee Johnson's side back in front before sub Milan Djuric's header won it to leave Sunderland second from bottom.
Simon Grayson's Black Cats are without a victory since August, and have not won at home since December last year.
They should have taken the lead when Grabban lifted the ball over the bar after Duncan Watmore had played him through on goal.
Reid made Grabban pay for his miss before the former Norwich and Bournemouth man atoned with his sixth goal of the season.
However, the visitors enjoyed the better of the game after the break and Djuric's header was enough to seal the three points and put them fourth in the table.
Bristol City's Diedhiou to miss three months
Meanwhile, Bristol City head coach Lee Johnson confirmed before the match that club record signing Famara Diedhiou is set to miss 10-12 weeks with a knee injury.
The 24-year-old striker, who has scored six goals in 16 appearances this season, damaged knee ligaments during Tuesday's EFL Cup win over Crystal Palace.
Defender Jens Hegeler, 29, has also been ruled out for 12-14 weeks after undergoing knee surgery.
Sunderland manager Simon Grayson: "I am disappointed with the players and what they have done today.
"Yesterday we had a team meeting, designed to give players jobs and responsibilities. We repeated it again at lunchtime today and we have not been able to stop a player at 5ft 7ins getting a free header. We keep shooting ourselves in the foot.
"We did get a break and a real boost with the goal, and I said at half-time we wanted to go on and impose ourselves but we kept on making really bad decisions.
"Even in the last 15 minutes we huffed and puffed without being effective and lost our shape. We have to carry out our game plan."
Bristol City boss Lee Johnson: "Sunderland were the better team in the first half. Their goal was a good wake-up call.
"It was probably one of the most aggressive half-time talks I have had to give. We had to rile them up and go old school. It was almost like Wacko from Mike Bassett when he hit the wall!
"Two or three needed to be more aggressive in their play and they did. I'm delighted.
"The conditions were so blustery it was not about football it was grit and determination and winning the inches. We made positive tactical changes and it paid off. We'd been too soft."
- 2JonesBooked at 64mins
- 17NdongBooked at 27mins
- 24GibsonSubstituted forMcNairat 79'minutes
- 14WatmoreSubstituted forVaughanat 79'minutes
- 7WilliamsSubstituted forMcManamanat 67'minutes
- 6BakerSubstituted forPisanoat 36'minutes
- 21PackBooked at 86mins
- 20PatersonSubstituted forDjuricat 55'minutesBooked at 73mins
- 14ReidBooked at 83mins
- 10TaylorSubstituted forSmithat 64'minutes
- Darren Bond
- Shots on Target
Second Half ends, Sunderland 1, Bristol City 2.
Attempt saved. Billy Jones (Sunderland) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Aiden McGeady.
Attempt missed. Callum O'Dowda (Bristol City) left footed shot from the left side of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Korey Smith with a through ball following a fast break.
Foul by Paddy McNair (Sunderland).
Bobby Reid (Bristol City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Corner, Sunderland. Conceded by Callum O'Dowda.
Corner, Bristol City. Conceded by Billy Jones.
Attempt missed. Josh Brownhill (Bristol City) left footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the left. Assisted by Milan Djuric.
Marlon Pack (Bristol City) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Aiden McGeady (Sunderland) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Marlon Pack (Bristol City).
Attempt saved. Bobby Reid (Bristol City) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Joe Bryan.
Bobby Reid (Bristol City) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Didier Ndong (Sunderland) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Bobby Reid (Bristol City).
James Vaughan (Sunderland) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Foul by Bailey Wright (Bristol City).
Substitution, Sunderland. Paddy McNair replaces Darron Gibson.
Substitution, Sunderland. James Vaughan replaces Duncan Watmore.
Corner, Sunderland. Conceded by Joe Bryan.
Attempt missed. Bryan Oviedo (Sunderland) left footed shot from outside the box misses to the right. Assisted by Didier Ndong.
Foul by Bailey Wright (Bristol City).
Duncan Watmore (Sunderland) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Goal! Sunderland 1, Bristol City 2. Milan Djuric (Bristol City) header from very close range to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Callum O'Dowda with a cross.
Attempt missed. Aden Flint (Bristol City) right footed shot from the centre of the box is high and wide to the left. Assisted by Bobby Reid.
Corner, Bristol City. Conceded by Lewis Grabban.
Attempt blocked. Korey Smith (Bristol City) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked.
Corner, Bristol City. Conceded by Jason Steele.
Attempt saved. Callum O'Dowda (Bristol City) left footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the top centre of the goal.
Foul by Callum McManaman (Sunderland).
Joe Bryan (Bristol City) wins a free kick on the left wing.
Substitution, Sunderland. Callum McManaman replaces Jonathan Williams.
Substitution, Bristol City. Korey Smith replaces Matty Taylor.
Billy Jones (Sunderland) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Foul by Billy Jones (Sunderland).
Bobby Reid (Bristol City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Attempt blocked. Darron Gibson (Sunderland) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Lewis Grabban.
Substitution, Bristol City. Milan Djuric replaces Jamie Paterson.
Offside, Bristol City. Callum O'Dowda tries a through ball, but Aden Flint is caught offside.