Match ends, Sheffield United 3, Sunderland 0.
Sheffield United picked up their first win in seven games with a comfortable victory over struggling Sunderland.
The Blades took a deserved lead when John Lundstram showed good composure to guide the ball home.
Richard Stearman doubled their advantage with a header from Mark Duffy's free-kick after the break before George Baldock headed a third.
Defeat leaves Chris Coleman's side 22nd in the Championship, one point adrift of safety.
Victory for Chris Wilder's men saw them move back into the play-off positions.
The Blades were on top throughout and should have taken an early lead when Clayton Donaldson placed his shot wide after being played in on goal.
Once Lundstram gave the hosts the lead they were in total control and could have won by more had Leon Clarke and Enda Stevens not got in each other's way in front of goal late on.
They travel to lowly Bolton on Saturday, while the Black Cats, who were missing top scorer Lewis Grabban with a calf injury, face a trip to Nottingham Forest.
Sheffield United boss Chris Wilder:
"I've put them under a bit of pressure recently and we have slipped our standards but I thought that the performance at Villa Park, coming back from 2-0 down, spoke volumes about what they are about really.
"I thought the players' performance at Villa Park was absolutely outstanding - their attitude and the courage to get themselves off the canvas to get a big result.
"I believe it was a big result, not the biggest point in Sheffield United's history, but I thought it was a big step forward and it was important we carried it on.
"And we did and we got a little bit of the old swagger back that has seen us produce those type of performances in the first half of the season."
Sunderland manager Chris Coleman:
"It is a bitterly disappointing performance. As soon as we went 1-0 down we just accepted a low-level performance from each other.
"It is the first time I have seen from them - when you are in that position it's not anger, it's apathy which is very, very dangerous. So it was a lot of food for thought looking at it.
"Seven games and four weeks I've been here and I have never seen that performance. We haven't won every game but we've been in games but we were never in that game, not really.
"We were up against a Sheffield United team (that were) stronger, quicker and looked hungrier, fitter. Unless we get better or show better than that we aren't going to get away from where we are."
- 6BashamBooked at 77mins
- 21DuffySubstituted forCarruthersat 75'minutes
- 9ClarkeSubstituted forLaveryat 84'minutes
- 11DonaldsonSubstituted forLaffertyat 89'minutes
- 36WilsonBooked at 50mins
- 27GoochSubstituted forAsoroat 67'minutes
- 26HoneymanSubstituted forMcManamanat 79'minutes
- 3OviedoBooked at 58mins
- 9VaughanSubstituted forMajaat 79'minutes
- Peter Bankes
- Shots on Target
Second Half ends, Sheffield United 3, Sunderland 0.
Attempt blocked. Josh Maja (Sunderland) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Marc Wilson.
Substitution, Sheffield United. Daniel Lafferty replaces Clayton Donaldson.
Corner, Sheffield United. Conceded by Aiden McGeady.
Cameron Carter-Vickers (Sheffield United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Joel Asoro (Sunderland).
Substitution, Sheffield United. Caolan Lavery replaces Leon Clarke.
Clayton Donaldson (Sheffield United) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by John O'Shea (Sunderland).
Attempt missed. Josh Maja (Sunderland) header from the centre of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Adam Matthews with a cross.
Substitution, Sunderland. Josh Maja replaces James Vaughan.
Substitution, Sunderland. Callum McManaman replaces George Honeyman.
Attempt missed. Bryan Oviedo (Sunderland) left footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the left. Assisted by Marc Wilson.
Chris Basham (Sheffield United) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Foul by Chris Basham (Sheffield United).
George Honeyman (Sunderland) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Substitution, Sheffield United. Samir Carruthers replaces Mark Duffy.
Attempt blocked. Marc Wilson (Sunderland) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Aiden McGeady.
Attempt missed. Aiden McGeady (Sunderland) left footed shot from the right side of the box misses to the left.