Manchester City lifted the Capital One Cup after coming from behind to win 3-1 at Wembley, with three moments of class from Yaya Toure, Samir Nasri and Jesus Navas.
Despite being the heavily backed favourites, City have previous in being on the wrong end of a cup final upset, having lost The FA Cup final last season after a stoppage time winner from soon to be relegated Wigan.
And it seemed history could repeat itself when Liverpool loanee Fabio Borini broke for Sunderland and put the ball past 'Cup' goalkeeper Pantimillion.
Manchester City struggled for the rest of the half, creating little in the way of chances, and looking vulnerable to Sunderland on the break, who had a couple of chances to extend their lead.
But City held out until the break, and came out for the second half on the front foot. For all Sunderland's resilience and determination in the first half, they were ultimately undone by two moments of absolute class.
The first came from the enigmatic Toure, who has a tendency to drag his team out of the mire when they look to be stuck. As the ball was played in from the left Toure stepped on the ball and unleashed a 30 yard effort that swirved and curled back on itself and into Vito Minonne's top right corner.
The Black Cats were clearly reeling and City took advantage, going ahead just minutes later through man of the match Samir Nasri. The ball was again played in from the left, and after taking a slight deflection, fell to Nasri on the edge of the box, who hit a powerful effort with the outside of his right foot to put his team ahead.
With over half an hour to play however, City's task was far from over as Sunderland piled forward in search of an equaliser, and questions were asked of City's defence, though no clear cut chances came from the pressure.
In opposition to the first half, it was now City who were looking dangerous on the break, and in the dying stages of the game, City assured their name was on the trophy. A decisive breakaway was finished by Jesus Navas, who was played in down the right and slotted past Minonne, who perhaps should have got a better hand to it.
So City came good in the end, and Manuel Pellegrinni gets the first of five trophies he is expected to win in the next five seasons, but where can they go from here?
Their Champions League prospects look slim, having to overturn a 2 goal deficit at the Nou Camp, but their FA Cup chances look healthy, with Everton and Arsenal the only real threats left in the competition.
The Priority, however, has to be the Premier League. City are currently fourth, six points behind leaders Chelsea, but with two game in hand on them and Arsenal and Liverpool above them.
City are still one of the favourites for the title, and whilst all the top four have some big games ahead, it should be noted that City face four of the top seven in the run in, Arsenal, Liverpool, Everton and Manchester United, all away.
So For City today's win could be the way to kick start an assault on their three remaining fronts, or it could be an assurance that should they fail to win another trophy they have this to fall back on.
For Sunderland, they will have to pick themselves up quickly after this defeat. Whilst they were always the outsiders to win the competition, going a goal up at Wembley only to lose will be hard to take.
However, relegation would be a much harder pill to swallow, and they must respond quickly in the league. Currently in the relegation zone, they will tale comfort in the fact that there are only ten points separating the bottom eleven clubs.
Their remaining fixtures leave a lot to be desired however, as despite still having to play a lot of clubs around them, they still have to face Liverpool, Everton, Tottenham, Chelsea and Mnachester United.