Sunderland 5 (Bent-pen 8, 90, Jones-pen 47, 70, Turner 73)
Wolves 2 (Mensah-OG 50, Doyle 54)
Little went right for Wolves at The Stadium of Light. They had come back from two down but then conceded three late goals to give Sunderland a flattering 5-2 advantage at the end of an end to end thriller.
Mick McCarthy named the team that had beaten Fulham at Molineux seven days earlier.
Wolves kicked-off attacking the end of the Stadium of Light that housed the travelling supporters and within a minute the game was held up after Darren Bent took a knock, but he was able to resume after treatment.
Wayne Hennessey had to head clear a long through ball from just outside his area and Bent fired over the bar as he followed up.
A dubious decision by referee Lee Mason led to Sunderland taking an eighth minute lead. Segundo Castillo looked to have won the ball as he tackled Bent in the Wolves box but the official pointed to the spot and Bent slammed the penalty into the corner of the net just out of Hennessey's reach.
Wolves won a free-kick on the corner of the home area shortly after the restart but Greg Halford's curing effort was easily fielded by Craig Gordon.
Michael Turner was booked for hacking down Kevin Doyle and when George Elokobi's free-kick was cleared, Doyle also saw yellow after an innocuous challenge on Kenwyne Jones.
There was the chance of an equaliser in the 25th minute when Dave Edwards connected with Matt Jarvis's cross but the midfielder's glancing header was wide of the mark.
Andy Keogh's centre was just too far in front of Edwards as the ball drifted past the far post and then appeals for a Wolves penalty were ignored after Doyle fell under a Turner challenge as they went for Keogh's cross.
Hennessey had to save with his legs after Jones had shrugged off Michael Mancienne's challenge and then Turner cleared after Christophe Berra had headed Jarvis's corner towards goal.
A Mancienne header back lacked the power to reach Hennessey who was alert to the situation racing from his line and blocking as Bent charged in.
Referee Mason further angered the away fans when Karl Henry went into the book after a harmless looking challenge on Lee Cattermole.
In stoppage time all the action was centred in and around the Sunderland box. Both Doyle and Jarvis had shots blocked in a crowded area and then, from a Jarvis free-kick, Doyle glanced a header inches wide.
Half-Time: Sunderland 1 Wolves 0
Michael Kightly replaced Castillo at the start of the second-half whilst Jordan Henderson came on for Cattermole for the Black Cats.
With just a minute gone Sunderland were awarded a second penalty and this time it was a more clear cut decision after Berra had clipped Bent. Jones assumed responsibility and sent Hennessey the wrong way from the spot.
Berra soon atoned as Wolves reduced the deficit in the 50th minute. The defender drove into the left side of the box and hit an angled shot that Craig Gordon could only parry with the ball hitting John Mensah and bouncing back into the net.
Four minutes later and Wolves were level after Gordon palmed away Kieran Richardson's overhit backpass to stop the ball from going in. Sunderland had ten men on the line as Henry slammed the ball towards goal from just six-yards out.
Inevitably the ball bounced off a defender's legs but only as far as Doyle who made no mistake.
Greg Halford became the third Wolves man to be yellow carded after he had pulled back Richardson.
Then Richardson delivered a short cross that hit Bent and drew a diving save from Hennessey. But the Welsh keeper stood little chance as Jones restored Sunderland's lead in the 70th minute. Bent chested the ball into the path of his fellow striker who drilled home a low shot from 22-yards.
Three minutes later Hennessey made a fine save from Bent who had cut into the box after beating the offside trap. But the respite was brief as Turner bulleted home a header from the resultant corner which was taken by Andy Reid.
It summed up Wolves fortune when Halford's header was cleared off the line by Richardson after Jarvis had lifted a corner into the heart of the home area.
There was a double switch for Wolves after 77 minutes with Stefan Maierhofer and Sylvan Ebanks-Blake taking the places of Doyle and Keogh.
Edwards struck a fine volley that hit a defender and bounced behind and then an Ebanks-Blake header bounced into Gordon's arms.
In stoppage time Bent rubbed salt into the wounds with a shot that was deflected into the net off Mancienne.
Sunderland: Gordon, Turner, Mensah, Cana (capt), Bent (McCartney 90), Malbranque, Da Silva (Ferdinand 75), Richardson, Reid, Jones, Cattermole (Henderson 45).
Unused subs: Fulop, Nosworthy, Healy, Campbell.
Booking: Turner (20 - foul).
Wolves: Hennessey, Halford, Elokobi, Edwards, Mancienne, Berra, Castillo (Kightly 45), Henry (capt), Doyle (Ebanks-Blake 77), Keogh (Maierhofer 77), Jarvis.
Unused subs: Craddock, Hahnemann, Milijaš, Foley.
Bookings: Doyle (21 - foul), Henry (40 - foul), Halford (57 - foul).
Referee: L. Mason.
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