Leeds suffer first defeat of season
Second-half goals by Julio Arca and Kevin Phillips inflicted a first defeat in 12 league games on David O'Leary' side at the Stadium of Light.
Leeds stay second behind leaders Liverpool, who drew 1-1 at Blackburn Rovers yesterday.
Robbie Keane fluffed Leeds's best chance at Sunderland as O'Leary's side controlled the first half.
But the visitors were stunned three minutes after the break when England goalkeeper Nigel Martyn spilled a Jason McAteer shot and Argentine Arca snapped up the rebound.
Kevin Phillips collected Niall Quinn's chest-down seven minutes later to half-volley a stylish second goal for Sunderland.
The victory was only Sunderland's second in 10 games and lifted them to 13th in the standings. Leeds's last league defeat was at Arsenal on May 5th.