Sunderland's revival continued in style at one of their happiest hunting
grounds as they hit a quartet of goals for the fourth time in five visits to
Gary Breen, Marcus Stewart, Julio Arca and Sean Thornton ensured a
comprehensive victory as Bradford were ruthlessly beaten.
Victories over Preston and Watford in the last week have banished much of the misery around the Stadium of Light and this result will brighten the mood even further.
Republic of Ireland defender Breen opened the scoring in the 10th minute.
A Simon Francis foul on Breen's international team-mate Kevin Kilbane earned Sunderland a free-kick curled in from the left by Sean Thornton's right foot, and Breen rose unmarked to head the ball home.
The second goal went in on the quarter-hour mark and it was a quality effort as Stewart netted for the third time this season.
He was put through by a slide-rule Kilbane pass to slot home an angled shot.
But that strike was eclipsed in the 31st minute by a stunning individual goal from Arca.
The Argentinian left-back won the ball off Michael Standing by his
own penalty area, surged forward and with defenders closing in on him, lifted the ball over goalkeeper Mark Paston and into the net.
The only blemish on an otherwise perfect half for the Black Cats was bookings for Kyle and Breen, while Standing and Paul Heckingbottom also had their names taken for the hosts.
Standing was replaced by Lewis Emanuel after the interval as Bradford manager Nicky Law tried to find a way to get his side back into the game but there was no reversal of fortune as Sunderland maintained their dominance.
The only impact the Bantams were making was in the referee's notebook as Francis and Jason Gavin took the number of players cautioned to seven after Thirlwell had been shown the yellow card for the Wearsiders.
It was one-way traffic and Thornton deservedly got on the scoresheet 14 minutes from time.
He was played in by Kyle from the left and knocked the ball home to gain just reward for his creativity.
Bradford: Paston, Gavin, Wetherall, Edds, Jacobs,
Heckingbottom, Windass, Francis, Standing, Gray, Branch. Subs:
Combe, Wolleaston, Emanuel, Muirhead, Kearney.
Sunderland: Poom, Wright, McCartney, Breen, Arca, Oster,
Thornton, Thirlwell, Kilbane, Kyle, Stewart. Subs: Ingham,
Proctor, Babb, Butler, Healy.
Referee: P Dowd (Staffordshire).