Sunderland moved themselves away from the relegation zone with a much needed 3-1 win over Fulham in the Premier League.
The home side saw Alex Kacaniklic, who has been in good form for the hosts, limp off with a suspected hamstring injury after 27 minutes.
And the misery was compounded just our minutes later as Norwegian defender Hangeland went in hard on Lee Cattermole, earning himself a red card.
Fulham bravely battled on and didn’t look like a side with ten-men but just five minutes after the break their resistance was broken.
Adam Johnson, yet to hit the kind of form which earned him a move to Manchester City and several England caps with his new club, flighted a tremendous pass from the halfway line straight in to the path of Steven Fletcher. And haring down on Mark Schwarzer the clinical striker wasn’t about to fluff his lines, slotting the ball beyond the Australian’s glove.
But O’Neill’s charges found an extra gear and Carlos Cuellar headed them in to the lead just after the hour-mark from Sebastian Larsson’s corner.
And, to round off the victory, Stephane Sessegnon hammered a fine strike in to the back of the net, via the upright, as he turned his marker outside the area.
The result pushes Sunderland up to 15th in the division and Fulham remain ninth after the weekend’s action.