After a first half that was only slightly less compelling than a 500 page history of lacemaking written by an eight-year-old, it was different to see how Wolverhampton vs. Sunderland would turn into anything remotely interesting at full time. But, somehow, it managed it.
Ignoring the first half entirely, which probably does a disservice to Black Cats goalkeeper Keiren Westwood, is probably the best tack to take for all involved. After the break, Sunderland fizzled into life, and looked positively brilliant for the opening match of the game, which saw a quick break which started with Jack Colback barely ten yards from his own penalty and end with Keiran Richardson firing a near-post shot past Wayne Hennesey. The move, which included a dainty little backheel from Nicklas Bendtner, took all of ten seconds to complete, and suddenly the visitors were rolling.
It looked as though it would be Sunderland's day in their first game following the Steve Bruce era - Wolves' attacks were being broken up and then turned into vicious ripostes, and it wasn't long before the Black Cats got another fantastic chance for a goal, Sebastian Larsson going to ground rather easily when Jody Craddock brushed him in the area. Unfortunately for Larsson, his spot kick was both weak and close to Hennesey, and the goalkeeper gathered on the first attempt.
25 seconds later and the hosts were level through Steven Fletcher, who nodded in a Matthew Jarvis cross that Westwood got a hand to but couldn't keep out - Wes Brown has to ask himself some questions about his defending on that one - and things rapidly got even worse for the visitors: Fletcher struck again ten minutes from time, volleying in on the turn after Jamie O'Hara had used something rather suspiciously resembling an arm to deflect a cross into his teammate's path.
To cap off a rather disappointing day for Sunderland, they had two players clean through at the very end of injury time when Wolves Ahmed Elmohamady took advantage of a botched Wolves offside trap on a free kick. With a simple square pass to Bendter the only thing preventing the visitors going level, the linesman called the whole thing back for an imaginary offside, Phil Dowd blew the whistle, and the game was done.
Martin O'Neill has some work to do.