Goals from Sebastian Larsson and Craig Gardner gave the Blues the win and ensured that the visitors' miserable run of form continued, they have now taken just one point from their last ten games.
A lacklustre first half seemed destined to end goalless, with the only real chance coming early on when Simon Mignolet blocked a Cameron Jerome shot from a tight angle.
However, four minutes before the break Phil Bardsley and Mignolet conspired to make a hash of a routine ball forward and Larsson took advantage to fire the loose ball home.
The visitors started the second period a little brighter than they had the first and keeper Ben Foster had to get down smartly to tip away a Lee Cattermole strike from distance.
However, with a little under 25 minutes to play, City added a second goal as Gardner fired in an effort form 25 yards and Mignolet was unable to keep the ball out, despite getting a hand to it.
After shipping a second goal, the Black Cats rarely looked like getting back into the game, with the resolute home defence superbly marshalled by Roger Johnson.