City came out the better of the two sides in the opening stages and it was not long until they took the lead.
England winger Adam Johnson played a one-two with Yaya Toure before placing the ball in the back of the net to give the home side the lead at Eastlands after nine minutes.
City were two goals to the good on 16 minutes, as Carlos Tevez was brought down in the box by Sunderland defender Phil Bardsley.
Referee Howard Webb gave the penalty which Tevez scored despite keeper Simon Mignolet getting a hand to it.
Sunderland were more competitive in the second half but City bagged their thrid of the game when Mario Balotelli's shot was blocked and fell to David Silva to tap home on 62 minutes.
Four minutes later it was 4-0 as Patrick Vieira nudged the ball just across the line with his first touch of the game.
Toure then put the Blues five goals up as he picked up the ball just outside the box and produced a great finish to beat the keeper and complete the rout.