A classic display of counter-attacking football proved more than enough to see off Norwich and put Sunderland through to the third round of the Carling Cup.
If it's goals you want, Carrow Road seems to be the place to be - the back of the net's been hit 20 times in just three games at Norwich this season.
Teemu Tainio's first strike for the club sent the Black Cats on their way before the impressive Andy Reid weighed in with two superbly-taken goals to hand his side a three-goal lead at the break.
A close-range effort from Wes Hoolahan gave the Canaries hope just after the hour, but any hopes of a comeback were dashed within minutes as the unfortunate Owain Tudur Jones put through his own goal.
Sunderland bossed the final stages, but a nasty-looking injury to Fraizer Campbell took some of the gloss off a hard-earned win following a challenge from Michael Spillane for which the Norwich man was shown a red card.
The last time these sides met in this competition was in the 1985 Final, won 1-0 by Norwich thanks to Gordon Chisholm's own goal.
Fast forward 24 years and the Canaries find themselves in League One, but there was to be no giant-killing as Paul Lambert's men were systematically taken apart by an incisive display of free-flowing counter attacking.
Norwich certainly had chances in the first half, but a Sunderland side featuring nine changes were just too hot to handle going forward as they made the most of the space and time afforded to them in the City half of the field.
The travelling fans - as well as those watching live on Sky - got their first glimpse of newly-signed defender Paulo Da Silva, handed his debut in central defence alongside Nyron Nosworthy.
Behind them was goalkeeper Craig Gordon, now fully fit once more and making a handily-timed return to action with Marton Fulop out through injury.
The League One club had an early shout for a penalty turned down when the speedy Luke Daley tumbled under Nyron Nosworthy's challenge as the two battled inside the box. Replays showed that referee Mr Taylor probably made the correct decision.
Despite a blood and thunder start from Norwich, the visitors were seeing plenty of the ball and they almost led with just 11 minutes on the clock through debutant Da Silva.
Reid's curling corner was weighted perfectly for the Paraguayan international, who unloaded a bullet header at the front post only to see the ball flash inches wide with former Sunderland goalkeeper Ben Alnwick well beaten on his near post.
Alnwick was in action again moments later, reaching up superbly to to tip Fraizer Campbell's acrobatic overhead kick onto the crossbar after the former Manchester United striker connected with Jordan Henderson's cross from the right.
But just as Sunderland looked to be gaining control, Norwich ripped it right back again temporarily as Gordon denied Simon Whaley one-on-one before turning Simon Lappin's long-range thunderbolt over the top.
Lappin then curled a free-kick wide from a promising position before Sunderland counter-punched once more. Reid prevented the ball running out of play with a clever backheel, George McCartney whipped in a useful cross and Kenwyne Jones rose highest to nod the ball back across goal and wide.
And Jones was the architect as Sunderland drew first blood just before the half-hour. The big frontman broke down the right, outstripped Gary Doherty and steered the ball into the path of Tainio, who rolled a cool finish beyond Alnwick.
Fresh from his match-winning brace against Blackburn, Jones was clearly in the mood to create as well and he laid on a second goal with more unselfish play just four minutes later.
With City right-back Jon Otsemobor way out of position, last season's leading marksman slid a lovely ball through to the charging Reid, who hardly broke stride before lofting a sublime chip over the head of the stranded Alnwick and into the far corner of the net.
Now Sunderland were moving through the gears. With only 36 minutes played, they made it a triple dose of pain for Norwich, who conceded seven goals on home turf against Colchester on the opening day of the season.
And it was a move of real quality which made it treble delight for the visitors.
Carlos Edwards began proceedings with a fine block tackle before advancing fully 70 yards. His low pass to Jordan Henderson was quickly shovelled in to Campbell, who shaped to shoot on the edge of the box. Instead, he opted to go sideways to Reid, and the winger took a touch and drilled a high shot beyond Alnwick.
Give credit to Norwich though, despite being hit on the counter to deadly effect they continued to search for a way back. Tudur Jones thought he'd broken through with a cracker from the edge of the box, but Sunderland keeper Gordon proved his equal and pulled off a super reflex save with his legs, allowing Edwards to hammer away the loose ball.
Indeed, the visitors could have rounded off the first period with a quartet of goals, but Campbell's goalbound shot struck Henderson and the Canaries could breathe a sigh of relief.
Lambert's men came out to give it a real go in the second half and, after twice coming close through former Rochdale man Grant Holt, they made a game of it by pulling a goal back just before the hour.
A deep cross from the right was headed on to the post by sub Cody McDonald and Hoolahan was on hand to scoop home the rebound from three yards out.
With the noisy home crowd firmly believing their side could pull it round, Chris Martin missed a golden chance to poke home at the back post and pull his side to within a goal.
But the miss proved costly as Sunderland won a corner almost immediately and Reid's delivery struck the unwitting Tudur Jones and sailed high into the net.
The goal effectively killed off the hosts' spirited revival, although a productive night for Sunderland was soured by an unsavoury incident three minutes from time.
Campbell raced onto a through ball and was felled Michael Spillane just as he was about to pull the trigger on the edge of the box.
The impact sent him careering into Alnwick, resulting in both receiving lengthy treatment and subsequently leaving the field. Campbell departed with his head spinning, while Alnwick trooped off with blood pouring from his nose.
The keeper's departure meant McDonald was handed the gloves for the final six minutes plus stoppage time, and his goal led a charmed life as Edwards rattled the crossbar with a long-range missile and Reid's overhead kick landed off-target.
Sunderland should have made it five in injury time as neither McCartney nor sub Daryl Murphy could convert from close range, while McDonald gathered Henderson's curling effort well to huge cheers from the home support.
But another goal wasn't to be for Bruce's men, who have now won three of their last four outings in all competitions.