Sunderland were defeated for only the second time in the Women’s Championship this season as promotion rivals Birmingham got one over on the Black Cats to move top of the table.
Lily Agg struck first for the visitors eleven minutes in and an own goal from Black Cats captain Brianna Westrup just after the hour mark compiled the misery for Sunderland. Jade Moore put the game out of sight with Birmingham’s third 13 minutes from time.
Either side could have gone top of the table with a win after losses for Southampton and Charlton and Crystal Palace being held to a draw.
Agg’s goal came after some lovely footwork from Jade Pennock saw her beat her defender to lay it off, under pressure Agg curled it past an outstretched Claudia Moan.
Birmingham’s Cho Yu-Ri picked up the ball just after the hour mark and played a searching ball into the box. Stretching, Westrup flicked the ball past her own keeper for 2-0.
To cap it off Remi Allen brought out the Christmas nutmeg early, skilfully knocking the ball through the legs of a defender for the oncoming Moore to sweep past Moan and put the visitors out of sight.
The result means Birmingham astonishingly jump from fifth to top the table at Christmas with Sunderland in third having missed a chance to go first themselves. Two points now separate first and fifth in the Women’s Championship.