The visitors began the brighter with a good cross from the ever resourceful Sophie Williams, which Natalie Gutteridge headed inches over the bar.
The early warning signs were not heeded by City, as only a few minutes later a cross from the pacey Beth Mead was missed by the stretching Gutteridge, only for Williams to pick the ball up and swing a delightful cross into the area which was met by the head of Mead, who nodded home from close range.
Sunderland once again took the game by the scruff of the neck, as Furness drilled a shot, which was blocked.
City began to then creep back into the game with a couple of dangerous set-pieces which were dealt with by Greenwell and Gutteridge respectively.
Soon after though, City got the stroke of luck their pressure deserved, with the Referee pointing to the spot after the ball struck a hand in the area. The spot kicked was subsequently converted by Citys Lyndsay Savage to level the score mid-way through the half.
City began to dominate after their leveller, and grew in confidence, testing Laws from a free kick.
The home side seemed a very different outfit to the team that was swept aside 4-0 by Sunderland in last seasons league cup.
Kelly McDougal almost put Sunderland ahead before the break, with a brilliant 25 yard strike which was tipped over by the City Keeper.
The Lady Black Cats started much the better after the interval, with good early possession.
The teams were exchanging chances in the early stages of the half, but with no real end product, until the skilful Keira Ramshaw crossed into the area, and good combination play from Holmes and Gutteridge resulted in the ball falling to Williams, who fired home into the corner, to put Sunderland ahead for the second time in the game.
Sunderland kept up the pressure, knowing the one goal wasnt going to be enough against a resilient City side. Mead fired a shot, which was well saved by the City Keeper.
But against the run of play Man Citys Farrell crossed the ball which fell to Lee whos low skidding drive shot across the wet surface and squirmed under Laws and into the net.
Barely had Citys celebrations ended from Lees equaliser, when the visitors regained their goal advantage, with the hard working Gutteridge intercepting in the middle of the park and feeding Beth Mead, who skipped past a defender and slotted the ball home.
Sunderland held on comfortably for the their fifth win in five games, to enhance their reputation as the team to beat in the National premier league, and go three points clear at the top of the table.
Sunderland - Laws, Bannon (c), Holmes, Wilson, Greenwell, Williams, Furness, Gutteridge, McDougall, Ramshaw, Mead. Subs - Alderson, Christon, Caldwell, Salicki, Sutcliffe
Boss Mick Mulhern could not hide his delight after the game....We were excellent today, especially in the second half. City are a good side and I had to change one or two things at half time. The response was magnificent and the result was thoroughly deserved.
Match report to follow...
Sunderland Ladies continued their impressive start to the season as they preserved their 100% record in a hard fought victory in the driving rain against Manchester City Ladies on Sunday. Two goals from Beth Mead and one from Sophie Williams consolidated the Wearsiders position at the top of the Womens National Premier League.