Black Cats' on-loan Diallo delivers again

Amad Diallo has made one and scored a goal for Sunderland to deny Birmingham City a place in the Championship's top six with a 2-1 victory at St. Andrew's.

On-loan Manchester United forward Diallo, who cost the Old Trafford club PS20 million ($A35m) when he signed from Atalanta, set up Ellis Simms to give the Black Cats a 25th-minute lead and then scored a superb second four minutes after halftime.

Substitute Lukas Jutkiewicz pulled one back late on for Birmingham.

Victory made it seven points from three away games for Tony Mowbray's side and ended Birmingham's six-match unbeaten home record.

"Diallo is an amazing footballer," Mowbray said.

"He's come to the party. I think there's an understanding that this kid has real talent and deserves to be well respected within the team.

"You look at his physical data in every match in the last three or four games, he's been the highest distance covered, the highest sprint distance covered, the highest high intensity energy runs.

"He scored a wonderful goal but we see him do that every day."

There were early chances for both teams in a lively opening.

Birmingham goalkeeper John Ruddy made a vital block from Simms but the Blues responded with a glancing header from Deeney that hit the bar after Dion Sanderson nodded on Emmanuel Longelo's cross.

But after serving warning of his intentions, on-loan Everton forward Simms, who was making his 50th league appearance, gave Sunderland the lead.

It came after some brilliant tenacity and trickery from Diallo - but awful defending from Blues.

The Ivory Coast international beat Sanderson and Jobe Bellingham far too easily and even continued his run after being briefly grounded before putting Simms through to drill home powerfully on the angle.

Diallo appeared to put the game beyond Birmingham in the 49th minute. He raced onto a diagonal pass from Dan Neil down the right and cut inside Auston Trusty before bending a superb left-foot curling shot into the far corner of the net with Ruddy motionless.

Jutkiewicz rewarded Birmingham's pressure in the 78th minute. The veteran striker swept home Longelo's cross from 15 yards after Sunderland missed the chance to clear.

City pounded Sunderland's goal in the latter stages but after Anthony Patterson denied Sanderson, Hogan headed inches wide from Deeney's cross.