"Bring Back Di Canio" chorused the fans – the Swansea ones we can safely assume. Gus Poyet, on the end of a drubbing in his first match as the unlamented Italian's successor, was in no mood to see the funny side after a result that leaves Sunderland nursing the worst start to a season in Premier League history.
With just one point from their first eight league games, Sunderland have relieved Portsmouth of an unwanted record. Pompey were without a point after seven games four years ago, but beat Wolves in their eighth.
The margin here could have been truly embarrassing. Apart from the four goals they did score, Swansea were tantalisingly close on several occasions. Another statistic to underline the magnitude of Poyet's task: before this, Swansea were without a home win in the league since last March and had lost three of their previous four games in all competitions.
Sunderland's new manager said: "In the first half I thought I picked the right team – after the second I'm not so sure. I learned a lot about my players in that second half. As a team we need to make sure we maintain the right level of concentration for the whole game, not just for 45 minutes. The players need to accept responsibility and react better [in adversity]. It's something we, the staff, have to put right."
After another demoralising result, Poyet accepted that he would have to work on psychology, as well as organisation and tactics, if there is not to be total humiliation in thenorth-east derby at home to Newcastle on Sunday 27 October.
The Swans recalled Leon Britton, their midfield metronome, at the expense of Jonjo Shelvey, and with the best continuity player around to direct operations, Swansea passed, passed and passed again, as is their custom. For a long time, however, it got them nowhere, to Michael Laudrup's clear frustration. The Swansea manager is usually the most undemonstrative of characters, but here he was prowling the technical area, waving his arms like John McCririck.
In the first half, Sunderland played with the spirit and determination that is the norm for teams under new management. Swansea were below their best and their opponents were content to concentrate on first principles, which meant trying to block up the most porous of defences. Consequently the first 45 minutes were instantly forgettable, Angel Rangel's unremarkable shot from distance the only goal attempt on target. What a difference a few well-chosen words can make.
Laudrup made his displeasure known during the interval. "At half-time I talked about the need for more movement," he said. "My message was to play at a quicker pace. I know the players really wanted that first home win, but sometimes you don't attack better just by having four or five standing up there, waiting for the ball."
His charges responded to stunning effect, Michu and Wilfried Bony both going close before the floodgates opened. The first goal was initially claimed by Rangel, who did get his head to Jonathan De Guzman's corner, but the ball went in off Phil Bardsley for an own goal.
Little more than a minute later, De Guzman doubled the advantage with a lovely curler from 25 yards out, into the top-left corner of Keiren Westwood's net, and the third took the form of a penalty by Bony after Craig Gardner had rashly brought down Britton. Strangely, it was Swansea's first penalty in the league in the 46 games since Laudrup took charge.
Westwood pulled off a top-class save to keep out a Michu header, only for the subsequent corner, taken by De Guzman, to result in Chico Flores heading home Swansea's fourth goal from six yards out.
If Sunderland have a big week ahead, the same is true of Swansea, who are at home twice – to Kuban Krasnodar in the Europa League on Thursday, then West Ham on Sunday. After that there is the small matter of the south Wales derby, at Cardiff.
"We've started well", Laudrup said. "Imagine if we could win the next three, it would be fantastic. We would put ourselves in a very solid position in the league table and a great situation in the Europa, with one foot in the knockout phase."