Sunderland 0 Birmingham City 1
Outside of Copenhagen and Arsenal there weren't too many people who had heard the name of Nicklas Bendtner this time last week.
However, it is undoubtedly a name that will be uttered on many an occasion in the future as this supremely talented striker is destined for a glittering career.
Despite Steve Bruce's lavish summer spending spree, the acquisition of three Arsenal proteges could be his finest piece of work in the transfer market.
Fabrice Muamba and Sebastian Larsson joined Bendtner in proving that Birmingham's cosying up to the Gunners is paying rich dividends.
Whilst it is too early to contemplate promotion, there is a juggernaut building up a head of steam at St Andrew's.
And Bruce is convinced Bendtner will be at the fore-front of any potential promotion push.
"When you consider that he is only 18 then he is a terrific talent," said Bruce.
"He has still got a lot to learn, but he definitely has all the raw ingredients. He attacks players and wants to commit them. He looked a threat all night.
"However, I am delighted with all my team. It has been a tough summer for a variety of reasons and I think we deserved to win."
Bruce rang the changes after Birmingham's stuttering performance against Colchester on Saturday and totally revamped his midfield.
Muamba, Mehdi Nafti and Larsson made their first appearances of the campaign with David Dunn, Stephen Clemence and Neil Danns dropping to the bench.
Dudley 'DJ' Campbell was absent with a groin strain, so Bendtner partnered Mikael Forssell whilst Cameron Jerome was starting the first of his three-match suspension.
"I was wary of three games in a week and I thought Nafti and Muamba would give us a physical presence in midfield," explained Bruce. "I thought Nafti was fantastic - our best player."
However, Bruce was less optimistic about his protracted pursuit of Coventry's Gary McSheffrey. "There comes a time when we are bidding as much as we can and that has drawn to a close really. If it's not going to happen then we have got to try and move our targets and look elsewhere."
As one would expect in Niall Quinn's opening home fixture as chairman/manager, there was a degree of expectation at the Stadium of Light and Sunderland began like the proverbial express train.
In fact, Birmingham should have fallen behind inside 90 seconds when Rory Delap's long throw was flicked on by Daryl Murphy.
Liam Lawrence nipped in front of Stephen Kelly yet somehow directed his header wide from inside the six-yard area, much to the relief of the stranded Maik Taylor.
Murphy dragged a shot wide, as the hosts' belligerent approach paid dividends before Birmingham finally gained a foothold in proceedings.
Larsson's astute wing play engineered an opportunity and his cross just eluded the lurking Bendtner.
Nafti's volley drifted wide as Bruce's side looked far more assured, primarily because of the subtle promptings from Bendtner whose sleight of foot was causing Sunderland untold problems.
Home supporters resorted to baiting Bruce over his Newcastle connections but he was left grinning like a Cheshire cat five minutes before the interval, as Blues broke the deadlock.
Muamba showed his athleticism and power surging purposefully from the halfway line until a perfectly executed pass released Damien Johnson ten yards from goal.
He was stopped in his tracks by a dreadfully rash challenge from debutant Clive Clarke, who had only been on the pitch for ten minutes, which left referee Graham Salisbury with no option but to award a penalty.
Forssell's voracity for goals ensured he grabbed the ball and converted the spot kick with aplomb.
The balloon of optimism that had permeated the Stadium of Light was rapidly dissipating as the half progressed although spirits were raised in first half stoppage time.
Lawrence cut inside Kelly and curled a fine effort past Maik Taylor but the assistant referee had already raised his flag much to the chagrin of Quinn.
Sunderland huffed and puffed at the start of the second half but were ultimately toothless in the face of some resilient Birmingham defending. Dean Whitehead screwed a shot wide from a promising position but, more often than not, they were repelled by a blue brick wall.
The menacing Bendtner tangled with Ben Alnwick amidst protests for a penalty but genuine goalscoring opportunities were at a premium.
Bruce replaced Forssell and Muamba with Dunn and Clemence and the latter should have scored after more sterling work from Bendtner.
The Dane blotted his copybook by spurning a late chance but it was irrelevant as Blues maintained their 100 percent record in style.