The 21-year-old Wickham headed Sunderland into a 26th-minute lead -to add to the double he scored at Manchester City and his strike in last weekend’s win at Chelsea - and then sealed the win with a late header.
He played a key role in the second goal too, as he forced defender Juan Cala into the ill-judged challenge which cost him a red card and his side a penalty.
Fabio Borini made no mistake from the spot and substitute Emanuele Giaccherini added a third 14 minutes from time.
It was just Sunderland’s fourth league victory at the Stadium of Light in 17 attempts. But more importantly, it lifted the Black Cats from the foot of the table and out of the bottom three, albeit only on goal difference, as they leapfrogged Cardiff, Fulham and Norwich.